Garden centre cafe
A75, Junction Dunragit; 4 minutes
Mon-Sun 10am-5pm (1 April-30 Sept)
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
No quick roadside stop-off, Glenwhan Gardens and Arboretum are worthy of a half-day diversion if not a stay in their new lodge (preferably every quarter, to experience the gardens as they move through their seasonal wardrobe).
The 12-acre gardens include an arboretum whose Tree Trail has over 160 species, and myriad wildflowers and grasses colour a Moorland Walk teeming with native birds of prey, insects and red squirrels. Azaleas, heathers, a plant nursery and extensive water gardens - it's all here, with some surprisingly exotic plants thanks to the Gulf Stream.
Though the setting has grandeur and gravitas, the tearoom itself is a down-to-earth wooden, veranda'd cabin. You'll find kind staff and tempting homemade cakes and meals (sandwiches, filled jackets, fish pie), with greenery and goodness harvested from the Herb Garden. You can get into the tea-room for free; buy a ticket to explore the gardens for some dragonfly and sculpture spotting.
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The Extra Mile: Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services is your essential glovebox guide to good food on the move. The guidebook is a great gift for motorists and foodies who prefer to avoid motorway services and boring, big-brand food. Find independent cafes, pubs, local coffee and tea shops and lovely farm shops near motorway junctions and main roads. To improve your journey, support small businesses and discover real local flavours, order your copy today (edition 4 published March 2023 and available now).