Royal Botanic GardenApprox. Time: 1 hours
Activity Level: Easiest

Most people would agree that the Royal Botanic Garden, in the Inverleith district, is one of the jewels of Edinburgh. It is the city's second most popular visitor attraction after the castle, with nearly one million visitors each year. As Scotland's national botanic garden, extending to 72 acres, it contains a plant collection of unique botanical importance. The garden is widely regarded as one of the finest botanic gardens in the world, with a long and fascinating history. It has been on its present site since 1820. Its roots, however, go much deeper than that. It is a direct descendant of a physic garden, which was devoted to the cultivation of medicinal herbs, established near Holyrood Abbey in 1670. The more exotic plants are housed in 11 exhibition plant houses that create climatic conditions ranging from bone-dry desert to the dripping humidity of an equatorial rainforest. There is a very large and internationally renowned rock garden, while the garden's collection of 500 species of rhododendron is also famous.

Courtesy of the British Tourist Authority