Top botanical gardens to visit in Scotland

Top botanical gardens to visit in Scotland

Exploring Scotland's charming Gardens!

Each year locals and visitors enjoy days spent roaming some of Scotland’s top botanical gardens. From inner city paradises in Glasgow and Edinburgh, to conservation grounds and artistic gardens surrounding some of Scotland’s grand estate houses. You have plenty to choose from if you are planning a trip to Scotland, or perhaps you want to make the most of what’s already here on your doorstep.

Not only a fantastic addition to your Scottish staycation, but these gardens are also vital researchers in biodiversity, conservation and wildlife. The work carried out across each garden helps us to further understand the natural world around us, our native species and new plants from around the globe.

Here are some of our top botanical gardens to visit in Scotland. 

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

royal botanic garden edinburgh

A serene escape from the hustle and bustle of Scotland’s capital city, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh spans 70 acres of luscious greenery and native wildlife. There are four gardens in total for you to explore; Logan, Dawyk, Benmore and Edinburgh. The Logan conservatory boasts a range of exotic plants with a collection of South African species that are uncommon to British soil. Over in the Edinburgh garden you can take in the picturesque views of the city’s skyline including Edinburgh's historic castle and visit the Queen Mother’s memorial garden.

RBGE often hosts events such as the Edinburgh Science Festival and the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival. So, it’s always worth checking out their official website before you visit to see what’s on.

Scottish Plant Hunters Garden, Pitlochry

scottish botanic garden pitlochry

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If you are venturing to the peaceful Perthshire town of Pitlochry then this might just be a great addition to your visit. The Scottish Plant Hunters Garden is an ode to Scots that toured the globe in search of new botanical species to bring home. Many of these plants brought back into Scotland are what make up the garden that spans six acres of land. The garden is segmented to represent different areas of the world and their corresponding botanic species that were brought to the UK. During guided tours you can find out more about the Scottish plant hunters themselves. The garden includes beautiful art and architecture a long the way and is home to a variety of bird and wildlife. 

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

view of kibble palace behind flower beds in Glasgow Botanic Garden

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Situated in Glasgow’s West End, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens is a top choice for locals and visitors to recline on a sunny Scottish afternoon. One of the most prominent features of the gardens is Kibble Palace. A captivating glasshouse which is inhabited by the national collection of fern trees. You can stroll the grounds, exploring their species of plants and flowers before popping into the Botanic Gardens Tearoom for a cuppa and a bite of lunch. 

Dundee Botanic Garden

inside the glasshouse with green plants and trees and Dundee Botanic Garden

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Dundee’s Botanic Garden forms part of The University of Dundee and is somewhat of a hidden gem in Scotland’s botanical landscape. The grounds have a variety of broad-leaved trees, shrubs, tropical plant species with views over the River Tay. As a University garden, it is a fantastic facility for research into ecology, habitats and plant species. Educating visitors of all ages in the world of botanics and biodiversity are at the heart of the work carried out here. With regular exhibitions and guided tours on offer to those who visit. Not to mention, a delightful little gift shop and cafe to complete the perfect day out in Dundee.

National Trust for Scotland Gardens

Pitmedden Garden in Aberdeen | Photo by National trust for Scotland

Image of Pitmedden Garden via @nationaltrustforscotland

The National Trust for Scotland takes care of 38 magnificent gardens across Scotland. From Argyll’s Crarae Garden, Inverewe Garden in the Scottish Highlands, and the pristine Pitmedden Garden in Aberdeen. No matter where you choose to book your next staycation to Scotland, you’ll most likely be able to reach a garden nearby. The NTS work hard to maintain, study and develop each garden. Whether that’s improving the overall visitor experience, or delving into the science of botanics and exploring new native and exotic species. The contribution that the NTS bring to preserving and nurturing Scotland horticulture heritage is invaluable and their conservation work means that we can continue to enjoy Scotland’s beautiful landscapes. 

You can use the National Trust for Scotland’s website to locate one of their botanical gardens near you.