Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

A place to retreat from the crowds in the city centre

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Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

The Botanics, 70 acres of landscaped gardens a mile north of the New Town, are well known to locals as a place to retreat from the crowds in the city centre.

Perfect for a leisurely afternoon meander, you can also go hunting for some of the 5,000 alpine plant species planted in the Rock Garden, head for a stroll in the Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden or take in the city’s skyline from the Chinese Hillside. In the summer the gardens are the perfect place to soak up the sunshine, while on chilly days you can warm up in the Victorian Palm Houses or, if you’re lucky enough to find an empty table, enjoy the spectacular views that come as standard with a coffee at the Terrace Café.

Anyone with a serious interest in horticulture may want to book on to a walk with a garden guide during the summer months, while families are well catered for - events geared towards parents and kids include fun days, guided bird-watching and mini-beast hunting. Meanwhile, Inverleith House, once home to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s collection, now hosts a programme of temporary art exhibitions. Shows for 2010-2011 include a solo exhibition by Marc Camille Chaimowicz, as well as works by Claude Cahun and Sue Tompkins. The new Eco-friendly John Hope Gateway at the west entrance has a restaurant and biodiversity centre.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Main entrance on Inverleith Row, 0131 552 7171, www.rbge.org.uk
During 2010, open Oct 10am - 6pm; Nov and Dec 10am - 4pm. From Jan 2011, open 10am - 6pm (until 4pm in Jan, Nov and Dec). Entry free with a charge for the glasshouses.

Claude Cahun and Sue Tompkins

  • 4 stars

The first solo UK exhibition of photographs by French philosopher/snapper Claude Cahun (1894–1954) alongside works from Glaswegian visual and sound artist Tompkins.

Claude Cahun Talk with Lizzie Thynne

Lizzie Thynne discusses Playing a Part, a film by Claude Cahun.

Inverleith House

Royal Botanic Garden, Arboretum Place/Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR

Set in the lush greenery of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Inverleith House is a gallery that takes inspiration from its surroundings, with spring, summer, autumn and winter-themed exhibitions according to the season. The spring programme features an…

Terrace Café

Royal Botanic Garden, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR

The informal, canteen-style cafe of the Botanics is a haven for parents with small children, who are made genuinely welcome with a play area, kids’ lunch boxes of (relatively) healthy snacks and plenty of flexible table options that are convenient for…

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