Beautiful Edinburgh 'hidden gem' garden many locals don't know about named most ‘peaceful’ spot in UK

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Secluded Edinburgh garden ranks at No.1 on list of most peaceful places in UK

A little known Edinburgh beauty spot has been named as the “most peaceful spot” in the UK.

It comes as new analysis reveals where Capital residents and visitors can find tranquility in the city, after it was named the “noisiest” in the UK.

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Spanning the UK, Europe and the US, new research by Earth.fm—a non-profit which is like Spotify, but for nature sounds—aims to connect residents and tourists in noisy cities with nearby parks and open spaces that visitors describe as calm and peaceful. The research ranks the cities by comparing the percentage of residents who are exposed to noise levels exceeding 65 decibels in an average day, and in Edinburgh, it’s 22.4%, which puts the city is top spot, even ahead of the likes of London.

Dr Neil's Garden is one of Edinburgh's best kept secrets. Lying next to Duddingston Kirk the secluded garden has a small pond featuring arched bridge, fountain and seating, making it a peaceful spot and perfect for nature lovers.Dr Neil's Garden is one of Edinburgh's best kept secrets. Lying next to Duddingston Kirk the secluded garden has a small pond featuring arched bridge, fountain and seating, making it a peaceful spot and perfect for nature lovers.
Dr Neil's Garden is one of Edinburgh's best kept secrets. Lying next to Duddingston Kirk the secluded garden has a small pond featuring arched bridge, fountain and seating, making it a peaceful spot and perfect for nature lovers.

But there are some wonderful spaces in and around Edinburgh that offer a sense of tranquility. By analysing visitors’ reviews that mention words like “quiet”, “relaxing”, “tranquil”, “calm”, and “peaceful”, researchers at Earth.fm gave each place a ‘Quiet Score’.

Taking top spot to be named the “most peaceful spot in the country” is Dr Neil’s Garden, a hidden gem beauty spot that even many locals don’t know exists. The secluded garden ranked second globally, out of a huge 3,300+ places across the UK, mainland Europe and the US that were included in the research.

Lying next to the 12th Century Duddingston Kirk, where the lower slopes of Arthur’s Seat meet Duddingston Loch, Dr Neil’s Garden is an oasis of calm, which usually opens to the public around March to October each year.

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Described by Lonely Planet as Edinburgh’s “quintessential secret garden”, Dr Neil’s Garden began its life in 1963 as husband-and-wife GPs, Nancy and Andrew Neil, started cultivating a once “scrappy piece of wilderness” into a tranquil setting.

Nine other places feature in Edinburgh’s “most peaceful” list – Dunbar’s Close Garden, Pentland Hills, Royal Botanic Garden, Princes Street Gardens, Inverleith Park, The Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill Local Nature Reserve, The Meadows, Dalkeith Country Park and Portobello Beach.

To find out more about other cities and parks that appeared in the analysis, plus the methodology, you can look at the research in full by visiting https://earth.fm/the-quietest-places-in-the-worlds-loudest-cities

Catalin Zorzini, Founder of Earth.fm, said: “Opportunities to find quiet—away from traffic noise, pneumatic drills, and the general city buzz—are so important for our mental wellbeing.

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“We could say it’s also crucial for the wellbeing of our planet, which is suffering mostly because we have grown so disconnected from it. We recognise that, for most of us, it’s a privilege to regularly leave the city in search of birdsong, flowing rivers, and rustling leaves, which is why we wanted to find out where some of the most calming spaces are within easy reach.

“The Earth.fm team has pulled together a new interactive world map, showcasing the parks and open spaces we discovered during our detailed analysis of reviews they’ve received.

“Whether you live in or are visiting some of the world’s noisiest cities, we hope this research will open a doorway into the tranquil places that can be found in even the unlikeliest of urban locations.”

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