Friends of Crarae Registered Charity SC033244
Friends of CraraeRegistered Charity SC033244

Welcome to the Friends of Crarae website.


My name is Alison Hay and I am the new chairwoman of the Friends of Crarae. 


I have lived in Minard for last 38 years and the gardens at Crarae have always been a part of my life, either walking round them by myself, with my husband John or taking friends and relatives to visit them.


I believe the gardens are a huge asset to Minard village, Argyll and the whole of Scotland generally. I will do my best to promote them in all I do and try to encourage The National Trust to invest more in them by way of money, people and equipment to ensure that the gardens and amenities continue to delight visitors, whether they live just down the road or are travelling from afar.


I look forward to meeting many of the Friends of Crarae who live locally. Please feel free to contact me on 01546 886213.


Crarae Gardens are open to the public - travel restrictions apply - please check NTS website for up to date information in case storm/ice forces closure for safety reasons.


Please note: WED-MON 09:30 am - 4pm (last entry 3pm), open in winter-mode only.


The cafe/centre sadly will not re-open this year. There will be a hand-sanitiser station on entry and a one-way entry/exit, the disabled toilet only will be open.


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.

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 the collection also contains at least 13 Champion trees, either the tallest or broadest in girth of their species in the UK.

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.


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 or 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, towards the end of 2017, was around 200 dedicated 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).

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