Cheap dates

  • The Midgie
  • 1 March 2009
Botanic Gardens

Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Gardens

Budget love

Just because you’re on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t spoil your beloved. The Midgie show you how to treat your date on the cheap. Read on and take note 

Whisper sweet nothings

No matter how hardened the heart, there are few that won’t be melted by some tender Scottish poetry. At the Scottish Poetry Library, you can while away a few hours, reading to one another. Perhaps some Carol Ann Duffy could set the tone nicely. Or maybe you’ll want to keep it more traditional and go for some good old Robert Burns. And remember, the key is to say it like you mean it. So, put a little passion into it (note: comedy voices may spoil the sentiment). 

Stroll in the park

From the Poetry Library you can take a number 8 bus from North Bridge to the Royal Botanic Gardens. The gardens are kept immaculate by sixty hard-working horticulturists. There is an abundance of squirrels that have made the gardens their home, so perhaps you could try ‘squirrel fishing’. This Olympic-worthy sport involves lifting squirrels into the air by using a peanut tied a piece of string. Being able to elevate a squirrel into the air is likely to seal the deal in any relationship. 

Budget banquet

For probably less money than your average burger and chips, you can enjoy a freshly prepared meal at Telford College’s student restaurant (jump back on the number 8 bus and it will take you straight there). In essence, you will be a lab rat, or perhaps the term test-bunny is nicer, for the cookery students to try out their culinary creations. But with regular special offers like a 4-course meal for two people for a total of fifteen pounds, the miser in you will find it impossible to resist.


Edinburgh has its own Royal Observatory which is open for special events and group bookings. But surely, as the perfect end to your day of romance, it’s much more intimate and cost effective (two words that light up our hearts) to conduct your own star-gazing session.There are seven main hills in Edinburgh and the nicest is Arthur’s seat. Just make sure you swat up on your star and planet names before-hand and end the day with top marks. Clue: the really huge thing is the moon. 


Scottish Poetry Library
Crighton’s Close, Canongate, Edinburgh (G4), 0131 557 2876, Mon–Fri 11am–6pm, Sat 1pm–5pm, closed Sun, 

Royal Botanic Gardens
20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh (D1), 0131 552 7171, open daily 10am–6pm,

Telford’s Zero One Restaurant
350 West Granton Road, Edinburgh, 0131 559 4030, open daily for lunch and dinner. 

The Royal Observatory
Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, 0131 668 8404, open for bookings and special events (phone to check),

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