Anyone who knows me knows I love flowers, nature and taking photos. So whilst staying in Edinburgh for a few days someone mentioned that the Edinburgh Royal Botanical Gardens was just down the road from where we were staying. I could not miss a visit and we were lucky enough to catch the last morning of our stay without rain so jumped at the chance.
Now I didn’t get much feedback from the kids so I guessed they wouldn’t mind a visit, after all a walk in fresh air is good for them, Right?
The gardens are free to visit but you would need to purchase a ticket for the green houses which is well worth it.
There are many routes to take around the gardens and lots to see and do. Almost all of the more prominent shrubs and trees have signs telling you what they are, You can get a map on arrival listing the various gardens such as the Rock garden the Queen mothers memorial garden and Chinese Hillside.
On arrival we were greeted by these beautiful gates which were a work of art in themselves.
We visited the glass houses first which are really stunning and definitely worth the £5.50 entry fee. There are 28 Glass houses in total which is quite impressive, and the history behind them is a story in itself.
RBGE’s first victorian glasshouse, the Tropical Palm House, was built in 1832, Some 28 years later the extension, or Temperate Palm House was built. The Temperate Palm House is stunning and houses some of the most beautiful palms which thrive in its humid temperatures.
Whilst we were there they were holding an art and science exhibition by the Welcome Trust Centre of Biology Called Glass Life. Glass Life is an exhibition of stunning glass sculptures, depicting the hidden inner workings of living cells, created by artists and researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology.
I found it amazing and even Owen was interested, These below pieces depicts what happens in micro cell plates when experiments some times work , do not work or simply thrive. They also had glass mosaic piece’s depicting chromosomes, cancer cells and even DNA.
I loved the tropics Glasshouses with the drops of moisture all over the plants. There is also and Aquarium, Arid lands area full of Cactus and and a stunning orchidarium.
Ok so the children where not the best pleased at looking at plant life all day , But walking through the small pathways and finding Pokemon go on route kept them entertained for the best part.
I think my favourite place was the lily pad pond. I have never seen such huge Lily pads.
These were in the Plants and People glass house. Tropical rainforest vegetation – including bananas, rice, sugar and cocoa – surrounds the central pond. These huge floating leaves of the giant water lily thrive in the high humidity and hot conditions of this house. Although giant water lily plants survive for years in the wild, they cannot be sustained all year round so far north due to the low winter light levels. Instead, fresh seed is sown each year in January to produce new plants.
The grounds around the glasshouses are immaculate and they hold daily garden tours to get the ,most out of your visit. I must say the Afternoon tea tour is something that I missed and would loved to of tried.
There are three places for refreshments, a Cafe and coffee shop and restaurant so you have no excuse but to stay all day. Sadly we had only a few days in Edinburgh so we didn’t get the chance to explore more. Something has to be saved for next time right?
I would say that any time of year is suitable to visit and the royal botanic website has a handy guide to whats in season and the highlight of each month so more reasons to go back. The colours in august surrounding the Glass houses were beautiful, its was certainly a good time to go.
All in all a great day had by all, even though the boys were not impressed by having to wait for me to take pictures, I felt that I didn’t take enough!
I’d like to go back and spend more time outside around the Chinese hillside and may be visit one of their ongoing events next time.
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