Hillside arboretum with over 150 tree species
There's nothing quite like Kilmun anywhere else in Scotland. The arboretum is home to more than 150 tree species from around the world. Meander through its small forests of silver firs, giant sequoia, coastal redwoods, Oregon maple and Chilean southern beech and you'll wonder why it isn't better known.
Back in 1930, over 260 different species were planted here to see how suitable they might be for Scotland. Many of the trees didn't like our climate or soils, but many have done amazingly well, growing faster and larger than they would at home. Today Kilmun Arboretum is a tree collection of international note and a unique experience for all tree lovers.
John Jackson Trail
A brief introduction to the exotic species of the arboretum, taking in ornamental maples, Japanese cedars and Himalayan spruces.
Firm gravel surface throughout with some slightly uneven sections. First section is wide and easy-going, the return includes short steep slopes and one bridge 0.9m wide.
Allow ¼ hour
Named after local forester John Jackson, this gentle stroll is full of colour and interest at any time of the year.
Climb the hillside to encounter redwoods and sequoias from California and monkey puzzles from South America, as well as great views over Holy Loch and the mountains of Cowal.
Firm but uneven gravel surface, with some grassy sections. Some long steep slopes.
Allow ½ hour
Get to know the conifers of Kilmun by sight and smell. These huge varieties of larch, spruce and hemlock all smell differently, so take time to stop and sniff too.
Visit some guests from Down Under on this breathtaking circuit of the arboretum. On a warm day, the wonderful aroma will transport you to the Australian bush.
Uneven gravel paths with some grassy sections. Some long steep slopes and bridges.
Allow ¾ hour
Wander through exotic groves of Australian eucalyptus with their peeling bark and characteristic scent. Oil glands cover the leathery leaves and exude their aroma on hot summer days.
Facilities & access
The nearest public toilets are at Dunoon or at the Benmore Garden café.
The car park for Kilmun Arboretum is at the western end of Kilmun village. The turn-off to Kilmun village is well signposted from the A815 about 4 miles north of Dunoon.
PA23 8SJ is the nearest postcode.
Regular buses between Dunoon and Ardentinny stop at Kilmun pier, 10 minutes walk from the Arboretum. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.
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