The Japanese Garden at Cowden

‘The most important Japanese Garden in the Western World’. Professor Jijo Suzuki, Japan 1925

Upper Hillfoot Road, Dollar, Clackmannanshire, FK14 7PL

View to the south - Cowden Garden
Free for members
  • Accessible loos
  • Accessible parking
  • Free parking
  • Parkland / open spaces
  • Pet friendly
  • Picnic area
  • Shop

Accessible parking

Accessible toilets

Guide dogs welcome

Wheelchair ramps/routes

Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

An historic Japanese Garden founded in 1908 by inveterate traveller, Ella Christie. Under the supervision of Professor Fukuhara (best known for his gold medal at Chelsea plus the restoration of the Japanese Gardens at Kew and Tatton Park), Cowden has recently undergone a five year restoration programme.

The garden features a large pond with perimeter path, zig zag and arched bridges, antique lanterns and Japanese structures including the new thatched pavilion (based on the Katsura Imperial Pavilion, Kyoto).

The best times to visit are late April for the cherry blossom, May/June for the rhododendrons and October/November for the acers. Adjoining the garden is the Stewart Adventure Woodland with trails and associated outdoor puzzles/games.

Opening Times

BST: Seven days per week, 10.30am – 5pm.

Winter: Wednesdays – Sundays, 10.30am – 4pm.

Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, first two weeks of January.


Historic Houses members visit free

Other charges:

Adults: £8 | Senior (over 65): £7.50 | Youth (16-24): £7.00 | Child (5-15): £5.25 | Child (0-4): free

Carer: £6 | Disabled: free | Family: £22 | Single Family: £16.


Accessible parking

Accessible toilets

Guide dogs welcome

Wheelchair ramps/routes

Visit the house's website
for the latest information.


The Japanese Garden at Cowden: In Pictures

The Stewart Adventure Woodland

Children can enjoy roaming in the Stewart Adventure Woodland. The play area includes a board walk and tree house. The popular ‘Acorn Challenge’ where children can hunt for acorns with letters and Japanese symbols to try and decode a secret message to win a prize. We hide the acorns in new places and change the secret message every month. Children can also add labels to the wishing trees.

Adventure playground - Cowden Garden

Adventure playground at Cowden Garden

Popular walks at Cowden Garden

The Christie Walk is a five minute loop just east of The Japanese Garden. The Lime Tree Avenue was planted in 1908 to highlight to Ella Christie’s guests the importance of the new Japanese Garden. The loop from the car park, up the Lime Tree Avenue and back down towards the entrance to the garden takes in the new cherry tree planting. Cowden benefitted from donations from The Sakura Cherry Tree Project in 2018/19, which enabled us to replace the original avenue and create a dedicated Hanami area. Within the Stewart Adventure Woodland there is a 15 minute circular loop and a longer path (25 minutes), which meanders alongside the Holeburn to the front drive.

A garden inspired: Discover Cowden's history

The trustees appointed Professor Masao Fukuhara, admired for his sensitive restoration of the Japanese Gardens at Kew and Tatton Park and for his Chelsea Gold Medal garden, to spearhead the restoration and ensure the authenticity of Cowden was maintained.

View from Garden Pavilion at Cowden Garden

The most beautiful wedding venue

Submerse yourself in the ancient trees and the unique beauty of a traditional Japanese garden set in the Scottish countryside.

North Gate at Cowden Garden

Getting here

Upper Hillfoot Road, Dollar, Clackmannanshire, FK14 7PL

By car

Between Dollar and Muckhart on the A91, follow brown signs to: ‘Japanese Garden’.

By bus

1 mile walk from bus on the A91.

By train/taxi

Train to Gleneagles or Inverkeithing followed by 25 minute taxi.

Fossoway Cabs: 07840 944635

By bicycle

Cycle via the Upper Hillfoot Road, which is a walking/cycle friendly route.


Looking to visit The Japanese Garden at Cowden?

The Japanese Garden at Cowden is open seven days per week (BST) and Wednesday to Sunday during the winter months. See the Opening information above to find out more. Historic Houses members with valid membership card are able to visit the garden free of charge.

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View from Garden Pavilion at Cowden Garden

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