Hidden in the foothills of Dollar lies the Japanese Garden, an oasis of calm and serenity in a progressively modern and loud world. Curated by the Scottish adventurer Ella Christie in 1908 following a trip to the Orient, the garden has been brought back to life following vandalism in the 1960s and a long period (45 years) of sitting in ruin. In 2008, work started to restore the garden and it’s now a haven, tastefully designed and simplistic yet sophisticated in detail.
Set in 7.5 acres of land, the garden is filled with oriental style structures, stones and sympathetically built bridges and walkways leading through the land and water and offering various crossing points. There are benches along the way allowing a pause for thought and reflection or simply to take in the beautiful views. The garden looks different from all angles which is a really nice touch and there’s hidden gems tucked in amongst the flowers and shrubs that originate from all corners of the globe.
The garden reflects the strong female who created it. Ella was actually the first western woman to meet the Dalai Lama which is one of many interesting facts about the creator of this beautiful and tranquil place. The garden is still owned by Ella’s family and has transcended down the generations from her great nephew, Robert Christie Stewart to her great, great niece (and Robert’s daughter), Sara Stewart.
Alongside the Japanese Garden is the Christie Walk, Lime Tree Avenue and a Nature Play area for kids making it a great day out for all generations. I’d highly recommend a visit if you want to escape from it all.
Entry is £7 per adult and £4.50 per child or £22 for a family ticket making it a really affordable day out.