Gairloch Gardens is one of the most beautiful locations I’ve ever visited! Everything about it exuded a sense of peacefulness and beauty, while still feeling welcoming . The grounds are immaculately maintained and it really encourages you to slow down, stop, and literally smell the roses. Not only are the gardens a must-see, but the close proximity to the lake is breathtaking! The sound of the waves crashing while looking out at the gardens, fountains, and grounds, made for one of my very favourite outings this summer!
Below I’ll address different elements that I take into consideration when planning in the hopes of clarifying any accessibility or suitability questions you may have as you plan your visit! These are all based on our personal experience (our oldest son is autistic and non-verbal, and we are a family of 5 with a 7-year-old, 6-year-old, and 2-year-old). I would suggest doing a quick search to ensure availability before heading out to avoid any disappointment (especially with changing health protocols, potential grounds upkeep, events, etc).
Gairloch Gardens is located approximately at:
1306 Lakeshore Rd E
Click here for a helpful map!
There was a free parking lot onsite, with a path that led directly to the gardens. We visited first thing in the morning on a weekday and upon arriving, there were plenty of spots available! By the time we left a couple of hours later, the lot was full. So, that’s definitely something to take into consideration. Other than that lot, I didn’t see anywhere else nearby to park.
For the most part, everything was paved and very, very clean and neat. There were a few areas that had steps, but were also accessible by walking alternate paths nearby. The gardens had a gravel terrain, that was very even and well-maintained. The path around, with views of the lake, was paved and fairly wide.
The whole location was very serene and quiet. Closer to the shore, the sounds of the waves and birds were louder, but otherwise, it was a very calm environment.
Size of Location/Busyness
There was plenty of space to explore and discover. We visited early on a weekday morning and it was very quiet, with only a few other people/ families walking around and taking photos. There are a variety of paths and areas to explore (see the next section!).
Variety of Activities
The gardens are absolutely stunning and different sections are scattered throughout the grounds. There’s a pond with a little bridge that is very picturesque, as well as a little pond filled with turtles, tadpoles, and frogs that captured E’s attention for a little while! The enclosed gardens are absolutely stunning, with a fountain in the center and different varieties of flowers planted and blooming in sections as you walk along the winding paths. Benches are situated within this area as well and it’s a beautiful spot to sit and take everything in. If you walk further south, there’s a paved area, with high rocks where you can sit and look out at the lake! The water itself is not accessible, but it’s an incredible spot regardless. If you continue walking on the paved path, there’s a little gazebo area and an enclosed little patch of green space, perfect for a picnic or to let the kids safely run around! I wouldn’t say that you’d need more than an hour, to see everything and maybe have a little picnic, but it is most definitely worth the drive! There was an art gallery, Oakville Galleries onsite, but it was closed when we visited. After checking their website, it seems that they are closed until further notice, but it does state that admission is free and it’s definitely something to consider adding on to your visit, once they re-open!
There was no cost to visit!
For History of Gairlcoch Gardens and More Information Check Out:
Other helpful links in this series:
Summer Adventures & Accessibility!
What We Consider When Planning An Outing
Guild Park and Gardens
Glen Stewart Ravine
Crawford Lake Conservation Area
Sawmill Creek Valley Trail