Horticultural green heavens in Scotland

1) Dr Neil's Garden

Dr Neil’s Garden is somewhat of a hidden sanctuary where Arthur’s Seat meets Duddingston Loch. And is a great place to come and get fresh air or reflect on days past. The Garden was started by couple Dr Nancy and Andrew Neil, who both worked as GPs at the time. They used to encourage their patients to aid in the creation of the space, so they could benefit from being active and adopt healthier lifestyles. Nancy and Andrew both passed away in 2005 and their legacy lives on throughout the grounds, and specifically in the physic garden. Thomson’s Tower is another quirky addition to the gardens, built in 1825 for the Duddingston Curling Society to store its stones. The lower chamber is now a curling museum and tells an interesting story on how one club has influenced the way the game is played today. Today there are various ways to enjoy the garden through art, educational events and healthy activity. The Garden Room Cafe is open in the summer.

snow at Dr Neil's Garden in Scotland

Old Church Lane, Duddingston Village

+44 (0)7849 187 995


2) Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

The ‘Botanics’ in Edinburgh is a horticultural haven set in 70 acres and only a mile from the city centre. On a sunny day it’s a fantastic place to stroll, chill out and enjoy the vast living collections, which are 350 years old. Amongst the garden there are 10 different glass houses, with the highlight being a stunning Victorian Temperate Palm House, which is the largest of its kind in Britain and constructed in 1858. Amongst the 100.000 exotic plants, Chinese gardens and Amazonian lily pads, the Scottish Heath Garden and the native plants are the most humble, homely (for some) and not to be overlooked. Go and enjoy one of the most stunning botanical gardens in the world.

chalet style restaurant at the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden

Arboretum Place, Edinburgh

+44 (0)131 248 2909


More Hidden Scotland?

This guide takes you to hundreds of worthwhile spots all over Scotland: from nature reserves, to locals' pubs, from vintage shops to dramatic lochs. Available in our shop now.

Buy the book or ebook

3) The Lady Linda McCartney Memorial Garden

If you are taking a stroll ‘down the front’ in Campbeltown, take a mini detour to Linda’s Garden. The garden was set up in memory of Paul McCartney’s late wife, who was very fond of Argyll – her ashes are scattered here. Paul still owns a farm down this way and wrote the famous 1970s hit, Mull of Kintyre, here. It’s in a peaceful setting behind the library and a bronze statue of Linda holding a lamb takes centre piece.

The Lady Linda McCartney Memorial Garden in Scotland

Hall Street, Campbeltown


Join the community

Sign up for free to gain unlimited access to the website. Plus, you'll receive a 10% discount in our online bookshop.

Sign up