Tour the world-famous formal gardens
The impressive Drummond Castle is just twenty miles away from either Stirling or Perth. The driving route is beautiful, making Drummond a perfect day tour from Pitlochry or even Edinburgh.
The Gardens are renowned as being amongst the most impressive formal gardens in Europe and have featured in many films – the gardens doubled as Palace of Versailles in Outlander.
Drummond Castle transports you back to an age of elegance. Stroll the Baroque parterres and admire the castle perched on the rocky outcrop. An escape to Drummond for a few hours is an easy driver-guided day tour from Pitlochry or Edinburgh.
The finest formal gardens in Scotland
A brief history of Drummond Castle and Gardens
The gardens, or at least an orchard, may have existed as far back as 1490. It's a reasonable assumption given that we know that in 1508 the 1st Lord John Drummond sent cherries to James IV; he hunted in nearby Archty Forest.
John Drummond, 2nd Earl of Perth, laid out the original gardens. He served as Privy Councillor under both James VI and Charles I. Not only did he rebuild the medieval castle, transforming it into a stately home, but started to create formal gardens below the property around 1630. Part of his vision for the outside space involved creating an avenue of magnificent trees running from the castle to Perth, some 20 miles away.
The Jacobite Rebellion
Distracted by his involvement in the Jacobite Rebellion in 1715, the gardens became neglected. Worse was to follow. Drummond supported the Stuarts, and following the 1745 Jacobite rising, the estate confiscated. The Jacobite movement was a group of Scots who opposed the loss of the Stuarts claim to the British throne by the expulsion of James II and VII and its transfer to the Protestant Mary II and her husband William III.
Queen Victoria's visit
Establishment of the gardens we see today was the work of a French gardener, Lewis Kennedy, whose influence is particularly apparent in the formal flower garden.
Queen Victoria visited the gardens in 1842 and planted two copper beech trees. She walked in the gardens with Prince Albert and found them, 'really very fine, with terraces, like an old French garden.'
War was again to cause the gardens to become neglected – this time, World War II. Work to restore them was undertaken by Phyllis Astor, wife of the 3rd Earl of Ancaster. The gardens today are much admired globally.
Highlights of the gardens
The gardens' overall view is simply stunning and a 'must-see' garden for anyone interested in gardens. Its centre is an obelisk sundial with 50 faces showing the times across Europe's capital cities.
The grounds contain ancient yew hedges and various ornamental trees, including purple-leaf oaks, whitebeam, weeping birch, and a tulip tree. The gardens are a perfectly peaceful setting for quiet enjoyment – think of Drummond as a place for meditation, enhancing one's well-being.
An avenue of Beech Trees, over a mile long, leads from the Tower House. Attractive features such as fountains, statues, and outstanding topiary examples are a delight as you make your way around. The conical-shaped clipped trees are English and Irish yews.
The view is of a magnificent Italianate parterre from the top terrace, which celebrates the Saltaire and family heraldry surrounding the famous multiplex sundial.
The formal gardens have protection as category A listed buildings. They have featured in many films, including series Two of Outlander where the gardens doubled as the Gardens of Versailles and the 'Untimely Resurrection' scene.
Touring and accommodation
We can incorporate a visit to Drummond Castle and Gardens as part of a day tour from Edinburgh or include as part of a Private Tour of Scotland. A day tour from Edinburgh can consist of Drummond Castle and Stirling Castle for example. There are many options we can provide. Our Tour-Designers can tailor a tour of Scotland to include the special places relating to Scotland's history.
Edinburgh has a vast choice of accommodation. We look for quality, service and our ability to include complimentary amenities. Stay in the elegant New Town at The Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel. Enjoy views of Edinburgh Castle from the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel.
A living work of art
- VIP Tours Available
- Day tour from Edinburgh or Pitlochry
- Finest Formal Garden in Scotland
- Outlander Film Location
Help us make your trip exceptional
Our UK, US and EU office based staff will listen to what you want to see and experience.
Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.
We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.
We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.