Dunbar’s Close Gardens

Tucked away on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Dunbar’s Close is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This 17th-century-style garden offers a serene oasis amidst the bustling city streets. Designed by landscape architect Seamus Filor in the 1970s, it pays homage to the vision of Patrick Geddes, a renowned figure in Edinburgh’s history and advocate for community-focused regeneration.

As you enter the close, you’ll be greeted by a meticulously manicured garden with cobbled paths winding through parterres, hedges, and vibrant flowers. Find tranquility as you stroll among the yew compartments, each adorned with a central variegated holly. The scent of honeysuckle and jasmine fills the air as you explore further, eventually reaching a grassy space where benches invite you to relax and immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance.

Admission to this verdant haven is free, making it a must-visit for those seeking respite from the city’s lively atmosphere.

Some advice for visitors

  1. Take a Moment to Pause: Amidst the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile, Dunbar’s Close provides a tranquil escape. Before entering, take a moment to mentally prepare yourself for the serene ambiance that awaits you. Leave the crowds behind and embrace the peace and quiet of this hidden oasis.
  2. Explore Every Corner: Dunbar’s Close may appear deceptively small at first, but make sure to explore every nook and cranny of this charming garden. Follow the winding paths, admire the intricately designed parterres, and discover the hidden details that make this space truly special. Don’t rush through—take your time to soak in the beauty and serenity of each section.
  3. Visit During Blooming Season: To witness Dunbar’s Close at its most vibrant and colorful, plan your visit during the blooming season. The garden comes alive with an array of flowers in various hues, adding a burst of vividness to the earthy greens and tranquil grays. Timing your visit accordingly will enhance your experience and allow you to fully appreciate the garden’s natural beauty.
  4. Capture the Essence: Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the essence of Dunbar’s Close. From the well-manicured shrubbery to the dappled light filtering through the trees, there are numerous photo-worthy moments waiting to be captured. Share your experiences and the garden’s tranquility with others through photographs that reflect its serene atmosphere.
  5. Plan for Relaxation: With benches scattered throughout the close, plan to take moments of relaxation during your visit. Sit back, breathe in the fragrant air, and let the soothing ambiance wash over you. These tranquil moments will allow you to fully appreciate the peacefulness of Dunbar’s Close and offer a respite from the busyness of your day.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your visit to Dunbar’s Close and fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of this hidden green haven in the heart of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

Visit Website
View Photos
I've been here

Featured in the Hidden Scotland Magazine

Issue 1

Look inside or Buy Now

Local inspiration