Visiting the Botanics and Staying Safe
Visitors are no longer required to book time slot tickets online in advance before visiting.
The health and safety of our visitors remains a top priority. With this in mind, measures will remain in place in our buildings and dining spaces.
Please bring a face covering with you. These are mandatory when visiting any enclosed area of the Garden, including toilet facilities. For exemptions, see our health and safety measures below. Read on for details of more actions we are taking to help keep you safe.
Our Glasshouses are currently closed as part of Edinburgh Biomes, the Garden’s major restoration and construction project. Work is now underway to protect our globally important Living Collection of plants for future generations. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Temporary access changes
Please look out for Edinburgh Biomes signs during your visit. They will advise you of temporary access changes while the work on the Edinburgh Biomes project is progressing.
Please note that the Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden and Alpine area will only be open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays during the Edinburgh Biomes project.
During this period of reduced access we are also planning to redevelop the central area of the Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden to create a more robust garden against the impacts of climate change, whilst maintaining inspiration from the Castle of Mey - the Queen Mother's Home in Caithness.
Eating and Drinking
Our cafes are open. Please wear a face covering in our dining spaces, unless you are seated while eating or exempt.
We ask all visitors to be prepared to use contactless payment methods.
Visit our Food and Drink page for full details.
With 70 acres to explore and a history dating back 350 years, there is much to see at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Find out more.
- When is the Garden open?
The Garden is open daily*
- March - September: 10am - 6pm
- October and February: 10am - 5pm
- November - January: 10am - 4pm
* The Garden is closed 25 December and 1 January.
Last entry to the Garden is 45 minutes prior to closing time.
In extreme weather the Garden may close. Please call 0131 248 2909 to check.
- Are both entrances open?
Yes. Entry on the west side of the Garden on Arboretum Place is through the Gateway Visitor Centre. Entry at the east side of the Garden is through the usual entrance on Inverleith Row.
Health and Safety Measures
- What health and safety measures are in place to protect visitors?
- You will receive a warm welcome at a distance.
- There are hand sanitiser units at entrances and other points within the Garden.
- There are protection screens at receptions.
- Contactless payments only.
- PPE is available for our staff.
- There is helpful, directional signage within the boundaries of the Garden.
- Toilets, including additional temporary facilities, are open but please observe maximum limits.
- Do I need to bring a face covering?
Face coverings are required in all enclosed spaces, including the toilet facilities. Exemptions include children under 12, visitors with breathing difficulties or those with disabilities when the wearing of a face covering would be distressing or make communication difficult.
Toilets and other facilities
- What buildings are open for visitors?
The John Hope Gateway visitor centre, Gateway Cafe, Botanics Shop, Terrace Cafe and Inverleith House are open. All other public buildings, including the Glasshouses, are closed.
- Are toilets open?
Toilets, including temporary mobile facilities, are available at the West and East Gate entrances. Accessible toilets are available in the Fernhouse Toilets in the centre of the Garden and at the Botanic Cottage. New hygiene measures are in place, with more frequent cleaning and reduced capacity for using toilets. So, please do bear in mind that you may need to queue. Baby changing facilities are available in the accessible toilets.
- Are guided tours available?
There are no guided tours at this stage.
- Are there storage facilities for visitors?
Unfortunately, there are no storage facilities for children’s scooters, balance bikes or cycles. Visitor Lockers are available at the John Hope Gateway, with a £1 non refundable charge. The dimensions of the lockers are: H85cm, W38cm, D43cm. all items should be removed by Garden closing time and no items can be stored in the locker overnight.
Food and Drink
- Are refreshments available on site?
The Terrace and The Gateway are open daily from 10am, serving a full range of hot and cold drinks, home baking, food and ice cream throughout the day. See our Food and Drink page for further details.
Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and drink, including picnics, into the Garden. Unfortunately we are not be able to provide water refill stations at this time. Barbecues and alcohol are not permitted.
Card payments only being accepted currently.
- Can I hire a wheelchair or mobility scooter?
Mobility scooters and wheelchairs are available for hire at no extra cost. There is limited availability so we highly recommend booking in advance by calling 0131 248 2909 or send an email to email@example.com
- Blue Badge parking
There are six Blue Badge parking spaces located on Arboretum Place to the left of the West Gate entrance, and a further three spaces opposite to the left of Inverleith Park's entrance gate.
More information on the accessibility of the Garden can be found in the Access section of our website.
If any of our visitors sustain minor injuries during their visit, our staff will assist at a safe distance of two metres away. They will be wearing PPE. Whilst our staff will not be able to treat minor injuries directly, they can offer first aid supplies so that visitors can treat themselves. In an emergency, staff will follow normal emergency procedures and call 999.
Please note that to ensure the safety of our visitors, the Garden can close at short notice during extreme weather. Always check our website before you visit.
What you can do to help us
Please follow these additional guidelines below:
- Please do not visit the Garden if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus.
- Plan ahead and check information on our website before you visit.
- Please bring a face covering with you. These are mandatory when visiting any enclosed area within the Garden, including the toilets.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds after using the facilities and use the hand sanitiser dispensers at every opportunity.
- As a charity, we need your support more than ever. When you visit, please give a donation on your arrival or exit. Your much-needed contribution will help us to explore, conserve and to protect the world of plants.
- If you require any further information or have an enquiry about your visit, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 248 2909. Also, follow the latest Scottish Government advice.