Our Top 10 Spots to view Cherry Blossoms in Edinburgh
Cherry blossom season is one of my favourite times of year here in Edinburgh. From the middle/ end of April in to early May, cherry blossom trees across the city burst in too bloom, and fluffy clouds of pink and white fill our parks and streets. We’re a little late this year – this time last year the city was in full bloom already – but the smattering of blossoms has been growing over the past few weeks and the final cherry trees are ready to burst open. It’s the perfect time to share our top spots to view cherry blossoms in Edinburgh. There’s even a handy map for you at the end of this post, to find the best cherry blossom viewing spot near you! So, in no particular order…
The Meadows – a large public park just to the south of the Old Town, is one of the top cherry blossom spot in Edinburgh, drawing the crowds due to its central location and abundance of trees. The trees, planted either side of the paths that criss-cross the Meadows, create dreamy tunnels of blossoms every Spring. The trees in the Meadows are always among the last to bloom, but it’s worth the wait. It’s a very busy photo spot once they are all in full bloom, so arrive early if you want a crowd-free shot.
Starbank Park is a true hidden gem, tucked away in Newhaven in the north of the city. The walled garden gives it a secluded feel, with plenty of benches scattered around to sit and appreciate the magical sea of pink blossoms. There’s a wee fairy/nature trail for kids too, and two community libraries – one for adult and one for kids books. Starbank Park also hosts a Cherry Blossom Picnic every May.
Braidburn Valley Park
As name implies, Braidburn Valley Park is set along sloping hillsides in the south of the city. One of the hillsides at the south end of the park is covered with over 400 pink and white blossomed cherry trees. According to the Braidburn Valley Park website, the trees “were planted in 1935 by the Guides Association in the shape of their emblem – a trefoil.” The trees are planted in avenues crossing the hillside, and the display when they are all in bloom is magnificent.
If I was pressed to name a favourite cherry blossom spot out of all of these, it would probably be Braidburn Valley Park as it’s easier to get to than Starbank Park, and less busy than The Meadows.
Kyoto Friendship Garden at Laurison Castle
The Kyoto Friendship Garden opened in 2002 and is situated in the grounds of Lauriston Castle in the north-west of the city. Edinburgh was twinned with Kyoto Prefecture in Japan in 1994, and the garden was designed to celebrate the enduring relationship. It has been named one of the top Japanese gardens in Britain. Considering the Japanese love of cherry blossoms, it’s no surprise the garden includes many cherry blossom trees, and it looks stunning when they are all in bloom. The garden is equally worth a visit in Autumn too, when the Japanese maple trees turn red.
Princes Street Gardens
In Edinburgh’s city centre, rows of cherry blossom trees line the edge of Princes Street Gardens, creating a sea of pink every Spring along the length of Princes Street that looks spectacular. There’s more cherry trees in the gardens themselves too. Providing a picture postcard perfect frame for Edinburgh Castle, this is a cherry blossom viewing spot popular with tourists and locals alike.
Harrison Park & Merchiston Park
Though maybe not as plentiful as the spots mentioned above, both Harrison Park (pictured) and Merchiston Park- which side by side along the Union Canal – have a decent grouping of cherry blossom trees. And in both parks, the trees are adjacent to playgrounds, so a great destination to head with kids.
And to round off our Top 10, here are a few other cherry blossom spots in Edinburgh that I don’t have any photos of yet:
St Andrew Square Gardens
An underrated spot in the New Town, pink cherry blossom trees take over a corner of the gardens in the middle of St Andrew Square, framing the 150-foot Melville Monument and surrounding buildings.
At the bottom of the Royal Mile, the 17th century old Canongate Kirk with its bright red doors is perfectly framed every Spring by two very stately cherry blossom trees. On the street outside the kirk, you’ll find the statue of local poet Robert Fergusson, which makes a great addition to photographs.
Deaconess Garden is one of Edinburgh’s lesser known gardens, south-east of the city centre, just a stone’s throw away from Holyrood Park. The small garden comprises an area of grass and flower borders, surrounded by cherry trees.
Royal Botanic Garden
You’ll find lots of things in bloom at the ‘Botanics’ in Spring, one of the best times of year to visit. There’s a particularly beautiful cherry blossom tree near the East Gate entrance.