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Frances Ryan muses about Iona
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Crinan Hotel's Secret Garden
There is a delightful garden secreted away on the hill just behind the Hotel.
For use by the guests of the Crinan Hotel, this 'secret garden' is open to the public during Scotland's Garden Scheme Open Days.
Open the gate just outside the Hotel Bar and climb the stone staircase that leads to the top of the ridge just outside the upper garden entrance. A small bench at the top is a welcome sight for the less energetic amongst us! Then, entering the garden through the small top gate, enjoy a leisurely walk down through the plants and trees carefully tended by the owner, Frances Macdonald.
Like many other things at Crinan - the garden is a secret you stumble upon while exploring this enchanted place. Featured in Suki Urquhart's wonderful book 'The Scottish Gardener' (on sale at the hotel) the Crinan Hotel Garden may be small but it offers a refreshing moment of contemplation amongst some beautiful cottage garden planting.
For the more energetic visitors we would recommend a short walk up to the top of the hill that overlooks Crinan Hotel and the Crinan Canal from the east. There you will see the full extent of the garden and the inspiring panorama which stretches out over the loch to the distant mountains.