A visit to Edinburgh isn’t complete without a visit to The Royal Botanical Garden. The gardens are referred to as a national treasure of Scotland. Not surprising when you consider this spectacular Living Collection is nearly 350 years old.
Set in over 70 acres of beautiful landscape and just one mile north of the city centre, the Garden offers superb panoramic views of the city skyline featuring Edinburgh Castle. The Botanics, as the Garden is affectionately known locally, is breathtaking at any time of year.
A highlight is a tour of the Garden’s 10 magnificent Glasshouses including the Victorian Temperate Palmhouse and Tropical Palmhouse. With ten different climatic zones, from steamy tropics to arid desert, the Glasshouses are home to over 3,000 exotic plants from around the world.
Plan your trip
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is taking part in the Silent Space Scheme. Silent Space Scheme gives you the opportunity to experience silence in some of your favourite green places. Find out more here.
If you’ve got a busy trip planned than I’d plan this trip in between the others. Although there is quite a bit of walking involved, there is also a lot of quiet and there are cafes all throughout Stockbridge where you can take a break. The streets, and busses in this area of the city are less busy than in the City Centre, making it easier to slow your pace.
We combined our trip with Dean Village, and Stockbridge which can easily be done. We went in November and it gets dark quite early in the day. If you’re an avid photographer you’ll want to start off early allowing enough natural sunlight over for your last stop. Maybe do breakfast on the way in Stockbridge at one of the cosy breakfast cafes. We got off to a late start which didn’t leave us a lot of light at the end of our days itinerary and we didn’t have enough light for photos in Dean Village.
Had we not had to backtrack to Circus Lane in search of a lost bus card we might of had enough sunlight. However for us it wasn’t a huge punishment returning the next morning to get the shots. If you however don’t have the luxury of returning you could always check the sunset time on e.g. Google. And yes, the evening is fine for photography, but not for the pictures we wanted at this location so the next morning my daughter and I set off to visit again.
We chose this order for our trip:
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh — Circus Lane, Stockbridge — Dean Village.
How you plan your trip could be influenced by the sunlight at that time of the year. I can imagine the autumn golden hour might be something you want to take advantage of if photographs are important for you. We had a typical Scottish day of grey skies.
I hope your trip to Scotland will be as magical as ours was. If you have any questions or want to share your experiences let me know in the comments or elsewhere!
Here are more of my photo highlights from the gardens. I’ll soon be posting blog posts for Dean Village and Circus Lane (Stockbridge).