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Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

from Edinburgh, Scotland


ABOVE: The Temperate Palm House opened in 1858. INSET BELOW: A palm tree, giant water lilies, and a walkway through a beech hedge.

photoThe Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is one of the oldest botanic gardens in Britain. It was founded in 1670 as a "physic garden" that supplied medicinal plants to Edinburgh doctors. The main garden has been at its current location since 1820, and the RBGE operates satellite gardens in Benmore, Logan, and Dawyck. Together, the gardens comprise what is said to be "second richest collection of plant species in the world."

photoThe Edinburgh garden, nicknamed the "Botanics," occupies 67 acres or 27 hectares of undulating terrain in Inverleith, just north of Edinburgh's trendy Stockbridge quarter. In addition to conducting botanical and horticultural research, the RBGE welcomes visitors with scenic paths, benches, guided tours, access to greenhouses or "glasshouses," and even a caf and shop.(What's more, admission is free, except for the Glasshouses.)

photoThe "Botanics" is one of Edinburgh's must-see attractions for garden enthusiasts, but it's also worth a visit if you're simply a fan of urban green spaces. As you wander through the Arboretum and Copse, the Rock Garden and Scottish Heath Garden, the Chinese Hillside, the Azalea and Pond Lawns, the climate-controlled Glasshouses, and the popular new Queen Mother's Memorial Garden, you'll marvel at the fact that such a such a beautiful and exotic park is just a few minutes by bus or a leisurely walk from the Georgian terraces of Edinburgh's New Town.

Next page: Guided garden tours

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

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