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The Cottage: Inside The Quaich

Doors Open Day at the Cottage

17th October 2019

The sun shone on Edinburgh for Doors Open Day on 28th & 29th September and it was wonderful to be able to show almost 800 people around The Cottage at West Princes Street Gardens.

The behind-the scenes tours were one of the first Doors Open Day events to sell out and it just shows the enormous sense of interest and pride in the Gardens held by people from Edinburgh (and beyond). Before the first guests arrived, I spoke to a lovely family from Australia whose daughter recognised ‘Great Aunt Lizzie’s Cottage’ from Teacup Travels and was so excited to spot her very first robin in the Cottage’s garden. That same curious robin also made a visit to our gazebo to find out exactly what was going on.

I had a fantastic day welcoming other visitors to the Cottage including the first couple to arrive in the queue on the Saturday morning. It was so inspiring to hear about people’s connections with the Cottage and the gardens, and we really appreciate visitors sharing their memories with us. I just hope everyone that attended enjoyed themselves as much as I did!

Along with the restoration of the Ross Fountain last year, the upgrade of the Cottage is part of The Quaich Project, which is designed to improve the Gardens’ infrastructure and make it a more accessible, inclusive space for all. The Cottage was designed by Architect Robert Morham in 1886 as a home for the Head Gardener of the Gardens. Visitors at the weekend learned about the Gardens’ importance to Edinburgh’s heritage and social history and also how it is shaping the city’s future.

A big thank you to Mark Kydd and Benjamin Ferguson who played the parts of the Head Gardener and his Apprentice and more than 75 members of the joyous Rock Choir who kept the crowds entertained on the Saturday.

All visitors who attended Doors Open Day were given a presentation on the future plans for the Gardens from The Quaich Project and the chance to speak to members of The Quaich Project team. We have now announced the venues and timetables for the next stage of public consultations that will take place, so make sure to save these dates in your diary:  Have your Say – Public Consultation dates

There will be a full promotion in the coming weeks on radio, in the press and online to ensure that as many people as possible join in the consultation. Please keep an eye on our website and your in-box for more details on how you can be involved and have your say on our plans for West Princes Street Gardens. The team and I look forward to having the chance to speak to you then!

Jules Haston, Director of Development