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Little Sparta

Sculptural poetry at landscape scale on a beautiful wild moorland.

  • 4.5

  • from 62 Google reviews

A wooden bench in a grassy field
A wooden bench in a grassy field

1 of 8

About the garden

Set in the Pentland Hills, near Edinburgh, Little Sparta is Ian Hamilton Finlay’s greatest work of art. Finlay moved to the farm of Stonypath in 1966 and, in partnership with his wife Sue Finlay, 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 at times other artists and poets, the numerous sculptures and artworks created by Finlay, which are all integral to the garden, 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. In this way, the garden in its entirety is the artwork.

Opening times

June - September Thursday - Sunday 1PM – 4PM Last Entry 3PM

Useful details

Garden area

7 Acres

Dog walking

No - Guide dogs only.

Cafe or restaurant

No cafe or restaurant on site


Yes - Children of all ages.

Wheelchair access

Completely inaccessible. Access is via a 700m steep, stony farm track. Access is unsuitable for people with breathing or walking difficulties.



ML11 8NG

Check local coronavirus guidance before you visit

Weather forecast


Find the garden

Little Sparta
ML11 8NG
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Things to see

No features yet for this season

Google reviews

  • 4.5

  • from 62 Google reviews

Andy Carstairs

12 months ago


Happy memories of previous visit, hope to return soon. I treasure the image of recent rain water in the incised lettering of the recumbent stones.

Simon Maddison

11 months ago


Fabulous. Wandering around during a biblical downpour was a marvelous experience

Kitti van Ramshorst

a year ago


Beautiful gardens, with many surprises around every corner.

tom leathley

9 months ago


A really enjoyable and inspirational

Brian Lavelle

10 months ago


This garden is magical, a work of art, a haven. It’s probably my favourite garden anywhere and it makes me happy just to be here, enjoying the surprise of hidden artworks around every corner and revelling in Ian Hamilton Finlay’s genius and playfulness. It’s such a beautiful corner of the world and well worth supporting. Go if you can.

Contact the garden

07826 495677

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