In 1837 two brothers, Somerville and Thomas Learmonth, migrated from Scotland to Australia to search for suitable farming land. They were aged eighteen and nineteen, young pioneers travelling to an unknown land. They certainly took the road less travelled. The homestead they founded is called Ercildoune and is located near Burrumbeet just a short drive from Ballarat.
This weekend the property is open to visitors, and today we had a lovely time wandering the gardens with family. The house is grand and was modelled on the brothers' 13th century Scottish keep. The gardens are romantic, beautiful and perfectly preserved in their Australian arcadian setting but with strong English garden influences. There's an ornamental lake, a walled garden, expanses of lawn and a lily pond. The garden features urns, a sundial and an ancient well believed to be 2000 years' old from Palestine! Among the lawns and trees are winding pathways and small wooded areas and it was delightful to meander down them and take the road less travelled from the other visitors.