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Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

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ABOVE: Sally Heron was the first Garden Guide at Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden. She's been leading tours and walks since 1991, and she recently received an MBE from Queen Elizabeth II for her services to the garden.

INSET BELOW: The  Rock Garden and its waterfall, and a squirrel sunning itself on a log.

Guided tours of the Royal Botanic Garden


Although admission to the Botanics is free, I'd suggest taking a guided tour through the garden. Tours leave the West Gate at 11 and 2 p.m., and you can buy your ticket inside the Botanics Shop for a few pounds. (The tour is a great bargain, since you get a 50p Visitor Information and Map leaflet and a short walk through the Glasshouses at no additional cost.)

photoThe guided tour lasts about 1 hours and is a lively blend of history and horticulture. You needn't be a gardener or a botanist to enjoy the tour; my own knowledge of plant species doesn't go much beyond my supermarket's produce department, but I found Sally Heron's guided tour quite fascinating.

photoIf you're botanically brilliant like one of the guests on my tour, not to worry: The guide will be happy to answer your plant questions while yokels like me enjoy the scenery or try to figure out why cages sit next to the park benches. (Answer: The cages are squirrel-resistant trash baskets.)

Note: The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has weekend "theme" tours and guided walks throughout the year; consult the RBGE's events calendar to see what's on during your visit.

Next page: Practical information, Web links

In this article:
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - Introduction
Guided tours
Practical information, Web links

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