Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens: Light Up the Night

About a month ago I saw a sign advertising Botanic Lights at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens. I went online and bought tickets for Sam and I to go this past Friday figuring it was something to do. I was not sure what to expect, maybe some Halloween themed decorations with orange lights or just some white Christmas lights woven throughout the foliage. I was wrong on both accounts and was completely overwhelmed and impressed with what we experienced that exceeded all expectations.

Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
Entering the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

You purchase tickets for not only a specific day, but also a specific time for your tour on the 1.5 km path. Our allotted time was 6pm, the first tour of the night. We were able to see a great sunset as we began our tour.

Beautiful sunset

The tour through the garden was an experience for the eyes and ears. Elements were not limited to colorful lighting, but also included music, water and smoke. A stop in the Chinese gardens standing on a bridge allowed you to see a film projected into misting water. It was difficult to get photos, but some of the scenes were a dog running behind a man, the scene below of mountains and grand finale of a huge dragon.

Chinese gardens
Chinese gardens, film projected into misting water

Two stops along the route provided opportunities for refreshments, a vintage Pimms truck served beverages for adults and children, hot chocolate for Sam and a hot brandy and ginger ale for me! Later, homemade marshmallows could be bought in s’mores or roasted over coals on a kebab stick.

Vintage Pimms truck
Vintage Pimms truck
Homemade marshmallows
Homemade marshmallows
Homemade marshmallows

What I loved was the anticipation that the tour created. You continuously wondered what was next?

At this wish tree, people could write wishes or thoughts on ribbons and then tie them to the front railing. Sam’s message was simple “Happy Halloween”, can’t argue with that five year old sentiment.

Wish tree
Wish tree

The tour proceeded to delight with a very long walk underneath Chinese lanterns, a spider web of lit rope and a water, music and light show.

Royal Botanic Garden
Royal Botanic Garden, spider web
Royal Botanic Garden
Royal Botanic Garden

I loved this tree!

Royal Botanic Garden

Iconic places in the garden that were illuminated included the 100 year old hedgerow that covers over 500 feet and the Tropical Palm House that was built in 1832.

Palm House
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Established in 1670, the Garden has a long history focused on conservation and education. That message was emphasized in a film projected on to the side of this building towards the end of the tour.

Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

The tour continues through November 6th but many dates on the web site are already sold out so act quickly if you want to take advantage of this delightful event.

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