Charlotte Square Gardens
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The leafy, green square at the west end of George Street was designed by celebrated New Town architect Robert Adam in the late-18th century, and intended as a mirror of St Andrew’s Square in the east. Unlike that garden, though, Charlotte Square has been left largely undeveloped by landscape architects and the lunchtime picnic crowd, retaining its natural beauty and peacefulness. For the majority of the year, the square is out of bounds to the public, its wrought iron gates opening only on a handful of Doors Open days. During the month of August, though, it is home to the tented village of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which hosts around 700 events in the area. Noted authors from around the world come here to participate in talks and discussions and sign books, and the festival has a knack of attracting Booker Prize-winners both before and after they are nominated.