greenyonder tours

Hidden Gardens of the Royal Mile

Chessels Court

Greenyonder's most popular tour. Take an easy walking tour to discover a little-known side of Edinburgh's Old Town: behind the historic buildings find the surprising number of gardens and green 'nooks and crannies', all with a story to tell. 

You'll hear about grand gardens of the past, enjoy productive community gardens created by today's residents, and take a breather in a beautiful space laid out and planted as a 17th century Scots town garden.

'I've found the perfect event to calm the spirits. Two hours spent in brilliant sunshine on a guided tour of the public and community gardens tucked away out of sight on the Royal Mile. The fascinating tales of social pioneers, slum clearance and residents coming together to create community gardens held the group's attention for two hours ... Despite visiting Edinburgh for 25 years I realise I've only scratched the surface and hope to have another chance to explore this city in the company of Greenyonder Tours." Dark Chat review, 2014

"Anyone who has spent even five minutes on the Royal Mile in the middle of August, will surely find the idea of a garden - a cool, serene place of reflection and relaxation - to be the very last thing on their mind. Where, in all the throngs of street performers, flyers and slow moving tourists, could one possible be hiding? This question would probably go some way to explaining why Greenyonder’s tours of these and other urban nature spots are so popular. Founded seven years ago by local Jean Bareham, with the aim of bringing secret green places to a wider audience, this is an informative and extremely peaceful ninety minutes." TV Bomb review, 2015




Meet outside John Knox House (Scottish Storytelling Centre), 43 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR.


Tour lasts 1 hour 45 minutes, and covers up to one mile of mainly pavement walking; some slopes and cobbled surfaces. We finish at the Scottish Parliament.


Private bookings:

Private bookings for groups and individuals are welcome from 1 April - 31 October (excluding August). Check here for more details.

If you'd like to book a private tour at a date and time to suit you, please phone 0131 558 8240 or email

Cost of private bookings:

Private group bookings cost £5 per person, with a minimum charge of £50. Private individual bookings £50.

Suitable for individuals and groups from 1 - 20. (Groups smaller than 10 people would share the minimum charge of £50.)

updated 27 August 2017