With 70 acres of beautiful gardens and plant species from around the world, no trip to Edinburgh is complete without a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Discover a beautiful place for a walk, visit the greenhouses where chilli peppers grow or step inside the John Hope Gateway, an eco-friendly visitor centre where you can discover more about plants and the work carried out by the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.
Holyrood Park, at the foot of the Royal Mile, is also very central. From the park you can walk up the iconic Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano. It requires some exertion to reach the top, but the rewarding views of Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife make it all worthwhile.
Princes Street Gardens is a popular city centre garden surrounded by the beautiful cityscape of Edinburgh and home to some of the city’s most attractive landmarks, including the towering Scott Monument and the gloriously ornate Ross Fountain.
For an alternative city centre walk, take a stroll along the Water of Leith. The river was once an industrial hub, but it is now a scenic walkway where you can keep an eye out for local wildlife including brown trout and kingfishers.
Inverleith Park is an award-winning park, situated beside the Royal Botanic Garden, and is a beautiful place for a stroll with great cityscape views. Encompassing a lovely boating pond and bog garden, the park also contains a children’s play park, tennis courts and a basketball and petanque court.
Bruntsfield Links is a big open green area to the south of the main city centre. Play a round on the pitch and putt golf course or take on a friend at chess - Gulliver's Toys and Gifts hire out large chess or draught pieces for use on the communal outdoor chess board.
Outside the city, you can enjoy the haven of Malleny Garden, a beautiful three acre walled garden only 10 miles from Edinburgh city centre. Enjoy a relaxing stroll around this old fashioned garden which houses the national collection of 19th century shrub roses, the National Bonsai collection and four ancient yew trees dating from the 17th century.
Pay a visit to the beautiful gardens of Dirleton Castle in East Lothian. Complete with a romantic ruined castle, this is an opportunity to see a garden with a difference. The medieval fortress, now in the care of Historic Scotland, played many a part throughout Scotland’s turbulent history. Explore the arts and crafts-inspired garden and discover the world’s longest herbaceous border.
In June there’s an unprecedented opportunity to visit large private gardens on the East Lothian Garden Trail. Explore splendid plants in a mix of settings including coastal and inland gardens, both rugged and manicured, and you could even meet those who created the gardeners themselves.
Discover the inviting terraced garden of Inveresk Lodge Garden in the historic village of Inveresk, which entices visitors with its colourful herbaceous beds, a variety of attractive shrubs and a collection of old roses selected by Graham Stuart Thomas. The garden houses a fine Edwardian conservatory complete with aviary, tree ferns and hardy exotics. This is a beautiful place to take in the views of the Lothian countryside and the distant Pentland Hills.