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Princes Street Gardens & Mary’s Milk Bar

9 June 2023

You’ll be surprised by how little you will need to travel from The Townhouse – with its central location in the heart of Edinburgh – to find a blossoming haven to explore as a green respite from the buzz of the city.

A short walk from the Townhouse’s steps and famously lining the boundary of the new and old towns, Princes Street Gardens offers over 37 acres of botanical allure, colourful in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle that sits prominently on the western side. Not to be missed during a summer visit to the capital, the world-renowned Floral Clock on the northeast corner of the west side of Princes Street Gardens is in full bloom between July and October. First commissioned in 1903, this striking and immaculately tended display now exhibits more than 30,000 different plants. Each year sees a reiteration of the design in order to celebrate individuals or groups who have contributed impactfully to the Edinburgh community. Also on the west side of the gardens, and with the Castle as its striking backdrop, sits The Ross Fountain, a historically acclaimed cast-iron 19th century sculpture that forms the perfect summer meeting spot for visitors and locals to relax together in the sunshine with a spectacular view.

When exploring the gardens on a particularly warm day, what could accompany your stroll through the greenery better than a cool cone of gelato?

We recommend Mary’s Milk Bar, a gelataria with castle views that combines the charm of a traditional milk bar with a changing daily menu reminiscent of an authentic Italian ice cream parlour. Pick your favourite flavour and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the epicentre of Edinburgh’s world heritage site.


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