Bryce's work led to large changes to the original Cliffdale House. While much of the original structure is still there, the Balfour Castle that emerged was up to three times larger, sandwiching the original house between a new service wing to the rear, and the grand and imposing new public rooms that make Balfour Castle so easily recognisable today.
Less obvious was the extension of Bryce's vision to include the framing of Balfour Castle in views from the sea by the extensive sweep of planted woodland to its north. And hidden away within the woodland was two acres of walled gardens. Balfour Castle's gardens are laid out as two large walled squares, one to the north of the other. Associated with the gardens is a collection of south facing greenhouses, plus storage sheds and what look as if they were once were gardeners' cottages.
Finding the gardens in the midst of the woodland is a surprise. You approach from Balfour Castle along a woodland path lined on one side with stunning flower beds. This leads to greenhouses at the south west corner of the gardens. Within the walls you find a sheltered oasis. The borders tend to be given over to flowers, while the body of the gardens help provide for the castle kitchen. Guests staying at Balfour Castle can explore the gardens during their stay, and the gardens are open to the public on Sunday afternoons from mid May to mid September as part of the Sunday Tour Package. Bookings is essential.