Edinburgh Festival Guide: Green Spaces
- Rowena McIntosh
- 26 July 2016
This article is from 2016.
Outdoor spots in Edinburgh for when the sun peaks out during the festival
Glasgow might have bagsied the tagline 'dear green place' but Edinburgh isn't short of grassy spots to enjoy a stroll or watch the world go by.
Princes Street Gardens, New Town
In daylight hours Princess Street teems with shoppers, buses, trams and brave cyclists. Tucked behind the black railings are the grassy slopes and well manicured flower beds of Princes Street Gardens. Grab a bench along the path running beside Scott's Monument or find a patch of grass between office workers eating lunch.
Holyrood Park and Arthur's Seat, Old Town
Holyrood Park is a 640 acre Royal Park adjacent to Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament. The highest point is the extinct volcano Arthur's Seat that towers over the city. Buy an ice-cream and mosey about the lower paths or head on up the slope. It's a steep climb in parts but you'll be rewarded with unrivalled views across the capital.
Nicolson Square Gardens, Southside
Blink and you'll miss it but beside the Festival Theatre, across from theSpace @ Surgeon's Hall and on the way to Edinburgh University is a teeny park. Its road-side location means it isn't exactly peaceful but it's a handy, central spot to enjoy a quick al fresco snack from one of the surrounding fast-food outlets before heading to your next show.
The Meadows, Southside
With so many Edinburgh dwellers living in tenements and flats the Meadows acts as a giant shared garden. On the grass picnics are had, dogs are walked and sports teams drill, while the criss cross of paths keep up a constant stream of runners, cyclists and people heading to and from the city centre. Even outside August there is always someone barefoot on a make-shift tightrope slung between two trees, always.
Greyfriars Kirkyard, Old Town
Guarded by the statue of a loyal terrier is this ancient graveyard, where burials have taken place since the 16th century. It's the final resting place for several of the city's prominent citizens and certain tombstones are said to have inspired names in JK Rowling's Harry Potter books. Legend has it that it's also home to the Mackenzie Poltergeist, consider yourself warned.