Benmore Botanic Garden
Benmore is a magnificent 120-acre mountainside Garden surrounded by the dramatic scenery of Argyllshire. Steeped in history, Benmore is home to a world-famous collection of plants.
For true drama visit Benmore Botanic Garden, renowned for its fine collections of rhododendrons and conifers grown to immense stature in a mountain landscape.
Benmore's 120 acres feature a world-famous collection of plants from the Orient and the Himalaya to North and South America. Other Garden features include:
Giants of Benmore: You will be welcomed through the 150 year old Redwood Avenue, one of the finest entrances to any botanic garden. The towering giant redwoods are awe-inspiring as are many other trees at Benmore including the Douglas fir, Scots pines and Monkey puzzles. Support our campaign to save them.
A Riot of Rhododendrons: In the spring and early summer months, Benmore's slopes are alive with brilliant reds, shocking pinks and papery whites as its unique and world-leading rhododendron collection blooms. This spectacular display comprises over 300 species arranged by botanical grouping and geographic origin.
Spectacular Views: Energetic visitors can enjoy an ascent to a spectacular viewpoint at 137 metres (450 ft) to enjoy views of Holy Loch and the neighbouring mountains. See the traditional Bhutanese and Chilean pavilions along the way. On lower ground, accessible to all, enjoy the splendour of the Golden Gates dating back to 1878 and the serenity of the Pond.
Victorian Fernery: On the hillside, a winding path leads to the Fernery. Amidst rocky cliffs, this beautiful Victorian structure provides a dazzle of light, space and lush greenery. Ferns sprout from rocks in delicate feathery fountains, creep along the ground and cascade down walls.
Wildlife: A walk through Benmore can bring close encounters with red squirrels, sparrowhawks and the occasional Golden Eagle. The Wildlife Hide is the ideal spot to watch out for wildlife.
For more information about Benmore's Living Collection and further detail about the Garden's café, Garden guided tours and accessibility, please see below.
Benmore Botanic Garden is located north of Dunoon on the Cowal Peninsula. Get directions.
In response to the impact of COVID-19 the Garden is temporarily closed to the public. Find out more.
Open daily 1 March to 31 October
- March and October 10.00 to 17.00
- April to September 10.00 to 18.00
The Fernery opens 11.00 and closes one hour before the Garden
Adult £7.00, Concession £6.00, Child (15 and under) Free. Includes voluntary donation. Standard Adult £6.30, Standard Concession £5.40.
Group rates (11+ people) £5.00. Call 01369 706261 to prebook.
Map of the garden (pdf)
Visitors are very welcome to take photographs and short videos in the Garden for personal use.
All filming and photography for commercial use is by permit only: please contact the Garden at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01369 706 261.
For Commercial Photography, please check the Media and Commercial Photography page.
Benmore Botanic Garden is a precious museum of living plants. The Garden's team has a duty to protect the Collection. Therefore, please note our regulations:
- We do not allow bicycles, scooters, frisbee, kites, footballs, mechanically-operated toys and models or drone cameras for personal use into the Garden
- No jogging or running is permitted inside the grounds
- Assistance dogs are welcomed at Benmore
- Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult
Also as part of our rules and regulations, visitors are not permitted to:
- pick, cut or destroy any flower or part tree, shrub or plant
- bring into the Garden any flowers or plant life
- bring any package or other article or container after being requested by Garden staff not to do so
- climb any tree, railing, fence or structure
- enter any part of the Garden after having been requested by Garden staff not to do so or in contravention of any notice or sign displayed at any part of the grounds or remain in any part of the Garden after having been requested by staff to leave it
- behave or be clothed, whilst in any part of the Garden, in a manner reasonably likely to offend against public decency
- fish, bathe or swim in any part of the Garden
- collect or solicit money in the Garden
Acts for which written permission is required:
- Undertake any trade or business in the Garden
- Sell or distribute anything or offer anything for sale or hire
- Exhibit or affix any notice, advertisement or other written or pictorial matter or give any display, performance or representation
- Play or cause to be played any musical instrument in any part of the Garden
- Make or give any public speech or address
- Take, in any part of the Garden, photographs for commercial purposes
- Play any game or engage in any form of sport of physical exercise in the Garden
- Light a fire or discharge any firearm, firework or other weapon or missile
Argyll Ferries (for passengers) and Western Ferries (for cars and passengers) both sail from Gourock to Dunoon. The journey time is approximately 20 minutes. Western Ferries offer a discount on ferry tickets purchased in advance of travel, their most popular range of tickets for passengers and vehicles up to 5m in length can be purchased at the following:
- Greenock - The Co-operative Food, 21 Eldon Street PA16 7UG. Tel 01475 727762
- Gourock - Paul's Food & Wine, 94 Shore Street PA19 1RB. Tel 01475 630997.
West Coast Motors operates a regular bus service to the Garden from Dunoon (01586 559 139).
A Sunday shuttle service runs between Dunoon and Benmore Botanic Garden, call 07913 601442 for details.
Address: Dunoon, Argyll PA23 8QU
Contact the Visitor Welcome Team at Benmore
If you have any queries relating to visitor facilities, please call us on +44 (0) 1369 706 261 or get in touch by using the enquiry form.Get in Touch