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Get Involved!

Our group holds meetings, attended by community members, representatives from City of Edinburgh Council and the Parks & Green Spaces, and Edinburgh World Heritage Trust.

You’re welcome to come along and help in any way. For more information please refer to our get involved page.

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A Gateway to the City


Hillside Crescent Gardens and London Road Gardens are open wooded green spaces that form the setting of London Road. Together they make up a broad avenue of trees which create a spectacular approach to the city of Edinburgh along one of the main arterial routes from the East, used by thousands of travellers each day. Both gardens lie within the New Town conservation area and formed part of William Playfair’s 1819 plan for extending Georgian Edinburgh. The two gardens are an important gateway to the city and the local community but they deserve more attention.

In response to this, ‘Inspiring Hillside’ was developed by the Friends of Hillside & Calton Area - a diverse team of local volunteers working together to help restore and develop the gardens to appeal to people of all ages and abilities – to local residents, walkers, joggers, visitors and tourists.

The group has been working with the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust and City of Edinburgh Council to improve and maintain these historic gardens. This collaboration resulted in a Green Flag award in 2010 and the return to use of the B-listed Georgian Garden Cottage as a new restaurant. For more information about the group please visit our about page.

Our success with London Road Gardens has encouraged us to cross the road and turn our attention to Hillside Crescent Gardens. We have worked with local people and the Council to develop and implement plans to enhance landscaping, improve footpaths, create new plantings of trees and wildflowers, introduce new seating areas and develop a sensory garden.


Public art

Since 2010 the group began concentrating on the aspiration to introduce a central piece of public art, as was originally intended by Playfair, in Hillside Crescent Gardens.

In 2017 we became the fortunate recipients of important pieces by the locally born and internationally renowned artist Eduardo Paolozzi. His 'Manuscript of Monte Cassino' sculptures had to be moved from their original location at Picardy Place due to work on the St James Centre. We are delighted at the enormous improvement they bring to the park and the entire area. It remains to be seen if they can be permanent, as the new road layout will probably not allow for their return to the front of St Mary's Cathedral. Read more about this.


We welcome you!

Whether you are new to the area or a long time local, please get involved. There are further goals and we welcome your ideas. To move forward we need volunteers who are passionate about green spaces and willing to help.