Relax in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens

One of the best parts about Edinburgh is the massive amount of green space in it its city centre – Princes Street park is arguably the most accessible of these spaces, making the park an essential activity for your Edinburgh Stack!

Where should I go first in Edinburgh?

Located right next to Waverley Station is Princes Street Park, a must-do for any traveller to Edinburgh.

Princes Street Gardens was for a long time an artificial lake, created by St James III on marshland as a defence for the Edinburgh Castle that lies on top of the hill. It was then drained and eventually transformed into the gardens that are loved by the public today. The park is a great place to relax with a walk and relax during the summer weather. The park also hosts events all year round – enjoy performances from the famous Fringe Festival or dance to the Jazz festival; have a drink in October’s Oktoberfest celebrations; come December, browse the wonderful Christmas markets and marvel at the fireworks display.

The gardens are host to various monuments and sights to enjoy, with its most iconic being the Scott Monument in the East end – the huge spire is dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, the most famous Scottish writer and one of the city’s most beloved figures (Waverley station is named after one of his books!). There’s a free museum to learn more about the history of writing in Scotland, and, if you’re up for climbing its steps, you can get to the top of the monument for some great views of the city.

  • The gardens are on the south side of Princess Street.
  • There are different entrances into the park, from Princes Street, Waverley Bridge, or The Mound which connects the Old and New Towns.

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What's on in Edinburgh

Charity Garden Opening - Hunter's Tryst

8 - 21 August, 2022
Well-stocked and beautifully designed, mature, medium-sized town garden comprising herbaceous and shrub beds, lawn, fruit and some vegetables, water features, seating areas, trees and an example of cloud pruning. This is a wildlife-friendly garden that has been transformed from a wilderness 38 years ago and continues to evolve. In 2017 two raised beds were added to the front garden. This hidden treasure of a garden was featured on The Beechgrove Garden in June 2015 and on The Instant Gardener in June 2016. As we were unable to open in 2021 due to serious house damage, it is particularly exciting to be able to welcome everybody back in 2022. This is a fundraising event for the open garden charity Scotland’s Gardens Scheme which raises money for hundreds of local charities.

Charity Garden Opening - 14 East Brighton Crescent

8 - 21 August, 2022
Roughly two-thirds of an acre suburban garden, developed over 40 years. People have said the following about it: 'A little bit of countryside in the town', 'Booming with green', 'A bosky bower' and 'There is such a wide range of plant material and every little corner holds a new gem'. This is a fundraising event for the open garden charity Scotland’s Gardens Scheme which raises money for hundreds of local charities.

Curious About Edinburgh

8 - 21 August, 2022
Heritage walk through historic Edinburgh, with an optional treasure hunt.

Edinburgh Art Festival

8 - 21 August, 2022
Scotland's largest annual celebration of visual art offers work by the best contemporary Scottish artists as well as exhibitions of the most important international artists and movements of the 20th century and other historical periods. This year, ten artists from previous Edinburgh Art Festival editions will present their work online to mark the dates of what would have been the 2020 event.

Edinburgh International Festival

8 - 21 August, 2022
Bringing world-class arts to the capital since 1947, the EIF sets the standard for classical concerts, opera, dance and theatre, while it's recently also added an excellent contemporary music strand.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

8 - 21 August, 2022
Each year, thousands of performers take to a multitude of stages all over Edinburgh to present shows for each and every taste. From big names to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, musicals, operas, children's shows, music and cabaret.

International Comedy Jam

8 - 21 August, 2022

Psycho Capital: Calum Craik

8 - 21 August, 2022
Calum Craik’s new installation for Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop's street front gallery, examines the current neoliberal capitalist landscape through the lens of the objects and imagery it produces. The viewer is invited to navigate through a stage set of construction debris, precarious worker uniforms, defensive architecture and AirBnB rentals to arrive at a psychological space as much as a physical one. His sculptural vocabulary uses discarded materials and everyday items to examine labour, class, changing economies and complicity. 

Late Show Great Show

8 - 21 August, 2022

MaX-XiM

8 - 21 August, 2022

The Bunker

13 - 21 August, 2022

Dandelion -- Unexpected Garden: Edinburgh

8 - 21 August, 2022
28 April-11 September Situated to the north west of Edinburgh city centre, this Unexpected Garden is based in a truly remarkable location. Lauriston Farm is neighbour to Lauriston Castle, with dramatic views of the North Sea, surrounded by the communities of Silverknowes, Muirhouse and Cramond. A small mound has been landscaped into a gentle amphitheatre, filled with coastal planting and wild crop relatives, that will give a vantage point from which to take in the 100 acres of Lauriston Farm, where Edinburgh Agroecology Cooperative has been working hard to transform empty fields, marking out plots for community allotments, creating wildflower meadows and planting over 9,000 trees. A welcoming place to gather amidst this evolving setting, the Unexpected Garden will feature an earthen event and workshop space, built over the summer, where all comers are invited to help create large-scale puppets, banners and costumes celebrating the local community, food production and biodiversity. Don't miss the resulting musical procession - supported by North Edinburgh Arts - at a harvest event on 10 September. Events: Open Day- 25 June 2-5pm Please visit Dandelion.Scot for the most up to date information about the events at the garden.

2am at The Jazz Bar

8 - 21 August, 2022

Leon Morrocco: Long Road Home

8 - 21 August, 2022
This summer the Royal Scottish Academy will present Leon Morrocco: Long Road Home. Timed to coincide with the artist’s 80th birthday, the exhibition will position Leon Morrocco RSA as one of the most important Scottish painters of his generation. Although Morrocco was born in Edinburgh he has not lived in Scotland since 1979. This substantial survey exhibition charts the ‘long road home’ to showing in the Scottish capital this summer. Morrocco is one of the RSA’s longest standing members, having been elected an Associate of the Academy in 1971 at the age of 29. Highlighting lesser-known aspects of Morrocco’s long career, the exhibition will provide an insightful look at the practice of this celebrated, influential artist.