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  • The Japanese Garden at Cowden

    At the turn of the 20th century, the Scottish adventurer Ella Christie returned home from a trip to the Orient inspired to build a Japanese garden. She chose a female designer Taki Handa, to create the seven acre site in the grounds of Cowden Castle. In so doing, The Japanese Garden at Cowden became the first and only garden of its size and scale to be designed by a woman. Sadly vandalised in the 1960's, the garden is being brought back to life by a team of experts. The restoration is still ongoing and we hope visitors will appreciate being part of the experience of the re-emergence of a unique and internationally important garden.

    How to find us

    From Dollar. Take the A91 east from Dollar towards Muckhart. 2 miles from Dollar turn left opposite the Muckhart Golf Club. Follow the Upper Hillfoot Road for approx. 3/4 mile until you see the Cowden Garden entrance.
    From Muckhart. Take the A91 west from Muckhart. After half a mile turn first right and follow the Upper Hillfoot Road until you see a wall with 'Cowden Garden' and large gates.
    There is no access via Ardmill Lodge (was East Lodge), The West Lodge or Cowden House.



    • Follow the meandering paths around the Japanese garden to see the changing views
    • Find a quiet spot to relax and absorb the serenity of this unique garden
    • Cross our zig zag (yatsuhashi) bridge to the island of eternal youth!
    • Enjoy the exploring our woodland walks and children's activities outside the Japanese garden
    • Sample the delights of our home baking

    Guided tours

    We offer free guided tours (an entry ticket is required) twice daily on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer months.
    Garden tours can also be arranged if booking as a group of 10 or more. Please email [email protected] for a group booking form.

    Group visits

    We are only able to accept groups of ten or more people by prior arrangement. Please book in advance by emailing [email protected]

    Promotional Themes

    • Autumn Colour
    • Quiet/Wellness Garden
    • Red Squirrels
    • Water Gardens
    • Woodland Wildlife

    Opening Times

    Monday: 10:30-17:00 Wednesday: 10:30 - 17:00 Thursday: 10:30 - 17:00 Friday: 10:30 - 17:00 Saturday: 10:30 - 17:00 Sunday: 10:30 - 17:00 also:

    10.30-17.00 summertime (closed Tuesdays)
    10.30-16.00 wintertime (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Dates closed

    Closed from the 23rd of December until the 27th of December 2023.
    Closed from the 1st January until the 17th January 2024.

    Admission prices

    Adult: £8.50 Child: £5.25 (5 to 15 years old) Concession: £7.50 Family: £26.00 (2 adults and up to 3 children) Membership: £25 Single, £50 Double, £60 Family


    Accessible parking Accessible toilets Assistance Dogs Café/Restaurant Car park Event Venue Kids’ play area Picnic area Plant sales Pushchair friendly Shop Toilets Wheelchair access

    Wheelchair access; our paths are compacted hard core and can be uneven in places, there is a slope up from the car park, and some slopes within the garden. We have had wheelchair users get round the garden paths, and mobility scooters with high clearance, but in places it may be a bumpy ride. the paths are unsuitable for visitors using a wheeled zimmer frame.
    We now have extended our woodland walks and have the addition of a tree house and children’s activities.


    The Japanese Garden at Cowden
    Upper Hillfoot Road
    FK14 7PL


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