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Parks & Gardens in Edinburgh

Find Peace and Tranquillity in the Heart of the Scottish Capital

If there’s one criticism of Edinburgh, it’s that the popularity of the city means things can get a bit crowded, especially in August when millions of people arrive for the annual festivals (over two million people visit Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival alone). When the city is at maximum capacity, your attention may turn to finding some tranquil corner of the capital, even if it’s just for ten minutes, to enjoy a chapter of a book, or just to watch the world go by.

This is why the capital’s selection of parks and gardens can come as welcome relief, especially if you’re on an extended visit. There are many small parks dotted around Edinburgh, but our list provides a selection of the very best, each with their own distinctive personality.

There’s The Meadows, a family-orientated park to the south of the city centre, complete with designated BBQ spots. There’s also the splendour of the Royal Botanic Gardens, which features tens of thousands of magnificent plants and flowers.

Even if you’re only in the city for a short period of time, it’s worth paying a visit to Princes Street Gardens. They’re in the very heart of the city centre, but you can still surround yourself with lush greenery. In the winter, the gardens come alive with the annual Edinburgh Christmas Market.

Finally, for the adventurous amongst you, Arthur’s Seat, set in Holyrood Park offers the most amazing views of Edinburgh’s skyline. However, to witness these views yourself, there’s a challenging climb to the highest point in the city.

Just from these examples, you can see that Edinburgh does have its fair share of open spaces and parks. Exploring the city for yourself will reveal many more, and you might just find your new favourite spot. 

Meadows copyright Kim Traynor licensed under CC
Meadows copyright Kim Traynor licensed under CC

The Meadows

A Lively Park that Comes Alive in Summer

The Meadows is a park just to the south of Edinburgh city centre. Featuring tennis courts, cricket pitches and designate BBQ areas, it's a very popular spot with locals and visitors alike.

The Meadows
Holyrood copyright Ad Meskens licensed under CC
Holyrood copyright Ad Meskens licensed under CC

Arthur's Seat & Holyrood Park

Fantastic Views of Edinburgh and Beyond

Rising to 251m above sea level, Arthur's Seat is the highest point in all of Edinburgh. Make the climb to the top and you'll be presented with unrivalled views across the Scottish capital.

Arthur's Seat
Royal Botanic Garden copyright Ham licensed under CC
Royal Botanic Garden copyright Ham licensed under CC

Royal Botanic Garden

Plants and Flowers from Across the Globe

Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens are some of the most expansive and varied gardens in the UK. The centrepiece of the gardens are the glass houses, which are home to all manner of tropical plants and flowers.

Royal Botanic Garden
Princes Street Gardens copyright alljengi licensed under CC via Flickr
Princes Street Gardens copyright alljengi licensed under CC via Flickr

Princes Street Gardens

Picturesque Gardens in the Heart of the City

Located in the very centre of Edinburgh, the compact Princes Street Gardens are ideal for escaping the hustle and bustle of the nearby Princes Street and Market Street.

Princes Street Gardens

The Scotsman (Edinburgh) Company Limited is currently in liquidation. The date of appointment was 9th June 2016.


20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1TR, Tel: +44 (0) 131 556 5565, Fax: +44 (0) 131 652 3652 , reservations@thescotsmanhotel.co.uk