Little Sparta: a guide to the garden of
Ian Hamilton Finlay
Jessie Sheeler & Robin Gillanders
August 2015, £14.99
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.
Page updated 1st October 2015
Visiting Little Sparta - summer 2016
Sparta is a place for contemplation, intellectual receptiveness and
enjoyment. The garden as a whole discloses to the viewer who walks
round it many complexities of meaning, sentiment and wit. It is also a
fragile place, easily damaged by the northern climate and constantly
requiring careful conservation.
reason visits to the garden are limited. It is open to the public in
June, July, August and September on Wednesday, Friday and
Sunday afternoons, 2:30-5pm.
no need to make an appointment unless you are organising a
for a group of 20 or more, in which case, please call Laura Robertson
on 07826 495677 or contact her by e-mail.
The fee for visiting the garden is £10.
parking is about half a mile (700 metres) from the garden and strong
footwear is recommended for the track leading up from the car park to
are not allowed in the garden.
Directions - SatNav Warning
Sparta is reached from Edinburgh by following the A702 as far as
Dolphinton, where there is a
right turn to Dunsyre. About a mile after passing through Dunsyre,
Little Sparta's car park is on the right hand side.
Glasgow leave the M8 at junction 6 for the A73, then 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.
users, the postcode is ML11 8NG, but be sure to turn in at our car park
and not one of the neighbouring farms. SatNav will direct you to turn
off the road near a dilapidated phone box: do NOT follow this
instruction. Our carpark is about 1.3 miles closer to Dunsyre,
directly adjacent to the road. If
you don't see a sign saying Little Sparta, you are in the wrong place.
Sparta in its entirety is protected by
copyright. On payment of a £5
fee, visitors may take photographs or
video for their own private use or study. However,
no images of Little Sparta may be published or broadcast without
explicit prior permission from Wild Hawthorn
Press (telephone +44 (0)1899
Public Transport and Accommodation
to Little Sparta by public transport is a challenge. One option is to
travel by bus from Edinburgh and then either walk 4 miles from the
end, or arrange to meet a pre-booked local taxi.
You can see the timetable for the
Edinburgh-Dumfries bus service 100/101/102 at TravelineScotland.
There are several accommodation options available
locally including bed & breakfast and self-catering.