Springingtiger's Blog

A Grand Day Out.


Today I visited the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh and had a wonderful time. I only had a few hours to explore the Garden and so I didn’t see all of it. However I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw. Seventy Acres is a lot of garden and it is laid out in such a way that in order to fully appreciate it you have to walk miles and miles of interweaving paths I suspect that even without visiting the glasshouses the RBGE could fill a couple of days.

Amazingly it costs nothing to explore the Garden. Couple this with an Over Sixties Bus Pass and the Royal Botanic Garden provides an opportunity for a very economic day out. Many of the attractions in Edinburgh charge admittance, however there are plenty that are free, in Scotland it is policy to keep admittance to public museums and galleries free. Edinburgh is well served for museums.20161004_105936_hdr

The extensive glasshouses at the RBGE do charge admission, but it is less than six pounds. Avoid the glasshouses and take sandwiches and the day need not cost a penny. However there are three places within the garden to eat: the East Gate Coffee Bar, the Terrace Café beside Inverleith House, and the Gateway Restaurant at the West Gate. If it’s a nice day you could buy a takeaway cup of coffee at the Terrace and then enjoy it sitting on the benches near the House and just enjoy the view of the Edinburgh sky line. Please take your cup back to the Terrace and dispose of it in the recycling bins. Although the gardens are extensive there are four public toilets which can be reached swiftly (it may help to have one of the £1 maps of the Garden to locate the nearest should you need to). Most of the Garden is wheelchair accessible although some few paths are not suitable. I saw people in wheelchairs enjoying themselves.

As well as the free stuff, the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh has a program of events and courses throughout the year. At first glance I thought them a little expensive, however when I divided the cost of a course by the number of its sessions I realised that they represent good value and the Garden is a teaching aid of which few educational establishments could boast. I should perhaps mention that people who join the Friends of the Royal Botanic Garden receive a useful discount on the cost of events and also in the restaurants,

Because nature changes season by season, so does the garden so no two visits will be quite the same. The varied program of events also provides reason to visit repeatedly. There is much more I want to see, so I shall be back taking advantage of my free bus pass.



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