Edinburgh is a city full of culture and history. But at the same time, it is a city full of green and open spaces. Imagine stepping out of Marks and Spencers after three hours of shopping frenzy, crossing the road and entering into a world of immaterial green vegetation. That would be you in Princess Stree Gardens!
On the south side of Princess Street, built in a valley between Old Town and New Town, these gardens were created in the 1820s after the drainage of Nor Loch, a large loch in the middle of the City Centre which was used for sewage.With Princess Street on one hand and the silhouette of the Old Town with Edinburgh Castle towering on top, the Gardens run the entire length from West End to East End. They are divided in the middle by the complex of the Scottish National Gallery and The Mound, a street that was built to connect the Old Town with the New Town.
Right on the corner of the Mound there is the Floral Clock, which is replanted every year and has its hands and face covered with flowers.On the east side of the Gardens you can find the Scott Monument, a Gothic 200 feet monument in the style of Melrose Abbey which was built in the 1840s in memory of Sir Walter Scott.
Underneath the east part of the Gardens there is also Waverley Station, Edinburgh’s main train station. The railway line was tucked in a deep cutting underneath the Gardens and cannot be seen from street level.
Before Christmas, the Gardens change their face and become “Winter Wonderland”. There is a Christmas Market with handicrafts and food from all over the world. There are multiple rides, an ice rink and a 33 metre Ferris wheel.
Princess Street Gardens are an excellent example on how to integrate green areas into a thriving city. When you need to escape the bustle of busy street life, the Gardens are your first option.
If you want to share your opinion about the Princess Street Gardens, or if you have a recommendation for green spaces in Edinburgh, please post a comment!