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Little Sparta is open to the public on certain days from June to September 2017. Full details below.

There is no need to book your visit, although we'd appreciate it if very large groups e.g. coach tours would contact us in advance.

Sorry, dogs are not allowed in the garden (except working assistance dogs).


On Saturdays there is a bus to Little Sparta, departing from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art at 11.45 a.m. and returning there at around 4 p.m. Full details are here.

Text updated 1 July 2017


7 June - 30 September

Wednesdays, Fridays, 

Saturdays (NOT JUNE) & Sundays

12.30 - 5 pm

Last admission 4 pm


Adults 12.50

Students/Young Scot (with proof) 7.50

Groups of 20+ (single payment by group leader) 10 per person

ML11, ML12 & EH46 postcodes (with proof) 7.50

We also accept the BBC Gardeners' World 2-for-1 discount card.

Page updated 1 March 2017


Please download and read this file. It is full of useful information to help you plan a successful trip to Little Sparta.

    Driving Directions

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.

From Glasgow - Leave the M8 at junction 6 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 you reach Dunsyre, Little Sparta's car park is on the left.

    SatNav Warning

For satnav users, the postcode is ML11 8NG, but be sure to turn in at our car park and not one of the neighbouring farms. SatNav may direct you to turn off the road near a dilapidated phone box: do NOT follow this instruction. Our 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.

Page updated 1 March 2017


Little Sparta: a guide to the garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay

By Jessie Sheeler & Robin Gillanders

Birlinn, August 2015, 14.99

This new companion to Little Sparta tells the story of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s extraordinary creation, exploring the underlying themes, and introducing and explaining the significance of the main elements and artworks in each part of the garden. Featuring new photography, as well as archive material, it also shows how the garden has matured and developed over the last 50 years.

front cover

Price including P&P

If you buy from us we retain one hundred percent of the cover price and all funds are reinvested in conserving the garden.

Page updated 1 March 2017

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Photographs by Andrew Lawson except where noted