From Princes Street Gardens to the Meadows, it’s no secret that the Scottish capital is blessed with some of the UK’s most pleasant green spaces. If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a little peace and quiet among the hustle and bustle of the city, there is no shortage of places to relax.
However, there are actually more stunning gardens in Edinburgh than you might think. Alongside the best known spots we all love there are also a number of hidden gems in the city. Be sure to visit some of these glorious secret gardens next time you’re exploring the Scottish capital.
This beautiful courtyard can be found in Canongate near the centre, within the arches of Chessel’s Court. The garden is surprisingly spacious, and provides an eye-opening insight into traditional 18th century Edinburgh tenements. There is also a lot to see in the space, from a quaint herb garden complete with seating in the south eastern corner to a delightful heart shaped ivy. Even better, this is the spot where the infamous Edinburgh councillor/criminal Deacon Brodie was caught!
Located between the General Register House and New Register House, this stunning courtyard can be found just off one of the capital’s busiest spots: Princes Street! The Archivist’s Garden contains 57 fascinating plant species which are all connected to Scotland through its landscapes, geography, people and history. Feel free to come and go at your leisure during your city exploration, as the garden is open during office hours and is free to attend.
It’s all too easy to miss this picturesque hidden gem, located down a small cobbled street on Canongate. But despite being a stone’s throw from the city centre, Dunbar’s Close Garden feels like a private paradise far away from anywhere. It is the ideal place to escape the rush of the city and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet among the delicate plant life and shapely shrubberies. The garden itself has been decked out in true 17th century style, giving you a tangible sense of what the gardens would have looked like on Canongate 400 years ago.
It may surprise you to discover that this garden is hidden away in plain sight, making its home to none other than the iconic Royal Mile. This makes it the perfect place to put your feet up after exploring the city and indulging in some retail therapy. Just turn off down Trunks Close before you reach John Knox House and you’ll find this secluded spot. Sandeman House Garden is owned by the Scottish Book Trust, but remains open to the public. The fact that many people still aren’t aware of Sandeman House Garden has only added to its tranquillity.
On Old Church Land in Duddingston Village, you’ll find a glorious garden under the shadow of the iconic Arthur’s Seat. Many of the locals haven’t even heard of this oasis, as it is cleverly hidden beside one of Scotland’s oldest buildings: Duddingston Kirk. The garden is rich in wildlife, contains a plethora of beautiful plant life and even looks out on to the picture perfect Duddingston Loch. The combined imaginations of Drs Andrew and Nancy Neill, and the continuing efforts of the team of gardeners who look after it, have helped make the garden what it is today.
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