The Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh is one of the most stunning (and one of the oldest) botanic gardens in Europe. Originally planted as a medicinal garden near Holyrood Palace in 1670, Edinburgh's garden is only predated by Oxford's gardens in the British Isles. The Royal Botanic Garden was set up in its present location, about a mile out of the city, in the 19th century.
Today the attraction spreads over 70 acres with splendid views of Edinburgh. It has the largest collection of wild-origin Chinese plants outside of China, and travelers will also find a Scottish heath garden planted with highlands specimens, a rock garden bursting with over 500 alpine plants and a herbaceous border backed by a 100-year-old beech hedge.
Wander from ‘room’ to ‘room’ of charmingly enclosed gardens, marvel at the collection of rhododendrons, and don’t neglect to visit the Temperate Palm House – built in the 19th century and still the tallest in the British Isles. From here, for a small charge, you can enter the Windows on the World exhibition, a series of glasshouses holding 10 different climatic zones.