We're Here to Help

About Scotsdales

We’ve been on hand to help Cambridgeshire growers and gardeners since 1968. 

We are a family run collection of local garden centres in the Cambridge area. Gardening is our passion and we welcome keen and novice gardeners alike into our stores with a promise that you will always find the highest quality products, the happiest healthiest plants and passionate knowledgeable staff on hand to offer assistance no matter the question.

We’ve been on hand to help growers and gardeners since 1968. During that time we’ve seen a number of changes across the business and now we offer a full range of services including our pet food and accessories, garden furniture and barbecues (our Horningsea store is now a Weber World) a vast gifting area, food hall and even children’s toys and games. Each of our stores includes its own Sunflower Cafe which features the core Scotsdales menu options as well as a few personal variations between stores.





Company Directors

Caroline Owen

Managing Director

Ben Rayner

Financial Director

Jonathan Savage

General Manager

The Early Days

Here at Scotsdales, we’re proud that we started our story as one of the UK’s very first garden centres – over 50 years ago.

Originating as a nursery which supplied cut flowers to the wholesale trade, the 14-acre Great Shelford site was acquired by Swaffham Bulbeck farmer David Rayner in 1968 and thus, Scotsdales was born.

The pivotal moment in our history was in 1979 when David’s daughter Caroline Owen (neé Rayner) joined the business. Introducing fresh ideas and a forward-thinking approach, she began to develop the group of Cambridgeshire garden centres which we know and love today.

Forward progression

Our old nursery greenhouses were soon replaced with a spacious modern retail building, and we opened our first tea room in the mid-1980s (which later became the popular Sunflower Cafés at every one of our garden centres).

We began our first major expansion in 1991 with the purchase of Fordham Nursery. In 2013, its small shop was transformed into a boutique garden centre with a very popular café overlooking the plant department and was officially rebranded as Scotsdales Fordham.

2013 also saw the purchase of Horningsea garden centre, our third centre in the Cambridgeshire area. Horningsea has since become an official Weber World site making it a key destination for keen grillers and barbecue aficionados in the greater Cambridgeshire area.

Scotsdales today

Nearly 50 years on, we’re still expanding what we offer for the benefit of everyone in our community and we are busily developing the Scotsdales family, not just as leading garden centres, but as popular leisure destinations in their own right (for instance, we’ve just been granted planning permission for even more improvements at Great Shelford).

Being a friendly family business that’s rooted in our local area is part of everything we do. And we want our garden centres to be places where everyone can come and spend time enjoying the good things in life.

So whenever you visit us at Great Shelford, Fordham or Horningsea, we hope you’ll instantly feel like part of our family too!

Our Stores

Great Shelford

Our beautiful garden centre at Great Shelford is where the Scotsdales story began, and it’s now one of the biggest garden centres in the UK.

True to our roots as a nursery, Scotsdales at Great Shelford offers an amazing selection of indoor and outdoor plants to keep you inspired through every season of the year. But there’s so much more for everyone to explore – from fashionable homewares to cuddly toys, as well as our tempting food hall.

Lots of families make a special visit to our branch of Maidenhead Aquatics, just to marvel at the huge range of colourful tropical fish. And don’t forget our original Sunflower Café, which serves a choice of delicious meals throughout the day.

Whatever the weather or the time of year, Scotsdales at Great Shelford really is your perfect home from home.


Only five miles from Newmarket, our garden centre at Fordham joined the Scotsdales family in 1991.

Today it has a superb plant department and is packed with ideas for your garden, including lots of BBQs and comfortable, stylish garden furniture. And there’s a wonderful gift department as well, to help you make the very most of your indoor and outdoor space.

Smaller than our other garden centres at Great Shelford and Horningsea, Fordham has a lovely boutique feel that keeps many visitors coming back again and again. Our Sunflower Café at Fordham has an outdoor terrace that overlooks the plant area – it’s a perfect spot to sit in the sun with a cuppa, just enjoying the good things in life.


Horningsea is the newest member of the Scotsdales family – a family friendly centre which we’ve been busily developing and improving since we took it over in 2013.

Just like Great Shelford and Fordham, Scotsdales at Horningsea has its very own bright and airy Sunflower Café that’s recently been expanded into a larger space as well as a large seasonal section.

Horningsea is Cambridge’s largest Weber BBQ showroom and is an official Weber World store.

Pet lovers will marvel at the wonderful pet section too – whatever pet you have, we’re pretty sure we’ve got something they’ll love or that you need for them. Don’t forget to bring your four legged friend(s) too as they’re very welcome if on a lead.

Be sure to come and visit us soon and see what’s new.