Opening Times & Event Info

Dr Neil’s Garden is open every day including weekends from 10 am till Dusk.

Entry is free of charge (except during advertised events) but donations are welcome – see our Support Us page. For commercial group visits we encourage some payment.

Forthcoming events
-“Such frail enclaves” September 23rd to 30th  11:00 to 16:30 daily

Illustrated talks starting 5th October 2017 with “The Scottish Enlightenment”. See What’s On page for more information

Gin Tasting 19th October

The Garden Room
– The Garden Room is now open again for Summer 2017. Opening Hours are:
•Wednesday to Saturday 10:00 to 16:00
•Sunday 13:00 to 14:00

For more information on events and special weekends see the What’s On page.

No dogs allowed


The Tower is open to the public free of charge on Sundays 2pm – 4pm during July and August, or by special arrangement.

History Of Curling Tower at Duddingston



In the hard winters of the 18th century, many  citizens of Edinburgh liked to skate and curl on the frozen Nor’Loch, immediately to the north of the Castle Rock. As the New Town began to take shape in the 1780s it was decided to drain the Nor’ Loch, and a new curling venue became necessary. In 1795 a group of gentlemen formed the Duddingston Curling Society, and erected a small building on the edge of the loch to house their stones.

By the 1820s efforts to enlarge and repair this building proving unsuccessful, it was decided to start again, and the fashionable architect WH Playfair was asked to draw up a design. This new building, most probably on the site of the old one, was completed in 1825.  It is octagonal in plan and has two compartments, one above the other.  The lower one stored the stones, and, though secured with bars, was open to the elements, so that the stones when required would be at the right temperature.

The upper room, accessed separately, was furnished with glazed windows and a fireplace, and there the members could go to warm themselves, to watch the game and, no doubt, to enjoy a wee dram.

The importance of the Duddingston Curling Society lies in their approach to the rules of the game.  First they wrote down their version of the rules, recorded in the Minutes of the Society, and then about 1803, they had the rules printed and copies were distributed to every member. These printed copies, easy to refer to and completely portable, spread quickly throughout Scotland and became the standard form nationally.  The Duddingston rules still form the basis of the international rules today.

Today in Scotland there is very little outdoor curling, and certainly none on Duddingston Loch. Edinburgh curlers play at Murrayfield Ice Rink.

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