Finlaystone House and Country Estate is owned by the MacMillan family who have lived here for 6 generations. There is a Clan Centre in the stable block where visitors can, by appointment, view the clan archives. The house was built in the 14th century but has undergone many changes since. It is not open to the public except for booked events.
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The estate and gardens, open to the public, consist of 140 acres of woodlands and 10 acres of gardens with walled garden, lawns, herbaceous borders, and hedges.
In the woodlands are trees dating back more than 400 years. Wildlife, including roe deer, fox, grey squirrel, stoat, bats and herons frequent the woods. Fungi and flora are prominent on the woodland floor. Species include primrose, wood sorrel, wood anemone, wild garlic and dogís mercury. Depending on the season of the year visitors can enjoy snowdrops, bluebells, daffodils, wildflowers and pond life or berries and colourful leaves.
The nearby mud flats of the River Clyde are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest due to wintering birds that include redshank, greenshank, oystercatcher, goldeneye and eider. More than 50 species of breeding birds are found on the estate and include robin, blue tit, great tit, long tailed tit, blackbird, buzzard, jay, kestrel, sparrow hawk, chaffinch, bullfinch, thrush, grey heron, swift, swallow, house martin, sparrow, wagtails, tree creeper, tawny owl, and dipper. The pond adjacent to the Kilmacolm Drive is regularly used by mallard, mute swan, grebe, golden eye, tufted duck etc like the pond on the estate.
The ten acres of gardens, designed in 1900 but changed over the years, include a walled garden with peonies, vegetables and soft fruit, a bog garden, knot garden, lawns, herbaceous borders, and sculpted hedges. Also in the garden are a Celtic maze and a garden planted for its smells. Rhododendrons and azaleas are prominent in early summer. Other trees and shrubs include hostas, oriental poppies, hydrangeas, and astilbes. Visitors can purchase plants grown on the estate.
The Visitor Centre has a gift shop and drinks. A tea-room serves meals. Also housed in the Visitor Centre is the Dolly Mixture, an international collection of over 700 dolls collected by the owners of the estate, the MacMillan family, since 1903.
Finlaystone Country Estate, House and Gardens
On A8 Greenock Rd, Langbank, Renfrewshire
Greater Glasgow and the Clyde Valley
2.5 miles (4km) west of the end of M8 (junction 31), a few miles west of Glasgow airport
Tel. 0 1475 540 505 (country estate); 0 1475 540 530 (house office)
Open: estate, year round, daily, 10am-5pm; visitor centre, April-end Sep, daily, 11am-5pm, until 4pm Oct-March; tea-room open April-end Sep, 10am-5pm; Oct, noon-4pm; Nov, noon-4pm weekends only; house not open to public but for hire for weddings and events
Special events; play area; tea-room; shop in Visitor Centre; picnic and barbeque areas; parking
Web: Finlaystone Country Estate
Web: Finlaystone House
Web: Clan MacMillan official website