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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. There will be site barrier fencing in place out of hours while our new entrance is being constructed. 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 new wall and ‘Cowden Garden’. There will be construction fencing in place out of hours. 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 outside the Japanese garden
    • Sample the delights of our home baking

    Guided tours

    We are currently training our garden guides, please look at our website or Facebook page for more details. Guided tours by arrangement for over ten people, contact [email protected]

    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]

    Volunteering / internships opportunites

    Fundraising for the garden is still ongoing. We would be delighted to discuss sponsorship of future garden projects, please contact [email protected] for more details. Funds raised will be used exclusively to complete the transformation of Ella Christie and Taki Handa‚Äôs remarkable legacy into a garden to serve a range of educational and palliative needs. We are recruiting volunteers to act as garden guides, visitor welcome stewards and to undertake practical gardening tasks. Please contact [email protected] for more details.

    Promotional Themes

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    Opening Times

    Monday: Closed Tuesday: Closed 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: Open for Scotland's Garden Scheme Wednesday 5th June 2019 17.00 - 20.00

    Dates closed

    Closed for the winter until April 2019. We reopen Saturday 6th April 2019.

    Admission prices

    Adult: £6.00 Child: £4.00 (4 to 16 years old) Concession: £5.50 (seniors & students) Family: £18.00 (2 adults & up to 3 children)


    Café/ Restaurant Car park Toilets Accessible toilets Wheelchair access Assistance Dogs 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 path are unsuitable for visitors using a wheeled zimmer frame.


    The Japanese Garden at Cowden Upper Hillfoots Road Dollar ,FK14 7PJ


    07570 614 763