The Japanese Garden at Cowden

I haven’t managed to sort through the Lake District photos yet so I thought I would do a post on the Japanese Garden that we visited a couple of weeks ago. It’s at Cowden Castle, between the small village of Dunning and Yetts o’ Muckhart. Yes that is a place, ‘yett’ just means gate.

The garden isn’t finished yet, it has undergone a lot of refurbishment as it has lain neglected for many years and has only recently been opened to the public again after being closed for years. It was originally created in 1908 but was closed to the public in 1955. It has taken three years of work to get it to this stage but there’s still some work to do on it.

Acer at Japanese Garden, Cowden

In 1925 this garden was described by Profesor Jijo Suzuki as the most important Japanese garden in the western world.

pond and bridge

There’s a Zen garden, not my favourite kind but still intersting. Obviously there are a lot of cherry trees that have been newly planted so I’ll have to go back there around next May to see what they look like.

dry garden /Zen garden

Stepping stones are a big feature of the gardens and you can even walk across the pond/loch using them – if you have good balance!


apond and bridge

We visited the gardens the day after Storm Ali which caused mayhem in some places with lots of trees keeling over as they were still in full leaf, but these gardens are set in a sort of wee glen so they’re quite sheltered, only one tree seemed to have been blown over.
looking back to pond

Pond and Bridge

There’s twenty acres of woodland to walk in if you have the time and energy. Before going here we had a look online to see what people said about the place. Some comments were less than complimentary, but we had a lovely time, the staff were welcoming and the soup in the cafe was very tasty – what more can you ask?!

8 thoughts on “The Japanese Garden at Cowden

  1. I’ve never considered myself a fan of Japanese style gardens, but this one is quite beautiful, and in such a lovely setting. I would definitely enjoy a visit there if only it were closer:). Thanks for the photo tour.

    • Paula,
      I’m not keen on the gravel Zen gardens but love the Japanese maples and conifers and the use of large stones in the designs. There should be carp in the water but I don’t think they’ll put any fish in as birds would eat them.

  2. Thank you for that, I am close enough to visit and think, like you, I’ll go next year in May. It looks lovely, very tranquil.

  3. What a lovely, tranquil place. Katrina, your photo of the arched bridge with the tall pines behind is gorgeous!

  4. Lovely garden. Your photos have captured the beautiful and satisfying balance and tranquillity of the place.

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