Inverewe GardenCloser to the Arctic Circle than the Tropic of Cancer, this botanical garden shows what can happen when the Gulf Stream meets the Scottish Highlands. Here, on 49 acres of once-barren land, visitors can find everything from a vegetable plot on an exposed, south-facing hillside, to a veritable jungle of bamboo. There are also eucalyptus trees, Asian rhododendrons, and towering California redwoods, all framed by mountains and two shimmering lochs. As you wander the garden paths, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife like red deer, eagles, pine martens, otters, and red squirrels, then head to the newly opened Inverewe House to learn about the father and daughter who planted the garden in the 19th century. You can also visit the adjacent Sawyer Gallery, which hosts art exhibitions throughout the year about the garden and its surrounding environment.
One of the most stunning botanical gardens in Scotland awaits visitors to Ullapool. The gardens have a surprising array of both local plants and others sourced from around the world. More than 2,500 exotic plants and flowers can be found across the property's 20 hectares (49 acres), among them California redwood trees, rare Wollemi pines and Tasmanian eucalyptus trees. There are also many species that are native to the Highlands. The temperate microclimate created by the Gulf Stream circulating offshore allows the remarkable variety of far-flung plants to flourish this far north. The garden's location overlooking Loch Ewe also means you have a good chance of spotting seabirds, seals and otters.