Visiting Dr. Neils Secret Garden
A couple of weeks back my parents came up to visit and stay with us for the week here in Edinburgh. They have been twice before now, and realistically the city centre attractions themselves don’t actually take more than a weekend to do. From Edinburgh Castle, Grassmarket, the Scot Monument, and so on – once you’ve done them, as a tourist destination you want more from your next trip. Baring this in mind, my parents latest visit led to them wanting something more, something different than your usual tourist spots. I have lived here myself for two years now and have been spending almost every weekend for three years prior to that, so I like to think I know where the good hidden spots are, and Dr. Neils Secret Garden was one of them.
How to get there
Something that’s not always open to the public, it certainly is a gem to find. We took a massive walk one sunny afternoon over Salisbury Crags and Holyrood Park, then continued walking to the village of Duddingston, which is on the other side of the park, not actually realising at the time myself that this is indeed where the secret garden was.
Taking a break to stop at Duddingston Loch, we did a quick Google Map to find out how far exactly we had walked (hint – miles!) and up came a little marker for Dr. Neils Garden. Something that I had heard of but never actually been to, now was our perfect opportunity, and on a rare change it was actually open that day too.
The gardens are entirely volunteer run and rely on donations to stay open, which is why it isn’t open all year round – but as you can see from the photographs I took on the day, the garden themselves are absolutely beautiful, full of so many different kinds of flowers and trees – too many to count. Not to mention it being the perfect oasis away from the sounds of the city, for a moment to relax and enjoy the silence whilst watching the geese and their goslings.
The Sheeps Heid
The village of Duddingston where the gardens are based, is only little but it’s very pitcture-esque and you can even stop for a pint at the oldest pub in Scotland, the ‘Sheeps Heid’ as a reward after your walk. Though if you’re wanting food be sure to book!
Where are your cities favourite hidden oasis?