Johnston Gardens

Covering only a hectare, Johnston Gardens is the smallest public space in Aberdeen, but its diminutive size is no barrier to its beauty. Gifted to the city by the Johnston House estate in 1936, the garden is a delightful oasis, featuring streams, waterfalls, ponds, rockeries, and a charming bridge that is a favourite spot for newlyweds to capture that unforgettable photograph!

Winner of the Britain in Bloom contest on many occasions, Johnston Gardens are renowned for an explosion of colour in spring and summer, as rhododendrons, alpines, heathers, and bulbs showcase their beauty. It’s unsurprising that the garden is a favourite haunt for photographers! Birds also flock to the garden; mallards and moorhens make their home on the ponds, while wood pigeons and black-headed gulls are also common.

For younger visitors, there’s a children’s play area, and ample seating and toilets for the whole family looking for a tranquil escape from the hubbub of the city centre.


Arriving by car

Johnston Gardens are reached easily by car in under 15 minutes from Aberdeen city centre. A small, free car park is available on Viewfield Road, adjacent to the gardens, while on-road parking is also available on many surrounding streets.

Arriving by bus

Johnston Gardens are easily reached by bus, with numerous services stopping outside.

From central Aberdeen, take FirstBus services 11 or 15, or Stagecoach routes 5, X17, 200/210. Travel time is approximately 25 minutes.

Opening times

The gardens open at 8am daily and close one hour before dusk. 


  • A Visit Scotland five-star attraction, the Gordon Highlanders Museum is located close to Johnston Gardens, and celebrates the history of the Gordon Highlanders regiment. Discover an immersive WW1 replica trench to experience life on the battlefield, explore an authentic officers’ mess, and study the extensive collection of armoury, regimental silver, and medals.
  • The Tolbooth Museum is housed in one of the city’s oldest buildings and is arguably the most well-preserved 17th century jail in Scotland. Here you can experience a fascinating journey through history, learning about crime and punishment through the ages. Original cells, with barred windows, offer a taste of prison life, while an Iron Maiden and the blade from the city’s guillotine are sombre reminders of history’s harsh penal system.


Aberdeen isn’t short of eateries, with a selection that is almost as extensive as the international dishes that await you during your stay near Johnston Gardens.

In the heart of the West End, Sooshe offers authentic Japanese cuisine, created by specially trained chefs using the finest ingredients imported from Japan. Sooshe combines authentic Far East flavours with an informal dining experience, complimented by extensive wines and Japanese sake.

Cafe Harmony’s extensive menu includes traditional Scottish, Italian, and seafood dishes, from Aberdeen Angus burger and shellfish risotto, to spaghetti carbonara and vegetarian cannelloni. Café Harmony is committed to sourcing its ingredients from the local area to support the Aberdeenshire economy, while infusing its dishes with the finest flavours.


Like Johnston Gardens, Aberdeen has also won the Britain in Bloom competition on many occasions. In fact, after winning for nine consecutive years, Aberdeen was banned from the contest to give another city a chance to win.

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