The Garden Guide

Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Photograph ©
Photograph ©
Photograph ©
Photograph © Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Photograph ©
An early nineteenth century botanical garden with a good layout, a splendid site and panoramic views of the Edinburgh skyline. The arboretum and rock garden were made after the appointment of Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour as Regius Keeper in 1888. The Queen Mother's Memorial Garden was opened by the Queen in 2006. The design by Lachlan Stewart is based on the Eassie Cross, a Pictish cross-slab in the churchyard at Eassie in Angus. In the centre of the Memorial Garden, there is a labyrinth planted with bog myrtle.

Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, EH3 5LR

All year. Daily (except 25th December and 1st January). Opens 10am.

Entrance free (charge for Glasshouses)

Visit the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh website

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  • over 3 years by Sheila Sim 3 / 5

    I live in Edinburgh, and I visit the Botanics regularly. I do think it's a wonderful garden, although I'm really disappointed with the herbaceous border which was finally re-planted after several years spent getting rid of bindweed. They seemed to have some great ideas for re-planting it in a rainbow spectrum of colour, but it seems to be predominantly yellow and very uninspired. A real missed opportunity. And I strongly agree with the previous reviewer who pointed out that it closes at a ridiculously early hour.
  • almost 4 years by Deep thought 5 / 5

    My favourite botanical garden too. Unlike Kew, it is never crowded, but a peaceful oasis within a beautiful city.
    Every inch of the garden has been carefully planned and equally lovingly cared-for. No inch is wasted.
    The rockery is its crowning glory: 2 acres, I think, rising up to a summit crest giving a panoramic view over the rooftops of the New Town to the gorse- and monument-clad hills and castle rock of the Old Town. And its awash with exquisite alpines and monocots I can only dream of growing in my London garden
    No visit to Edinburgh is complete without a few hours meandering around the Botanics, greeting old favourites and delighting in new discoveries.
    Go there in any season or any weather and it's worthwhile. If it rains, spend the £4 entrance fee on the glasshouses. They too are superb and fascinating, with habitats ranging fron tropical and Amazonian rainforests through to arid desert, rich not just in cacti, but ferns!
    A garden any true gardener or plant lover should strive to see before they die- again and again (seeing the garden, not dying!)
  • almost 4 years by Anonymous 2 / 5

    7pm is a ridiculous time to close the botanics on a lovely summers evening. After all Edinburgh is a capital city thronging with tourists. Those with young families especially would appreciate a later closing time.
  • almost 8 years by Anonymous 5 / 5

    My favourite botanic garden!

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