1st May 2015
Despite bad weather forecasts, there was a brief respite which allowed us to visit Crarae garden on our long drive to Oban. Being members of the National Trust we can also visit the National Trust for Scotland properties and sites. Unfortunately my parents left their cards at home and the two associations aren’t tied up enough to do a phone check so they had the pleasure of the tea room and shop only. Betty, Great Grandad and I had a lovely stroll though. Amazed I got him up those hills with his walker, he usually prefers to sit in the car.
The garden has many routes, each sign posted with different sights and varying lengths. There was one extremely easy route but I thought I’d challenge Great Grandad a bit, seeing as he doesn’t get out and about enough. We took the second shortest route, about 30mins in length. Firstly a small climb up a hill, then a tree root filled path along a steep drop, great for views of the river below, not great for those scared of heights. This path slowly wound down to the water lever where we crossed a garden of stinking yellow plants called skunk cabbage. We took a rest on a small pontoon overlooking the water cascading over the rocks.
The path then led back along the river bank, lots of space like gunera growing in the damp conditions. Only one Rhododendron in bloom, which was a shame as that is why we came to Scotland at this time of year. Then strangely a tunnel of bamboo, a totally cultural change for the traditional woodland area we had passed through. On the other side we met up with the short path which only covers the flat, formal gardens.
Luckily the car boot was full or I may have bought one the great samples of Rhododendrons for sale in the small nursery on the way out.
Baby friendly info:
There are changing facilities behind the shop
No highchairs but it is really only a cafe for hot drinks and chocolate bars so unlikely to be a lunch spot.
Due to the terrain of the garden, a baby carrier is advised. But Great Grandad managed it with his walker so a pushchair would cope.