Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden is the second oldest institution of its kind in Britain (after Oxford), and one of the most respected in the world. Founded near Holyrood in 1670 and moved to its present location in 1823, its 70 beautifully landscaped acres include splendid Victorian glass houses, colourful swathes of rhododendron and azalea, and a world famous rock garden. The garden's new visitor centre, the John Hope Gateway, is housed in a striking, environmentally-friendly building overlooking the main entrance on Arboretum Place.
The centre has exhibitions on biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development, as well as displays of rare plants from the institution's collection and a specially created biodiversity garden. Take Lothian Bus 8, 23 or 27 to the East Gate, or the Majestic Tour bus to the main entrance.