Johnston Gardens

This week, we are at Johnston Gardens which is a beautiful little park situated just off of Viewfield Road.  Located near the Gordon Highlanders Museum, it is a super park to have a stroll around after a visit to the museum.  Full of wonderful trees, streams, rockeries and a bridge in the middle, which you can see in the picture, it is a great place to go for a quiet relaxing walk.

The garden has won the Britain in Bloom competition and hosts a wonderful selection of plants.  There is also a duck pond where you can sit and watch the ducks while admiring the wonderful plants.  When we visited only a few weeks ago, some of the leaves were just starting to change colour and am sure by now, it would be full of some fantastic colours!

Why not head to the gardens for a visit and if you are like me and love capturing the colours of Autumn, then make sure to take your camera along too!

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Duthie Park and David Welch Winter Gardens

At the start of the week, we took a tour around Aberdeen, visiting some of the wonderful gardens and parks that the city has to offer.  Our first stop of the day was at Duthie Park.  Located on Polmuir Road, and set within 44 acres, it is close to the city centre and you can take the car or alternatively, you can take the bus.  As it was first thing on a Monday morning, we managed to get parked really easily.

After watching the ducks, we took a stroll around the pond and up onto the hill and headed over towards the Winter Gardens, which is at the other side of the park.  Named after one of the most influential Directors of Parks, the Winter Gardens were named after David Welch.  Many of the flowers here are exotic, including cacti and banana plants – which we spotted! – and it is a wonderful place to go and admire the wonderful flowers and colours in the warmth of the greenhouses.  There is a scented corridor, a Japanese Garden and a Tropical House and not forgetting the Cacti Greenhouse which has some of the biggest cacti I have ever seen!

We wandered through the 1920’s Rock Garden and admired Hygeia Monument before heading back to the car.  We didn’t stop for a coffee this time at the cafe but will most certainly be back!

Duthie is a super park and great for all ages, whether it is a stroll and a look around the gardens, some quiet time admiring the flowers in the Winter Gardens or a play in the park, there is certainly plenty for everyone to do and certainly worthy of a visit!

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Autumn is coming

It is getting to that time of year when the leaves on the trees are starting to change colour to the beautiful golden colours of autumn.   Soon, the green will be replaced by orange and red.  Yesterday, we enjoyed some wonderful sunshine and had temperatures up to nearly 20 degrees!  As it was so nice, we decided to head out to Pitmedden Gardens for a quick bite to eat for lunch.  On the way there, we noticed a few trees that had already turned golden and were just looking lovely with the sun shining on them.

It is still a busy time in the garden as the grass is continuing to grow and soon it will be time to decide which bulbs to plant for spring time next year!

I do love this time of year when autumn is approaching – the lovely sunshine and the wonderful colours.  There is nothing better than admiring this from our living room, with a good book and the warmth of our log burning fire!.

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Apple Sunday at Pitmedden Garden

Apple Sunday at Pitmedden Garden is an annual event which is taking place this year on the 24th September.  A fantastic day out for all the family and a great chance to purchase some local produce as well as some of Pitmedden Gardens’ famous apples and pears!

The day runs from 11am – 5pm and there will be live entertainment and music throughout the day.  There will be mini-walks in the Garden which are being hosted by the NTS Rangers, giant lawn games, vintage tractors and other entertainment too.

If you are in the area and fancy listening to some music or even sampling some of the delicious home baking, why not head along, have some fun and get a bag of some delicious apples and pears!  There are homemade apple pies also on sale in the shop which are delicious!  Check out the NTS Website for usual entry fees and for more information.

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House of Dun

This week, we are visiting the House of Dun in Montrose.  Situated just a few miles outside of Montrose on the road heading towards Brechin, House of Dun is a beautiful Georgian house with wonderful gardens that is certainly worthy of a visit.  It is the second top thing to do in Montrose on Trip Advisor! When you drive into the grounds, you pass the House on your right hand side and head up to the car park just beyond.

History surrounding the House of Dun dates as far back as 1350, to a time before the house was built!  Sir Robert Erskine, from Renfrewshire, purchased the Dun Estate in 1375 and a tower house was built on the ground just to the west of where the current house stands today.  The tower house stayed in the Erskine Family as the family home until the early 1700’s when David Erskine, the 13th Laird of Dun, decided to pull the house down and build a more prominent one.

In 1730, work began on the House of Dun and it was built and designed by William Adam.  It took 13 years to build and generations of the Erskine Family continued to live in the house up until 1947.  The wonderful architecture can be seen right throughout the house, especially in the saloon.

We have visited several times and especially love taking a walk around the walled garden and woodland.  Great to admire the stunning scenery and see all the wildlife.  Finished off with a wee look around the gift shop and a hot drink and cake in the cafe, it is a great day out!  Check out the NTS Website for full details of opening times and ticket prices.

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Red Castle, Lunan Bay

This week, we are at the Red Castle at Lunan Bay, which is just about 4 miles outside Montrose.  Lunan is one of my most favourite places to go to when we are down visiting family in Montrose.  It is such a beautiful beach with wonderful sand dunes.  As it was such a lovely day on Monday, we decided to go for a walk to the Red Castle and onto the beach and enjoy a picnic!

To get to Lunan, if you head out of Montrose on the A92 towards Arbroath and you will see signs for Lunan off the A92.  There is a beach car park which is located at the back of the sand dunes and just near to the Lunan Bay Diner.  You can then access the beach by following the boardwalk and then down through the dunes.  Or alternatively, we passed the entrance to the beach and drove further on and found a small parking place at the side of the road opposite the opening to a path which takes you into the woods.  If you follow this path up the hill, it will bring you up to the Castle.

The Castle is steeped in history and dates as far back as the 1100s when it was built for William the Lion (William I).  Some accounts state that it was meant as a defence against Viking attacks.  Not that much remains of the castle today except part of the 15th century rectangular tower and the curtain wall.  Great care should be taken if you visit as what is left is in danger of collapsing.

We had a super morning spent at the beach, admiring the view up to the castle and enjoying the sunshine.  A truly beautiful beach and definitely worthy of a visit!

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Montrose Museum and Art Gallery

We are loving our adventures in Montrose and this week, we are visiting Montrose Museum and Art Gallery.  The Museum was opened in 1842 by Montrose Natural History Antiquarian Society and it was one of the first purpose built Museums in Scotland.  The Museum is designed in a neo classical style and is built of pink sandstone.

Travel through the Museum, exploring the history and art of the town.  It takes you on a journey back to the earliest archaeological finds which include Pictish Stones and Bronze Age Swords.  Learn about the Jacobite uprisings and find out about the harbour.  The staff are very friendly and there is a great collection of artefacts.

Entry is free and it is easy to park on the road round about the Museum.  Open from 10.00-5.00pm Tuesday to Saturday and located just behind the High Street.  It is such a lovely Museum and is definitely worthy of a visit if you are in Montrose – a great way to find out about the history of this lovely town!

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