Secret Gardens and Hidden Parks in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is renowned for its thriving cultural scene, deep-rooted history, and magnificent architecture. Yet, amidst the bustling streets and iconic landmarks lies a world of natural beauty, secret gardens and hidden parks, just waiting to be discovered.

Let’s unravel the mysteries of Edinburgh’s secluded sanctuaries that offer a ‘wee’ bit of respite from the urban hustle and bustle.

Dunbar’s Close

Concealed behind an unassuming entrance towards the lower end of the Royal Mile is Dunbar’s Close. This enchanting find is located in the Canongate, near Holyrood

Pass through the cobbled close and emerge into a serene 17th-century-style garden. Explore the lush foliage and intricately designed knot gardens with colourful blooms. Lose yourself in the timeless charm of this peaceful haven, a testament to Edinburgh’s rich heritage. At one time this was the typical garden setting in the Canongate when
the neighbourhood was home to the city’s nobility.

Dunbar’s Close likely derives its name from the Edinburgh writer David Dunbar who owned buildings here in the 1700’s. Take a moment to unwind and allow yourself to be
whisked away to a bygone era!

Dr. Neil’s Garden

This thriving botanical marvel is nestled beside Duddingston Kirk in the uber-quaint Duddingston Village. Often dubbed Edinburgh’s Secret Garden, it’s named after Drs.
Andrew and Nancy Neil, whose visionary efforts transformed this once-neglected site into a verdant paradise.

Wander through the labyrinth of pathways, dotted with native herbs and exotic plants, and discover ornate sculptures. Take a seat and enjoy a peaceful moment (or two)
gazing out over Duddingston Loch.

Dr Neil’s Garden is a testament to the power of community and conservation. Founded in 1963, it’s become a source of inspiration and meditation and continues to thrive
with collective involvement from locals, winning awards and media acclaim.

Starbank Park

Perched atop a gentle slope overlooking the glistening waters of the Firth of Forth, Starbank Park offers a secluded sanctuary.

Located in North Edinburgh, Starbank House was built in 1815 and belonged originally to Alexander Goalen, uncle of Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone. Leith Town
Council later acquired the property and grounds, and Starbank Park opened in 1891.

The park offers incredible views towards Fife, and its unique star-shaped flower border said to resemble a ship’s compass, is a favourite amongst visitors. Spot the
remains of the Devlin Fountain, built in 1910 by Thomas Devlin, a Newhaven fish merchant.

Who owns Queen Street Gardens?

Tucked away amidst Edinburgh’s elegant New Town, Queen Street Gardens offer a rare glimpse into the city’s aristocratic past. Accessible only to keyholders. Back in 1822, a law was passed that’s still in action today. It brought together the land and made arrangements for creating, maintaining, and protecting the gardens. All property owners in Heriot Row and Queen Street share ownership, and access, and collectively fund the maintenance expenses.

This is an early example of what we now call a community buyout. Today, residents from nearby streets can rent keys to enjoy the peaceful gardens, as well as office workers and children’s nurseries.

The lush gardens act as a sanctuary, forming a vital part of Edinburgh’s living landscape, bustling with wildlife like squirrels, birds, ducks, and occasional foxes. People walk their dogs, and cats roam freely. It’s a retreat not just for humans, but also for our four-legged friends!

Drumsheugh Gardens

An added feature for guests of The Bonham Hotel is having access to Drumsheugh Gardens, another Edinburgh oasis. Discover expertly manicured lawns, stroll along the winding pathways and reconnect with nature, in the heart of the city. Take advantage of our book direct offer and save 18% – 20% off your next stay.

Scroll to Top