A treat awaits at Dawyck. No matter what the season, the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh’s third regional garden, has something special to offer the visitor.
The garden – first planted in the 17th century by the Veitch family, owners of Dawyck House – was taken over by the Naesmiths in 1691. It was Sir John Murray Naesmith who supported plant-hunting expeditions, especially by explorer David Douglas, and acquired many of the species present in the garden today. In 1897 the estate was taken over by the Balfour family who gifted the garden to the nation in 1978.
The 350 years of planting and design over 60 acres have resulted in a truly remarkable arboretum. Here you can see some of the rarest and most exotic plants and trees from the cool and temperate regions of the world brought back from the expeditions of famous botanists. Follow well-designed trails in order to appreciate the sheer beauty and remarkable layout of the gardens. Signs mark out the trees of special interest. Elegant 19th-century Italian stonework and ornamental urns are a fine feature linking the woodland paths and the garden terraces.
In late spring the Azalea Terrace with its outstanding display of colours is a must for any visitor. From the landmark Swiss Bridge you can view the Falls of Scrape Burn flanked by an abundance of snowdrops.
Dynamo Pond towards the top of the garden was restored in 1983 and used to provide the water to generate electricity at Dawyck House. The gardens have plenty of wildlife as well and provide a wonderful sanctuary to many species of bird.
After visiting the gardens relax in the new state-of-the-art café. There is also an area for changing exhibitions.
Don’t miss: the Beech Walk with its fabulous view of Dawyck House (not currently open to the public) and the surrounding Borders countryside.
Dawyck Botanic Garden, Stobo, Nr Peebles, Scottish Borders EH45 9JU
tel: 01721 760254
Peebles tourist information
tel: 0870 608 0404