- The warmth of the Glasshouses—a little slice of the tropics in Scotland
- An informal lunch spot where the nuggets could run and crawl around
- Running free on the lawn amongst the trees and plants
- Being transported around the world in the Glasshouses
- Watching the ducks and ducklings on the pond
Prepare in advance
If the weather is good, a packed lunch to eat on the lawn is well worth bringing.
Go for opening time at 10 a.m. to avoid crowds and break for lunch halfway through your visit.
Recommended time of the year
Opens at 10 a.m. year-round. Closing times vary slightly depending on the season.
Access to the gardens is free, but the £6.50 entry fee (for those over 15) to the Glasshouses is worth every penny.
About This Day
Experience beautiful nature in the heart of the city at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). Your kids will enjoy having the freedom to roam and run whilst you admire the hard work and love that has clearly gone into maintaining these magnificent gardens. Enjoy lunch at the Terrace Cafe, a family-friendly restaurant within the gardens. If the weather permits, you can pack a picnic to add to this fun day outdoors.
Explore beautiful lush gardens, manicured and perfected over their 300-year history. There are tons of varieties of trees, flowers and plants outdoors. The Glasshouses are a highlight, with their subtropical climate and exotic plants from around the world on display. It is refreshing to be somewhere in the city where you can let the kids run (and crawl) free.
DIRECTIONS Aside from coming by car or cycling, per the website, “there are regular public bus services (Lothian Buses 8, 23 or 27) to the East Gate on Inverleith Row. These buses also stop beside 20A Inverleith Row, the site of the Library, Herbarium, Laboratory and Administration buildings, as well as the Lecture Theatre and Meeting Rooms.”
This is a lovely cafe. It's self-service with a small play area indoors and outdoor seating available by a lawn for the kids to run about in. We were actually looking for one of the other restaurants (The Gateway Restaurant) but this suited us well and since it was less formal and popular with young families, we were less stressed making sure the nuggets didn't create a scene.
DIRECTIONS The cafe is within the garden at the Inverleith House Gallery; follow the map which you can purchase at the info counter at the Garden entrance.
TIP Ask if you can try the soups before committing to a bowl. Ours were flavourless. The cakes and sandwiches were much better than the hot food.