06 May 2007

Secret Gardens

For a long time I’ve been fascinated by the private gardens of Edinburgh’s New Town, and wondered what was hidden behind their locked gates and thick hedges. Yesterday I was able, as part of the Edinburgh Parks and Gardens Open Day, to see inside some of these hidden gardens.

First I visited Drummond Place Gardens, which was a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. As with the other gardens I visited there were bluebells blooming everywhere around the garden.

Next I walked up to Regent Gardens, which are hidden away behind the houses of Regent Terrace and Royal Terrace at Calton Hill. These huge gardens contain a pond, two play areas for children, a tennis court, a putting green, woodland paths and wide open spaces, with stunning views over Arthur’s Seat in one direction and the Firth of Forth in the other.

Finally I walked back to Queen Street Gardens, of which only the middle section was opened to the public. These gardens were originally Woods Farm, but were transformed into gardens in 1823. They are centred round a pond which is said to have been the inspiration for Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson who lived as a child in Heriot Row.

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