Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

By Suman Sengupta

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is one of the world’s finest botanic gardens. 

The Garden is a family-friendly attraction that offers fantastic views of the capital’s skyline, including Edinburgh Castle.

Visitors can relax on the Chinese Hillside, explore the world-famous Rock Garden, or stroll through the Woodland Garden among the magnificent Giant Redwood trees.

The 62-acre Garden contains 35,000 different plant species.

It houses over two million specimens in the herbarium, a collection of preserved plants dating back to 1697. 

The Botanics is roughly square and encircles Inverleith House. 

During recent restoration work, new flooring and plant beds were installed, opening the Glasshouse of the Botanic Garden to give visitors a true sense of its size and beauty.

Visitors can walk through the new glasshouses with an interactive audio wand that will provide information on each plant, described by Botanics experts.

Highlights include the woodland garden, planted in the 1920s with a grove of Sierra Redwoods, the spectacular Rock Garden, the Alpine House and courtyard, and the Pringle Chinese Collection. 

The Botanic Gardens house the world’s most extensive collection of Chinese plants outside China.

The Botanics can be traced back to 1670 when a physic garden (so named because it was used to train physicians in herbal remedies) was established at Holyrood. 

Between 1820 and 1823, the Botanics relocated a portion of the current site, steadily expanding through acquisition over the next 50 years.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s Hours

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is open daily, but the timings vary according to the month. 

Find the detailed Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s opening hours below. 

MonthsTimings 
November to January 10 am to 4 pm (last entry 3.15 pm)
October and February10 am to 5 pm (last entry 4.15 pm)
March to September10 am to 6 pm (last entry 5.15 pm)

It is closed on 25 December and 1 January. The Garden may close due to inclement weather. 

How to Reach the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Bus to Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Image: Facebook.com(Edinburghtour)

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is located one mile north of Princes Street. 

You can reach via the Arboretum Place West Gate or the Inverleith Row East Gate.

Address: Edinburgh EH3 5NZ, United Kingdom

By train

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is easily accessible by train. 

Edinburgh Waverley station is the closest to the Garden. 

LNER, Scotrail, TransPennine Express, CrossCountry, and Avanti West Coast trains serve it. 

Simply exit Edinburgh Waverley, turn left over Princes Street, and then turn left onto St Andrew Street. 

Continue down the road and cross onto Dublin Street, then walk around Dublin Place down Scotland Street and onto Canon Street. 

Turn left onto Huntly Street and proceed until you reach the park on your left. 

The walk will take approximately 20 minutes. 

By Bicycle 

You can easily find bicycle stands at the East and West Gates if you plan to go by bicycle.

Bus to Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

The journey time between Edinburgh and the Royal Botanic Garden is approximately 18 minutes. 

It covers a distance of roughly 3 kilometers (1.9 miles).

The bus operates from Edinburgh to the Royal Botanic Garden, departs from Hanover Street, and arrives at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. 

One thousand five hundred sixty services typically run weekly, but weekend and holiday schedules may vary, so check before you plan.

Buses 8, 23, and 27 stop on Inverleith Row, near the Garden’s East Gate. 

There is no seating at the bus stops when you arrive, but there is seating on the other side of the road when you depart. 

The Majestic Tour Bus stops at the West Gate. 

Buses also stop outside the main reception and Balfour Building of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Taxis

Taxis stop outside the West Gate, next to the entrance gates, from where the John Hope Gateway Visitor Centre is easily accessible. 

When you’re ready to leave, there’s a free phone call to a local taxi company at the Information Desk. 

Taxis also stop on the roadside outside the East Gate Lodge, and there is a free phone to call taxis from the East Gate Lodge on departure. 

Walking from Waverley Station

Make your way to Princes Street once you arrive at Waverley Station.

Turn left and proceed to Hanover Street, the first street on the right.

Walk up Hanover Street, cross George and Queen Streets, and descend Dundas Street. Then, continue on this road until you reach Cannon Mills.

Turn left at the traffic lights onto Inverleith Row. 

As you continue up Inverleith Row, the East Gate entrance to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh will be on your left. 

Parking Spaces

You can also visit the garden by car. 

Six accessible parking spaces are located on Arboretum Place to the left of the West Gate entrance. 

Three additional spaces are opposite the left of Inverleith Park’s entrance gate.

Please remember that access to the Garden is only available through the gates approximately 100 meters south of this entrance. 

Parking is also available on Arboretum Place, Inverleith Terrace, and Inverleith Row, all of which are located opposite the East Gate.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Entry Gates 

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Entry Gates 
Image: Facebook.com(TheBotanics)

The experience begins for the visitor at either the main West Gate on Arboretum Place or the smaller East Gate on Inverleith Row. 

Find the details of the two entrances of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

The West Gate at Arboretum Place 

The West Gate is the main entrance to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, which also houses the John Hope Gateway visitor center.

It is worth noting that a foot mat at the gate protects the Garden’s plants from external plant diseases. 

The visitor facilities are close to the West Gate. There is a shop and a snack bar open during the summer.

Inverleith House, which is used for exhibitions and lectures, is located near this entrance. 

The Terrace Cafe is nearby and offers refreshments and great views.

The East Gate at Inverleith Row

Lothian Buses serve the East Gate on Inverleith Row. This entrance is wheelchair accessible.

Only one wheelchair is available there, so you must reserve in advance.

The East Gate Lodge has a ‘Welcome, Tickets, and Information’ window.

To fully explore historical and environmental wonders, combine your visit to Edinburgh Castle with a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden. 
Make sure to buy the tickets for Edinburgh Castle in advance to plan your enriching exploration seamlessly.

Christmas at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 

Christmas at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 
Image: Edinburghnews.scotsman.com

Christmas at the Royal Botanic Garden has everything you need for an unforgettable time with friends and family. 

About the author

Suman Sengupta heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. he believes getting lost is the best way to explore