The Royal Botanic Garden

Price guide: Free

Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR

Price guide: Free

Botanics in the Autumn
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By Alison Craig, your Edinburgh expert

I write for BBC radio, The Scotsman, .... Read more
#8 of 22
expert-rated things to do in Edinburgh
Expert overall rating:4.7 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Culture vultures, Families with younger children, Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Art, Design and architecture, Escaping the crowds, Great views / scenery, Nature / wildlife

Best for Chilling out - Expert review of The Royal Botanic Garden

Acres of stunning botanical gardens founded in the 17th century at the heart of Edinburgh.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are a mecca for locals as well as visitors. Acres of green space, beautiful plants and trees, a rockery, great view points, water features, a massive beech hedge, glass houses, a huge new visitors centre, shop and a cafeteria make this a must see.

Apart from just wandering around looking at this fascinating collection, there are themed areas and lots of interactive fun days to enjoy. They really enthuse all ages in their subject by making science fasincating and fun.

Inverleith House sits in the middle of the gardens and is host to ever-changing art from invited artists.

Gateway, East Gate and Terrace are the three options for snacks, food, coffee and ice-cream.

Despite how it looks no picnics are allowed - and no ball games for the kids either. But you are directly across the road from Inverleith Park, which has a brilliant kids play area, tennis courts, rugby and footbll pitches and lots of choices of where to lay your picnic rug.

Price advice: 

Free to get in, which always warms the cockles of my wallet.

There are suggested donations for the glasshouses (around £4 per adult and £1.20 for kids).

Expert tips: 
Parking is pay and display, not free.
If with the small kids remember Inverleith Park, across the road, has a huge play area for the toddlers, football pitches for the bigger ones and you are permitted to picnic too.

More information on The Royal Botanic Garden:

Price guide:
Natural wonder, Park / garden, Viewpoint
Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR
0131 552 7171
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
From 10am, closing time subject to seasonal variations, see the website.

Have you been to The Royal Botanic Garden? Would you recommended it?