Five star award for Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

It’s been wowing visitors for centuries, but the world-renowned Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is celebrating after being awarded five-star visitor attraction status by national tourism organisation VisitScotland. 

Established in 1670 and famed for its horticultural and scientific excellence, the Garden received VisitScotland’s highest grading award under its Quality Assurance Scheme.

The award marks only the second garden in Scotland to achieve such status with RBGE-run Dawyck Botanic Garden in Peeblesshire in possession of the other.

Everything from visitor welcome, signage, decor, menu, merchandise and cleanliness are judged and graded to give the final scoring. 

Presenting the award to the RBGE’s Regius Keeper, Professor Stephen Blackmore, VisitScotland Chairman Mike Cantlay said: “The timing of this award could not be more fitting given the forthcoming launch of the Year of Natural Scotland on January 1.

“The Year of Natural Scotland is a chance to showcase Scotland’s unique natural environment and grow tourism spend in every corner of the country. 

“The five star award denotes world-class status and is testament to the hard work by all staff and the ongoing investment that has made the Royal Botanic Garden what it is today. I would like to congratulate the team on a wonderful achievement.’’  

Professor Blackmore said: “On behalf of everyone at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh I am delighted to accept this award from VisitScotland. We know how important visitor attractions and tourism are to the economy of Scotland, we know that expectations are always rising and we are glad we can provide a warm welcome and high level of service to our visitors".

VisitScotland has operated Quality Assurance grading schemes since April 1995 and these are recognised worldwide. The scheme offers tourism operators an independent quality assurance award for visitor attractions, as well as many other sectors of the tourism industry.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)