The Royal Botanic Garden

Address: Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, Scotland
Telephone: 0131 552 7171

- Free


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.

Value for money

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.

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Culture vultures
  • Families with younger children
  • Mature travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Escaping the crowds
  • Great views / scenery
  • Art
  • Design and architecture
  • Nature / wildlife