Sometimes there's nothing better than escaping the fast pace of the city and getting out there and embracing mother nature. If you're not the type that enjoys long walks in the hills however, or if you just want to relax, The Secret Herb Garden is one of the most magical and peaceful spots I've found just outside of Edinburgh.
The Garden was born out of its founders' dreams of bringing the 'magic of herbs alive.' What this means is that the couple grow a variety of herbs and plants on their lovely plot of land placed perfectly at the foot of the Pentland Hills, and share it with the public! So, what's there to do here? Well, first off, I'd visit the cafe and shop. This is a great space if you're after a pot of loose leaf tea or a coffee to enjoy sat outside (if you're lucky), or in the cafe or greenhouse. Additionally, if you're peckish you can enjoy home-made food grown and produced at the Garden itself. We enjoyed delicious homemade soup served in enamel cups, accompanied by homemade bread. It's great knowing that what you're eating and drinking are largely products of the nature around you, and sitting outside surrounded by beautiful scenery makes for a very relaxing and calming experience. The shop is a further extension of the garden, supplying products born out of the nursery, including candles, honey, tea, coffee, flowers and medicinal and culinary herbs. You'll also find goods from Scottish artists and makers and a strong vintage theme!
Once you've enjoyed the delights of the cafe and shop, get out and wander around. Head into the Glasshouse in which there are comfy armchairs dotted around, so you can take a seat surrounded by growing herbs and plants, or just walk around and explore the delights of nature.
The plot also includes a School and Herb Drying Room. This space is used to host courses throughout the year, spanning subjects from growing herbs to bee keeping, candle making to foraging. Even if you haven't signed up for a class however, you can pop your head in and have a little nosey. Keep on wandering around and you'll find the Drying Room, the space used to preserve the herbs and flowers which are then used in the cafe and shop.
What I enjoyed about this place was simply wandering around the land, coming across plants and herbs I'd never heard of, seeing bees at work, relaxing outside with a pot of tea and soup grown on the land, and enjoying a different, natural side to Edinburgh I don't usually see.
The couple that established this place back in 2014 have great ethos of welcoming everyone to come in and enjoy the land and nature, and utilise it as much as possible. This place really is magical and unique. I'd definitely recommend planning a trip here when the weather is pleasant, making walking around the fields that bit nicer. Driving from the city centre will take you approx. half an hour (depending from where exactly you're coming from.) There are also buses you can take which may take a little longer.