Top 5 Picnic Spots in Edinburgh
Princess Street Gardens
Princes Street Gardens is one of the main city parks in central Edinburgh. It separates the Old Town from the New Town.
Spread over 37acres, the gardens are separated by The Mound, a man-made hill connecting Edinburgh's New and Old Town, where the National Gallery of Scotland is located.
The busiest of the two is East Princes Street Gardens near Edinburgh Waverley train station. Edinburgh Castle overlooks the gardens, making it a very popular picnic spot.
The garden is beautiful all year round. This is where many locals congregate, especially around the Ross Fountain, the park's main monument. This cast-iron structure was installed in 1872 after being exhibited at the 1862 World's Fair in London.
The garden has different entrances:
• Waverley Bridge by Princes Street
• Market Street close to Edinburgh Dungeons
• The Mound
• Princes Street
• Kings Stable Road
The park closes overnight for public safety.
Arthur Seat & Holyrood Park
Holyrood Park is a windswept, undulating public park, but within walking distance of Edinburgh's Old Town. The five-mile park, which may have been a Royal Park since the 12th century, is now under the responsibility of the National Heritage Service, Historic Scotland. The Palace of Holyrood House is Edinburgh's royal residence on the edge of the Royal Park.
With volcanic cliffs, steep paths, small lakes and hillside ruins (dating to the 15th century St Anthony's Church), Holyrood reflects the rugged natural landscape across Scotland on a larger scale. There is evidence of human settlements dating back around 10,000 years, including farming terraces, oil rigs and furrows believed to have been dug by medieval farmers, and quarries used to build Edinburgh buildings in the 18th century. Holyrood Park is a great place for a picnic.
When visiting Scotland, a visit to the world-famous Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh is a must. Visitors can experience a feast of plants from around the world, learn about the garden's rich and varied living collections, and explore history dating back to the 17th century. Set in over 70 acres of beautiful countryside, the gardens are located 1 mile north of the city centre and offer stunning panoramic views of the city skyline including Edinburgh Castle. Affectionately known as gardens by locals, Botanics are stunning in any season. Entry to the garden is free. The gardens are open every day of the year, except for special events that may require tickets Garden highlights include the Rock Garden, Alpine House, Woodland Garden, Pond and Botanical Garden or Tree Collection, Chinese Hillside, Rhododendron Collection and a collection of native Scottish plants in the Heather Garden.
Inverleith Park is a large park managed by the City of Edinburgh just north of the city centre. Featuring 3 football pitches, 4 rugby pitches, 6 sevens pitches, a cricket pitch, a petanque pitch and a children's playground, the park hosts around 400 events a year. It also has great views of Edinburgh Castle, making it a popular family viewing spot for the Edinburgh Festival fireworks and Hogmanay Seven Hills fireworks. It's large enough to also accommodate gardeners, a large pond with a landscaped "swamp," a secluded sundial garden (1890's sundial), and a "Four Winds" art access centre. It's also a popular spot for dog walking, jogging or quiet walks. Overlooking the park from a distance, this part of Edinburgh looks very green because of its proximity to Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Gardens. The park also features a children’s play park, four tennis courts, a ball court for basketball and football, a petanque court, and a running and fitness circuit.
The boating pond on the south side of the Park has recently been upgraded, with the western end of the pond turned into an attractive wetlands water garden in 2007.
There is also a Rose Garden and wildflower garden with stunning views of the city skyline and the Pentland Hills.
One of the city's most popular open spaces, The Meadows features several cafés, children's playground, tennis court and croquet club, as well as the annual Meadows Marathon and several travelling circuses. Historically, The Meadows has had a strange past. Once the site of Berg Lake, which provided most of the drinking water for the old town, it was transformed into an elegant park in the 18th century with hedges, linden trees, paths and a summer house, although the full public right of way was not until later was only granted. At this point, the park enjoys the legal protection of development, guaranteeing the eternal survival of the citizens of Edinburgh. In the late 19th century, the grass field became the centre of the Football Association, with Hibernian and the Heart of Midlothian using the land for training and hosting the first derby between the clubs in 1875.
Today the Meadows remains an enduringly popular part of Edinburgh, playing a key role in the social and sporting life of the city’s residents throughout the year.