We do restrict the number of visitors on a daily basis so we recommend booking in advance, especially throughout the summer months when we tend to sell out.
Tickets are on a timed entry to Cowden Garden (as a whole) on the date and time chosen, you are then free to enjoy the garden and woodland until we close.
PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE MORE THAN 15 MINS PRIOR TO YOUR BOOKED TIME.
All tickets are non refundable and non transferable.
IF BOOKING FOR MORE THAN 10 PEOPLE PLEASE DO NOT BOOK USING OUR ONLINE BOOKING SYSTEM AS THIS BOOKING WILL BE CANCELLED AND REFUNDED. PLEASE CALL FOR FURTHER DETAILS OR EMAIL SALES@COWDENGARDEN.COM FOR A GROUP BOOKING FORM.
There is no need to print your ticket, please visit our ticket desk on arrival and a member of staff will check you in using your surname and issue you with a map for entry.
If purchasing a Supporters Pass ticket, Gardener's World 2 for 1 ticket or other membership tickets you will be asked to show your card at the ticket desk.
If purchasing a carer ticket you may be asked to show a UK Carer ID card or other form of proof.
Visitors should note when accessing areas in the garden by narrow bridges and stepping stones they do this at their own risk and should only do so if they feel able. All paths have alternative routes.
Please note that access to the garden is via 800m single track road with passing places. If following a SAT NAV and approaching the garden from the West please do not turn left in the village of Dollar. Please travel through Dollar until you are directed by the brown signs to turn left off the A91. Please drive very carefully when approaching the garden as there will be cars leaving the garden and when leaving the garden please turn right to return you to the A91.
Are dogs allowed in the garden?
Only Guide Dogs are allowed in the Japanese Garden and Christie Walk. However, dogs on leads are welcome to enjoy the Woodland Walk, Lime Tree Avenue and outside seating areas.
Tickets/WebsiteDo I need to book tickets in advance?
During the summer season, we recommend that entry tickets are booked in advance via our website. If you are having technical difficulties, please contact email@example.com or give us a call on 07876117703. We advise that you do not travel to the garden without a booked ticket in the summer as we do sell out most days, especially for the earlier sessions.Do I receive tickets to print out?
You will receive a confirmation email from cowdengarden.com and an additional email from bookthatapp.com with your ticket(s). This will contain details of the date and time of your visit. You can either print this out, or show it on a mobile device to the person at the ticket desk when you arrive. If you do not receive this email, first check your junk folder, and if you still cannot find it please give us a call to make sure your booking has gone through.
I’ve made a mistake while booking my tickets, can I change it?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our best to help you. Please note, all bookings are non-exchangeable and non-refundable, so make sure you check the weather before you book!Can I organise for a group to come and visit?
If you are interested in attending the garden in a group greater than 10 you must email email@example.com for a booking form. We are unable to accept groups greater than 30, with our tearoom only able to accommodate a group of 15 people at one time. For more details see our "Tickets" tab where there is further information on group bookings.
Please note that no group bookings will be accepted on weekends, bank or school holidays between April and October.I have a supporter’s pass/volunteer pass/gift voucher, do I still need to book?
Yes, we recommend booking to avoid disappointment as a Supporters Pass or Gift Voucher does not guarantee entry unless pre booked online. Please be sure to select the correct ticket type and then bring your tickets along with your pass/voucher to the ticket desk.Do you have a 12 Month Pass?
Yes, we offer a 12-month supporter’s pass for £25 for one person, £50 for two people, or £60 for a family, which can be bought online or in person. This entitles you to free entry for a year. Please note that supporter’ pass holders should book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment; selecting the ‘Supporter’s Pass Holder’ option will allow you to do so for free.Can I buy a Gift Voucher for someone else?
We have a range of gift vouchers which you can buy either on our website or in person.
Accessibility (please see our Accessibility Guide for full details)Is the garden suitable for wheelchair users?
The Japanese Garden, Christie Walk, Lime Tree Avenue and Woodland Walks are all suitable for wheelchair users, although most of our customers find that due to the sloped paths and loose gravel surface having a motorised scooter or someone who can assist with pushing the wheelchair is beneficial. There are a number of steep paths which may be difficult to use, so we have signposted the most suitable routes for wheelchair users.Do you have a wheelchair available for hire?
We have one manual wheelchair which we allow our customers to use free of charge; if you would like to book it out please email firstname.lastname@example.org before booking your tickets to check its availability.
Do you have disabled parking?
Yes, there is disabled parking at the top of the car park. If this area of the car park is full, visitors can request access to a separate drop off area. Details can be found on the laminated sign in the car park by the disabled parking bays.Are there places around the garden where I can stop and sit?
Yes, there are a number of benches situated around the garden, so you can stop and rest at various points.
Is the garden child-friendly?
We absolutely welcome children into the garden, and have a number of fun activities for them to complete. We also have a treehouse, adventure boardwalk, and various other play items in the Woodland Walk. We ask that all children under the age of 16 are accompanied by an adult.
Do you have toilet facilities available?
Yes, we have toilet facilities including a disabled toilet with baby change facilities.
TearoomDo I need a Garden Ticket to visit the tearoom?
We do not take bookings for our tearoom. Tables are filled on a first come, first served basis. Unless you are visiting for one of our Themed Lunches (seasonal) or Afternoon Tea which both need to be booked in advance through our website.Do you have gluten free/vegan options?
We have gluten free and vegan options on our menu. Also our Afternoon Tea and other bookable meals can be adapted. Please make us aware in advance if you are booking an Afternoon Tea.Can I bring my own picnic?
You are welcome to bring your own food, however we ask that you only eat it in the designated picnic areas. We have tables available by the Lime Tree Avenue Walk, by our Ice Cream Hut or in the Woodland areas. Please do not use the outdoor seating area next to the Tearoom.
GeneralCan I fly a drone in the garden?
To respect the privacy of our visitors we do not allow drone flying in the garden.Can I get married at the Japanese Garden?
Absolutely! Please email email@example.com to be sent a copy of our wedding brochure and booking form.How long does it take to walk around the garden?
Most of our visitors walk around the Japanese Garden in around 45 minutes, although this will vary depending on your walking speed. There are then three additional walks for you to explore which can each take between 15 and 45 minutes. Most customers spend around 3 hours in the Japanese Garden altogether, when taking visiting the Tearoom into account.Can I buy a plant that I’ve seen in the garden?
We have a number of plants on sale, most of which are growing in the garden. If you would like more information on a specific plant, please ask a member of staff to put you in touch with a member of our gardening team, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.I loved my visit – how can I help?
We love hearing about what a lovely time you’ve had, so please leave a review on Tripadvisor or Facebook and tell everyone to come and visit! If you would like to make a donation, please visit the ‘shop’ section of our website or speak to a member of staff to find out how to do so.Can I set up a tripod to take photos?
Tripods are not permitted as they may block paths for others and we wish to avoid people deviating from the paths as this may damage the grounds.I am a professional photographer – can I sell photographs of the Japanese Garden?
We charge a fee for professional photographers and artists looking to sell their photos/art of the garden. We will ask you to complete an application form and contact you to arrange a site meeting to discuss your proposal. You will be asked to conduct a risk assessment, provide evidence that you hold appropriate insurances, and to sign a contract covering the fee and other terms and conditions agreed. Visit the ‘Weddings & Hire’ section of our website for fee details or contact email@example.com to find out more.
Can I paint or draw in the Japanese Garden?
Artists can use the garden for painting and drawing only with prior written permission from The Japanese Garden Cowden. For more information and Terms and Conditions please contact : firstname.lastname@example.org.Can I volunteer at the Japanese Garden?
We have a number of volunteers who help out the garden team. If you would like to be involved, please contact email@example.com.Where in the garden was the castle and is there anything left to view?
Cowden Castle was located at the bottom of the Woodland Walk and, unfortunately, was demolished in 1952 so there is no visible evidence remaining.Can I smoke in the Japanese Garden?
No, the Japanese Garden and all of the surrounding walks are strictly non-smoking areas.
For the safety of our visitors and staff we may need to partially or fully close the garden due to severe weather, sometimes at short notice. However, where possible we do try to make any closure decisions as early as possible and notify our booked customers. Please see our garden closure policy under ‘Information’ on our website.
Please note that the Japanese Garden is an ornamental garden and in order to retain authenticity there are many different shapes and sizes of stones dotted around the site.
Please ensure that you wear appropriate outdoor footwear.
We have noticed that some visitors choose to leave the perimeter path and walk on the ornamental paths, which have been laid using ancient, uneven stones. In order to keep as much of the garden as accessible as possible for the enjoyment of everyone it is imperative that visitors take extra care while walking throughout the entire area. We have chosen not to install warning signs at the entrance to each path and structure in keeping with the heritage of the garden. Our visitors enter the garden at their own risk.
Please note that the pond is deep and we advise that young children are accompanied at all times.
IF YOUR GROUP IS GREATER THAN 10, PLEASE DO NOT BOOK USING OUR ONLINE BOOKING AS THIS BOOKING WILL BE CANCELLED AND REFUNDED. PLEASE EMAIL SALES@COWDENGARDEN.COM FOR A BOOKING FORM. COMPLETED FORMS CAN BE RETURNED VIA EMAIL.
PLEASE NOTE THAT NO GROUPS CAN BE ACCEPTED AT THE WEEKEND OR ON BANK AND LOCAL SCHOOL HOLIDAYS BETWEEN THE MONTHS OF APRIL AND OCTOBER. IF YOU ARE UNSURE IF YOUR DATE IS WITHIN ANY OF THESE EXEMPT DATES PLEASE CALL BEFORE COMPLETING THE BOOKING FORM.
Group Booking Terms & Conditions & Pricing
(Please read before completing the booking form)
General Information, Garden Accessibility and Facilities
The full circuit of the Japanese Garden from the car park is 560 metres, however for those with limited mobility there is the possibility of a drop off point with just a 60 metre walk to the nearest bench, from which the majority of the Japanese section of the garden is visible. The main garden paths are hard surfaces and include some gentle slopes. There are further paths through the woodland garden to explore; these vary in surface finish from whin dust, to bark chip and rough mown grass.
Depending on your speed of walking, we advise that 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes is sufficient to explore the Japanese garden and Christie Walk. If you wish to include the outer woodland walks, please allow an additional 1 hour.
We have a tearoom with indoor and outdoor seating as well as a small shop and plant sale area.
Summer: 10.30am - 5pm
Winter: 10.30am - 4pm
Last entry to Garden & Tearoom: 1 hour before closing
Please see our full opening times for further detail and garden closures.
We are unable to accept groups greater than 30. Our tearoom can only accommodate groups of 15 at any one time, groups of more than 15 will need to alternate with a garden tour or garden visit. Please factor in this additional time if you are planning to visit more than one garden or attraction in the same day.
We would recommend a minimum visit time of 1hr and 30mins for a group of 15 and 2hrs for a group of 30.
All group booking payments must be made in advance by either cheque or bank transfer, this includes payment for refreshments and group tours.
Garden Tours and Introduction Talks
Garden tours can be booked in advance and can accommodate up to 15 people per tour. They take approximately 45 minutes and are led by one of our trained volunteers. While there are benches on route, visitors on the tours must be happy walking at a slow pace, and able to stand comfortably to listen to the guide.
Garden tours cost £30 per group of 15 people, therefore if your group has 22 people then two tours are required at a cost of £60.
We operate from a small tearoom facility and are unable to offer individual menu choices to group bookings. Thank you for your understanding.
Refreshment options for group bookings are as follows:
- Tea/Coffee & Biscuit: A cup of tea or filter coffee plus refill and an empire biscuit or shortbread.
- Cream Scone with Tea/Coffee: A cup of tea or filter coffee plus refill and a scone with jam & cream.
- We have two light lunch choices:
- Soup with bread, cup of tea or filter coffee plus refill and shortbread or plain scone
- A platter of sandwiches (selection based on dietary requirements), 2 cups of tea or filter coffee, and shortbread or plain scone
Seating at any one time is limited to 15. Larger groups can be accommodated and served consecutively, alternating with a garden tour, if required.
Changes to initial bookings and final details
Final numbers and refreshment details must be confirmed 14 days prior to the planned visit and an invoice will be sent by email following this confirmation with payment required 7 days prior to the date of your visit. Please provide both a landline and mobile phone number to allow us to contact you easily.
If the booking numbers or details change significantly after the cut off, we must be informed as soon as possible. We may not be able to accommodate these changes and we may have to offer an alternative date if the changes involve an additional tour or significant increases to the refreshment numbers. No adjustments can be made to numbers on the day.
The Garden operates the following cancellation policy for all group bookings:
Any cancellation within the 7 days prior to your booking will incur a 50% cancellation fee, however if the visit is re-booked at the time of cancellation this fee will be reduced to 25%. The Garden is a Charity and operates purely on the support of its visitors; the cancellation fees are to cover loss of potential bookings, staff and catering costs that have been incurred.
In the event of high winds the garden may close to visitors. We will endeavour to inform booked groups and tours of this with as much notice as possible.
Access to the Garden for Groups:
The Garden is accessed from the A91 by following the tourist brown signs. We do not advise taking the back road up through Dollar, although sat nav may attempt to direct you this way.
Off the A91 there is a 1km section of single track road with passing places. Please observe the speed limit of 30mph and be aware of pedestrians and cyclists on this designated walking and cycling friendly road.
Our car park is small and we are unable to accept coaches at the weekend, on public holidays and during our local school holidays. If we are notified at the time of booking that a coach will be required, a bay will be coned off to allow access.
All groups visiting by minibus should ensure that the following information is passed on to the relevant coach/minibus companies.
The Japanese Garden is located approx. 1 km along a single track walking/cycling friendly road, maximum speed 30mph.
The track verges are soft with some narrow sections. There are 5 passing places.
The entrance gate has a maximum height of 14ft and is 5m wide. Please turn slowly into gate.
Maximum recommended coach size 53 seater, 40ft long. No double axle coaches please.
The coach/minibus parking area is coned off, however there is restricted turning space within the Car Park when the Car Park is full. Please ask for details.