Opens at 7am. Closing time changes: 1 January to 26 March 3:30pm. 27 March to 23 April 4:30pm. 24 April to 28 May 5:30pm. 29 May to 27 August 7:30pm. 28 August to 24 September 5:30pm. 25 September to 29 October 4:30pm. 30 October to 31 December 3:30pm.
Historical Gardens, Seating
Dunbar’s Close on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town is a hidden gem. The garden has been laid out in the style and character of a 17th century garden. To enter you travel along a narrow, cobbled close. It opens out into a surprisingly tranquil and elegant parterre of clipped shrubs under a cosy green canopy of trees. Beyond the entrance are further parterres, each with different atmospheres and all are sheltered thanks to high church walls on the west side and clipped hedging on the others. Entrance to the garden is free of charge.
History and heritage
The garden is special, particularly when the trees are in full leaf. It has such an authentic sense of place that you feel like you are one of the few to have discovered it. It is hard to believe that somewhere so peaceful, so city centre, was a building site until 1976 when The Mushroom Trust funded the creation of a new garden by Seamus Filor, landscape architect. The Mushroom Trust handed the garden over to the City of Edinburgh on completion and is still involved in its management.
The close was probably named after David Dunbar, a writer who owned the tenements at the garden’s entrance.