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“Need more disability awareness” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Attadale Gardens

Attadale Gardens
Wester Ross, Strathcarron IV54 8YX, Scotland
+44 1520 722603
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Type: Gardens, Outdoors
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Owner description: Attadale Gardens is a unique 20 acre garden on the south side of Loch Carron initially established by the Victorians with rhododendrons planted over the hillside. Over the past 40 years, Nicky Macpherson has transformed these gardens with the creation of water gardens with Monet bridges and waterfalls, planted with a painter's eye, a Japanese garden, a huge fern collection housed in a geodesic dome, a sunken fern garden as well as the traditional kitchen garden. The oldest part of the garden is the sunken garden with the giant sundial nearby. There is also a fascinating collection of sculpture scattered through the garden. There is a huge tree collection as well. A DIY tearoom serves homemade snacks, cakes and biscuits as well as tea, coffee & hot chocolate. There are photographs on display & reference books about gardening, which provides additional information for visitors. You can buy plants as well.
Holmfirth, England, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
63 attraction reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
“Need more disability awareness”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

Unfortunately we did not get to see the gardens. Despite having a blue badge as I have extremely limited walking - I have cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and regurgitation in three heart valves - because I am unable to use a wheelchair ( I couldn't propel one and as I also have epilepsy cannot drive an electric one) or my husband able to give assisted wheelchair use due to his own health problems we were denied free access as 'there was no wheelchair involved.' Their reasoning was that it wasn't fair to wheelchair users to have to pay an entry fee as they would not be able to access all the gardens. The underlying - and incorrect - assumption was that I would be able to.
Given my limited ability to walk, wheelchair users would be able to access more of the gardens than I would have been able to .
When we decided to leave, the gardener who did not consider a blue badge an indication of extremely iimited walking, was polite and did say at the end that he was 'sorry we had missed the gardens.' He fails to miss the point in that I would have missed most of them anyway due to my limited mobility.
Individuals with mobility problems, who hold a blue badge, who wish to visit these gardens ought to check beforehand whether they are considered disabiled enough to qualify for the free entry afforded to people with disabilities ie if they have a wheelchair. Those who cannot use a wheelchair for whatever reason but have very limited mobility will not be welcome.
The little of the gardens we did see - as we were driving to the disabled parking spaces- did look nice but even they were on an incline and this would have made it inaccessible for me.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JMM61055, General Manager at Attadale Gardens, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
I can only apologise most sincerely on behalf of us all as there was obviously a misunderstanding on this occasion.

We are all very aware that much of the garden is not easily accessible due to the steep paths and the gravel that we use on many of them makes it tricky. With West Coast weather, there is often a lot of water as well which can make it muddy and difficult to access. It is for that reason that we allow wheelchairs in for free with a helper as we know it is not ideal.

I am very sorry you had such a disappointing experience and for the future we shall try our best to warn visitors about the limitations when they arrive.

Please could you send me your name and full address to info@attadalegardens.com and let me know what you were charged. We would like to refund your ticket cost.
Best wishes
Joanna Macpherson
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42 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Aviemore, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Not what I expected”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013 via mobile

A fantastically preserved and restored gardens with lots of interesting flowers, trees, sculptures and sights. A great walk through, even though it was pouring with rain.

A great 'DIY' tea shop and friendly and essential staff on hand to answer any questions.


A way out the way, but worth it for the drive and the highlight if the garden at the end.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JMM61055, Manager at Attadale Gardens, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Thank you so much for your kind words, it is very encouraging when we get feedback like this. We are off the beaten track so it's wonderful when people take the trouble to find us - despite the rain.
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Utrecht, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Peaceful, pleasant & a profusion of pretty flowers”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

A relaxed, nice walk through this little Garden of Eden. The meconopsis, of course, was a bonus by flowering and thus showing its lovely blue colours. All the employees were friendly and immediately taking time to answer questions, The only disappointment, if one could call it that, was the tearoom. Self service, in a smallish place,

Visited June 2013
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JMM61055, Manager at Attadale Gardens, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Thank you for sharing your good experiences at Attadale Gardens. I'm glad you were able to enjoy the meconopsis, the blue poppies, that were out at the time of your visit. The DIY tearoom is only small but we are now offering homemade cakes and biscuits every day which seems to be appreciated by visitors.
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Sunderland, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Gorgeous gardens”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013 via mobile

First time visit to these gardens as on holiday nearby, lovely couple of hours spent wandering around taking in the sights and floral aromas. Quaint little tea/coffee making facilities and friendly gardeners. Don't miss this nice little place to see, it's really worth the time to look around.

Visited June 2013
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JMM61055, Manager at Attadale Gardens, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Thank you for your kind words and enthusiasm which we all appreciate.
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Abertillery, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Hidden Star of Strathcarron”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

We passed these gardens by on our first trip through Strathcarron because they are hidden from the road, and we didn't know if it was worth stopping. Luckily, we met someone later, who told us the gardens were lovely, so we went. Thank you to that person.

On entering the gardens, the first thing you see is a pond nestling serenely at the base of the sloping woodland. We didn't see any fish in it, but we did see lots of newts and frog spawn. From the pond, you have the choice of progressing along the roadway, or being a little more adventurous by using the woodland footpath. We chose the latter, and the path wound its way through the trees, offering (welcome) benches along the way and unexpected glimpses of heron, eagle, cheetah, et al - all sculptures, so not life-threatening!

We stopped for refreshment in the delightful tea room, where we served ourselves, then continued our walk around the Japanese, Kitchen and Sunken gardens, meeting swathes of colour along the way and absorbing the peace and the beautifully fresh air.

If you're on the Strathcarron road, keep a look out for the Attadale Gardens sign and swing into the drive. You won't be sorry.

Visited June 2013
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JMM61055, Manager at Attadale Gardens, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Thank you for your generous and full review of what you can see and enjoy here. As you say we are well-hidden so it's wonderful when people manage to find the gardens and enjoy them.
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