Friends of Crarae Registered Charity SC033244
Friends of CraraeRegistered Charity SC033244

I am delighted to add my welcome to the Friends of Crarae website. Crarae is an historically important and stunningly beautiful garden created in 1912 by Lady Grace Campbell, the aunt of plant hunter Reginald Farrer and enjoyed and developed by Sir George and then Sir Ilay Campbell into the magnificent designed landscape we recognise today. The National Trust for Scotland took it over in 2002. Since moving to Minard in 2012 I have had the pleasure of walking around the garden throughout the seasons and enjoyed it in sun, fog, rain and snow. There is always something happening and the garden is home not only to a magnificent collection of plants but also to a rich wildlife from deer to voles and from dippers to sea eagles. The Friends have contributed much to the success and pleasure of the Gardens and I look forward to helping the current committee to build on the great success of our predecessors who have contributed so much over the years. Most of all I look forward to seeing you at Crarae and sharing our enthusiasm for the many pleasures that it offers.


Dr John M Hall, Chairman - Friends of Crarae 2021 (

Garden Currently Closed due to Storm Damage 

Storm damage at Crarae October 2023


On 7th of October extreme weather events caused by a months’ worth of rain falling in a day caused widespread disruption and damage across Argyll, unfortunately the gardens at Crarae suffered significant damage. Due to the devastation caused by the storm, the garden will be closed to the public for the foreseeable future.


The gardens team and specialist geological surveyors are now in the process of assessing the damage and starting to put in place a plan for the team to work to in the coming months. Our priority at the moment is safety, primarily the safety of our gardens teams and of contractors who may be on site to carry out work. Much of the garden has not been assessed for the damage caused, but we hope to be able to form a clearer picture of this in the coming weeks, as and when it is safe to do so.


Much of the garden infrastructure has been damaged due to a combination of landslides from further up the site, flooding and erosion caused by the Crarae burn bursting its banks. Many of path networks throughout the garden have been badly affected with the woodland garden being of particular concern, with many unstable slopes.


Initial signs are that much of the planting and the collection, which is so important to the garden remains largely intact, which is a positive in what is an incredibly difficult time for all of those connected to the garden. It was a very sad way to end what had been a positive opening season for the property.


We will aim to keep you updated over the coming weeks and months and will post updates as and when we can.


Tim Keyworth


Garden and Designed Landscape Manager South & West

Crarae Gardens are home to one of three National Collections of Nothofagus (the Southern or false beech) in the UK. They are planted throughout the gardens with a number of larger specimens in the upper Eucalyptery.



On Instagram @thefriendsofcrarae


Tag us in to your photos of the gardens too, we love to see the garden through your 'eyes'.

Crarae is one of Britains finest examples of a Himalayan-style woodland garden. The 50 acre site is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the banks of Loch Fyne in Argyll, Scotland.


At the last count by The Tree Register in 2012 the collection contains at least  136 Champion trees, either the tallest or broadest in girth of their species in one of four categories:

Great Britain and Ireland, Scotland or Argyll and Bute plus a host of 'Remarkable Trees'. We are working on a trail so you can spot them too!

The Friends of Crarae was established in April 1986 by Mrs Hersey Robertson and a small group of like-minded individuals concerned with the preservation and enhancement of the historically and botanically important Garden of Crarae.



On Twitter @friendsofcrarae


Follow the antics of the Friends Volunteer work crew on social media and our blog.



Nothofagus is a genus of around 35 species of trees and shrubs. The continents of South America, Africa, Antarctica and Australasia were at one time one great landmass called Gondwanaland. At this time, forest of southern beech extended right across the continent. Today, southern beeches occur as remnants of this former range in Australia, New Zealand and South America.

  1. Obtain a membership form - you can download one from our Contact Us page or fill out the Contact Form and we will send you one as you prefer  by post or by email; 
  2. Complete the membership form and elect to pay your annual £15 membership fee via cheque, bank transfer to the account details on the form, or set up a standing order and you will be provided with a membership card;
  3. Remember to bring your card with you each time you visit the gardens for free entry to Crarae Gardens.


Membership at the end of  FY2022, was around 125 Friends of Crarae.


Remember to check out the Monthly Gallery to follow progress of the gardens through the seasons, see if you can spot your favourite in full bloom!



Gardens open in Argyll and Bute

Please click on the link to view a list and interactive map of the 'Glorious Gardens of Argyll and Bute'.

The website includes information on Benmore and Linn Botanic Gardens, other National Trust Properties such as Arduaine and gardens at local attractions such as Inveraray Castle as well as private gardens which only open by appointment or for the Scottish Open Gardens Scheme or the Festival of Rhododendrons (1st April - 31st May).

Print | Sitemap
© Friends of Crarae . All photographs are ©Friends of Crarae unless otherwise attributed. Registered Charity SC033244.