The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

38 thoughts on “The Garden of Cosmic Speculation”

  1. Wonderful post.
    could you clarify please, does this mean there’s no chance for someone to visit this place during this year?

      1. Hello,

        What day will the garden be open in 2013? Do you need tickets/invitations to attend or can anyone go? I would love to go! My boyfriend is a landscape gardener and I would like to take him.


      2. Thank you so much for your help and quick reply, I have been searching ‘Garden of Cosmic Speculation’ much more information when looking for Portrack House. Thanks again really appreciated!

      3. Hi – this is meant to be a reply to Katie. The gardens are open from 12 to 5 but as always check nearer the time for the 2013 times. You do not buy tickets in advance, you just turn up. I would suggest you aim to arrive around 10.30 and have a short walk to see the rail bridge from the side of the bridge which is in the car park. The queue at around 11, or 11.15 to be one of the first in to really maximise your time there.

  2. This place is beautiful…planning to visit it on 1st May next year! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

    Just curious – was it very crowded when you visited it? The website states that it opens at 12:00noon; was there a queue to get in and do they limit the number of visitors? I stay in London and it’s quite a journey to get there haha…wouldn’t want it to be a wasted trip

    1. Yes it is busy and certain parts can be crowded (everyone wants to stand on top of the Mound) but it’s a large area and the more distant parts are relatively peaceful. Bear in mind that the approach roads are narrow lanes. We got there early (thinking it opened at 10) and so avoided the later queues. It’s very well organised, though, with a one-way system that keeps the traffic flows both in and out moving – and there is extensive parking in an adjacent field. It’s well sign-posted and there are lots of marshalls. The cafe and toilets can get a bit chocker. But this is to be excpected – it’s only open one day a year. Don’t miss it – it’s a tremendous experience.

  3. Thank you for a wonderful post on this garden. I have just spent some time exploring your site; it is so rich in ideas and reflections. I look froward to exploring more. I particularly enjoyed your post on “Travels With Charley” a book that I like, especially the “redwoods” section, and also because I have a standard poodle who rivals some humans’ level of intelligence.

  4. This is an extremely wonderful write up – thank you. My parents live in Dumfries but I have never managed to visit. However, I will be in Dumfries on 6th May so finally I can go.

  5. Thanks for quick response Gerry. I just thought that was 2012, but then every year is first sunday in may

    1. See for details of the location of the gardens and opening time. You should get in, and will avoid the later queues, if you aim to arrive by 11:30 (half an hour before the opening). The nearest airport to Dumfries is Carlisle, although the number of flights there are very limited. The next nearest airport is Glasgow Prestwick International, situated in Prestwick and about four miles north of Ayr.

    2. Hi Jorn

      You should aim to arrive between 10.30 and 11. There will probably be a small queue at 11 but the entry is pretty fast and it is well organised. If you arrive early, say 10, you will have half an hour or so for a little walk along the river bank as the car park is a field next to the river right where the large red train bridge is. I would have thought that Glasgow is probably the best airport as it is large, but an alternative may be Newcastle. There are trains which run from both Glasgow and Newcastle to Dumfries, but there is another option of a train from Glasgow to Lockerbie if you are going to be using taxis and not a hire car. A taxi from Glasgow airport to Dumfries is around £90. Edinburgh is also another option for you, and there are trains which run from Edinburgh to Lockerbie too. Dumfries has many very good quality bed and breakfasts, and I normally suggest Rivendell to friends.



      1. Hi Gerry – I really like your blog. I am from Dumfries so I guess these things help. I have been helping a few other people too.

  6. Is it possible to reach gardens by bus or what is the nearest stop? I am a student from Glasgow and still I cannot rent a car and the only option for me is public transport… Any suggestions?

  7. HI, I stumbled on this site, it’s great, thanks to you I know everything details on the event. I definitely want to visit this place, I live in Liverpool and I would like to know if someone who go to this place the May 5 next, with his car. If yes, someone would have a seat for me?
    Of course, I participate in transports costs.

  8. Would it be possible to book 2 tickets in advance? Me and my friend are coming by bus but since it is sunday, the earliest bus/train arrives to Dumfries 2pm… So we could reach gardens only at around 15. We really dont want to miss opportunity to see these gardens. Thaaanks!

    1. Ana – I have no connection with the garden! But I do know you cannot book in advance. See the comments below for more advice on when to arrive. Put briefly: arrive early!

  9. Hi Gerry Im planning on making the trip to see the garden this Sunday. Do you know if children are allowed? Ive scoured the internet looking for info but can’t see any restrictions. (My daughter is nearly 10 so won’t be trying to swing off the sculptures!). Thanks, Shirley

    1. Hi Shirley, absolutely children are allowed and it is an amazing experience for them. Just note that the slopes of the grass mounds and structures are in fact a delicate moss, and therefore are extremely sensitive and cannot be played on.

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