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From Oban south to visit 3 gardens

1 day with option of a second
An Cala and Ardmaddy Castle gardens are reached on the road to Easdale. Further south is the NTS garden of Arduaine.
From Oban to An Cala
1. From Oban to An Cala
To An Cala from Oban take the A816 south for eight miles before the B844 road to Easdale is reached on the right. Continue for 4 miles and cross 'the Bridge over the Atlantic' an eighteenth century high span linking the mainland to the Isle of Seil. Pass the picturesque Tigh an Truish Inn (House of the Trousers) where travellers from Seil could leave their kilts and borrow trousers en route to the cities (kilts were banned after the Jacobite rebellion).

After about 3 miles there are wonderful views out to the Atlantic and its scatter of small islands with the hidden Corrievrecken whirlpool between Scarba and Jura and a yellow sign to An Cala. Plantings of azaleas and spring bulbs sparkle among trees and shrubs in this beautifully designed garden.
Ardmaddy Castle Garden
2. Ardmaddy Castle Garden
To reach Ardmaddy, retrace your journey back over the Bridge and in a few hundred metres, a sign on the right takes you up the track to the garden in its beautiful setting.

Cross the bridge towards the Castle and park, entering the walled garden below the castle. This is a beautifully restored estate, with immaculate vegetable beds, patte d'oie cutting garden and glorious borders of rhododendrons underplanted with many choice bulbs and plants, in the lee of the garden's ancient stone walls. Beyond is the pond and woodland area where long walks are rewarded with special views and unusual plants.
Ardmaddy Castle to Arduaine garden
3. Ardmaddy Castle to Arduaine garden
Return via the B844 to the main road and turn right, heading south. After 8 miles continue through the village of Kilmelford and Arduaine stands on the promontory just beyond. The entrance serves the garden and the Loch Melfort Hotel, the original house of the estate. Here there is a good restaurant and bar lunches as well as tea and coffee.

The entrance to the garden is down a short path beyond the hotel and you enter via the pavillion with information on what is looking good or about to flower.

The display of rhododendrons here is breathtaking, some dating back to seeds brought back from Ceylon and the Himalayas in the 19th century. There are also huge magnolias including M campbellii, Davidia involucrata and many camellias, all very much at home in this lovely woodland setting. Seek out the amazing glade of Dicksonias and other trr ferns.
A worthwhile journey on to Achamore on the Isle of Gigha
4. A worthwhile journey on to Achamore on the Isle of Gigha
It is less than 20 miles to Lochgilphead down the A816, a dramatic route with sea views, the ancient settlements of the Kilmartin area and the interesting and photogenic Crinan Canal to discover. From here it is another 30 miles to Tayinloan, passing Tarbert, linking between Loch Tarbert and Loch Fyne.

The CalMac ferries from Tayinloan to Ardminish on the Isle of Gigha are frequent and it is less than a mile's walk once on the island to reach the garden at Achamore. You will pass the Gigha Hotel on your walk, good for refreshments or accommodation.

The garden was developed by Sir James Horlick and is now owned by the Gigha Trust. Rare and tender rhododendrons survive here as there is little frost and the area close to and within the walled garden is particularly sheltered. There is protective woodland and a great look out view point.
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