Little Sparta Open Day with Scotland's Gardens Scheme

Little Sparta Open Day with Scotland's Gardens Scheme

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From £5.98


Little Sparta - the garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay



ML11 8NG

United Kingdom

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An internationally acclaimed garden of late artist Ian Hamilton Finlay, stretched across seven acres and featuring poetry and art.

About this event

Visit Little Sparta on one of the charity open days in 2022, helping to raise money for Little Sparta Trust, Scotland's Gardens Scheme and its beneficiaries - Maggie's, Perennial and The Queen's Nursing Institute Scotland.

About Little Sparta

Little Sparta is Ian Hamilton Finlay’s greatest work of art. Ian and Sue Finlay moved to the farm of Stonypath in 1966 and began to create what would become an internationally acclaimed garden across seven acres of a wild and exposed moorland site.

Collaborating with stone carvers, letterers and other artists and poets, the numerous sculptures and artworks created by Finlay explore themes as diverse as the sea and its fishing fleets, our relationship to nature, classical antiquity, the French Revolution and the Second World War.

Individual poetic and sculptural elements, in wood, stone and metal, are sited in relation to carefully structured landscaping and planting.

Please note that there is a 700m uphill walk from the car park and livestock grazing in the fields. For visitors with limited mobility, it may be possible to book a space near the house; call the garden at 07826 495677 for details.

Please note that there is no catering or refreshments available at Little Sparta.

A toilet is available for use by visitors.

Insect repellent is recommended, just in case the midges are out.

Sorry, dogs are not allowed.


Driving to Little Sparta From Edinburgh: From Edinburgh follow the A702 as far as Dolphinton, where there is a right turn to Dunsyre. Follow signs to Dunsyre (about 3 miles). About a mile after passing through Dunsyre, Little Sparta’s car park is on the right hand side.

Driving to Little Sparta From Glasgow: Leave the M8 at junction 6a for the A73, then turn left onto the A721 at Carluke; continue to Newbigging where there is a left turn to Dunsyre. After about 3 miles, and before reaching Dunsyre, Little Sparta’s car park is on the left.

Last entry at 3pm.

SatNav Warning

For SatNav users, Little Sparta's postcode is ML11 8NG, but be sure to turn in at the signed car park and not one of the neighbouring farms. SatNav may direct you to turn off the road opposite a row of cottages – do not follow this instruction. Little Sparta's car park is about a mile closer to Dunsyre, directly adjacent to the road. If you don't see a sign saying Little Sparta, you are in the wrong place.

There are no direct public transport links to Little Sparta. The nearest bus stop is in Dolphinton (for the 101/102 Edinburgh – Dumfries service), some 4 miles from the garden. Our recommendation is to take the bus to Dolphinton and meet a pre-booked taxi there.

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