Inverleith Park is a sort of mirror-image of the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens, one on one side of Arboretum Avenue and one on the other. Maybe sisters would be a better description. Occupying almost the same amount of ground, the one is lauded for its unusual plants and trees, carefully guarded and manicured, the other, this public park, is formed primarily of wide-open grassy spaces for dogs to catch balls and owners to gossip.
Round the outside are boulevards of mature lime and sycamore, and there’s even a turkey oak. The Inverleith Allotments are in one quadrant, the pond in a second, tennis courts and even a Petanque Club are in the third, while a grand walkway cuts the whole in two. The East gates have a pair of stone lions in memoriam to Alison Hay Dunlop, antiquarian (erected 1890), and in the centre is a fountain in memory of John Charles Dunlop (1899).
Small children can enjoy the playpark, and adults play table tennis or do physical jerks on wooden climbing frames around the periphery. You’ll find that Edinburgh locals flock here in all seasons, lounging with our bar-b-qs in summer, snowballing in winter and ooh-ing and aah-ing at the autumn colours. I love wandering along the boardwalk over the Bog Garden watching Moorhens, and picking up my Green Tea from the Milk mobile van (open 7 days, Mon – Sun 8:30 – 16:00) at the entrance to the Kinloch Anderson Sundial Garden which has the following inscription: “So passes life, Alas! How swift.”