Doors Open Day: The Private Regent Gardens, Edinburgh

The recent Doors Open event in Edinburgh, the chance to visit places not usually open to the public or who usually charge an entrance fee, actually spans the whole weekend so there's plenty of chance to explore. This year I decided to make the most of it and go somewhere on both days. After my interesting visit to Trinity Apse on the Saturday I visited the private Regent Gardens on the Sunday. 

There are lots of private gardens in Edinburgh's New Town for most though, myself included, the closest you can get is peeking between the railings to take a look at what's inside as you walk past. Even though I can't usually get in any myself they still provide welcome greenery to the city almost on every corner. Several private gardens were opened up over the weekend and I thought it would be interesting to see inside one of these places that I can never quite get to so decided to visit the Regent Gardens, the largest of the New Town gardens. 

These particular gardens, unlike many closer to where I live, are not viewable from the road making them seem all the more secret. With all the gates built into the stone boundary walls it really did feel like I was living a part in The Secret Garden as I walked around. The gardens have pretty much retained their original format from their foundation in 1830 with woodlands flanking the wide expansive lawns in the middle. There's even a ha-ha which was built to hide the boundary wall, it felt like being in a country house gardens. What I didn't expect either were such fantastic views from the higher points of the gardens, you can see Arthur's Seat, across the Firth of Forth towards the Kingdom of Fife and over to Calton Hill (which is literally next door) and get some sneaky views of the National Monument.

It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon made all the more lovely by the Autumn colours that are starting to appear. If I had access to these gardens I don't think I'd ever need to hunt out any of the other green spaces in Edinburgh. If they open their doors next year I recommend you take a look.

Looking across the Firth of Forth with the island of Inchkeith in view

Arthur's Seat

A sneaky glimpse of the National Monument on neighbouring Calton Hill


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