The Gardens were created in the 1820s following the long draining of the Nor Loch and building of the New Town, beginning in the 1760s. The loch, situated on the north side of the town, was originally an artificial creation forming part of its medieval defences and made expansion northwards difficult. The water was habitually polluted from sewage draining downhill from the Old Town.
The gardens run along the south side of Princes Street and are divided by The Mound, on which the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy buildings are located.
East Princes Street Gardens is the annual home of Edinburgh’s Christmas Market along with the Mound. While West Princes Street Gardens often sees thousands of music fans descend on the Ross Bandstand for concerts, including the main Hogmanay party every year.
The city centre gardens are a popular spot for visitors and locals alike, with sun worshippers heading there every summer to soak up the rays, either in the shadows of Edinburgh Castle in the west gardens or the Scott Monument in the east gardens.