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Edinburgh's garden of Eden

It's now commonly known that the Mini Mack experience isn't just about visiting the hotspots of Edinburgh, but rather the hidden gems which even the locals don't know about.  Dr Neil's Garden based down in Duddingston Village is the epitome of this ideal.  A microcosm that has no right to survive in our cities climate, but actually thrives as one of the most picturesque and beautiful areas Edinburgh.  

I'm not going to give you the history of the garden as you can find it here www.drneilsgarden.co.uk or simply come on tour with us.  If you ever do venture down to Old Church Lane I can tell what you can expect.  A collection of plants and trees collated from around the world protected by Arthurs Seat from the coastal off the Firth of Forth.  A gang of geese, mallards, ducks and other water based birds which have their very own wildlife park connected beside the garden.  Looking onto Duddingston loch you can imagine hundreds, even thousands of ice skaters and curlers using the loch during the very late 18th century when we had the coldest of winters.  Look out for 'Stan the man' the cockiest of pheasants with the best coat in town looking after his harem of four hens.  Perhaps most importantly, say hello to the Head Gardner of 14 years, Claudia, with her tribe of volunteers and trusty dog 'Bear'. Claudia is the next level creator, maintainer and protector of this wonderful ecosystem who at the drop of a hat will give you the common and latin name for any shrub, plant, tree or blade of grass found on her patch.

I've only touched on a few things of what to see and do in Edinburgh's best kept secret, so to find out more you will have to venture down to see for yourself.  Already I have bumped into local friends who have headed to the garden for a wee cup of tea (great tea room by the way) and piece of cake.  Just don't tell too many people about this garden of Eden and let's keep this a secret between us :)

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smallcarBIGCITY meets BIGGERCARsmallercity

The great thing about the tourism industry, especially within a niche market is the level of enthusiasm and general openness we have received within the industry since starting the Mini Mack Tours.  smallcarBIGCITY (a classic car hire and tour company based in London) certainly falls into that bracket and warmly welcomed when they reached out to us to say they would be in Edinburgh for the weekend.  When I say they, it was Tony Grant (Head Gasket of smallcar) and his lovely wife Julia who made the trip up North to check us Edinburgers out.  

Taking a slight detour from the normal route, we started off with a wee walk along Portobello promenade which is based in the East of Edinburgh, right on the Firth of Forth.  True to a typical early March day, it was fricking freezing, but nice for our new friends to see something new and to my mind the beach is an under used asset for visitors of Edinburgh as a whole. From there we ventured off to our first 3 stops on the regular tour showcasing the hidden delights of our beautiful city.   Since we have only been running our tours for 10 months it was great to hear from another fellow professional, their thoughts and opinions as to the locations and experience our tour offers, as well as get a few pointers and tips for future tours.    

If you are ever in London, you need to check these guys out  www.smallcarbigcity.com   With a fleet of beautiful classic minis, their tours will take you on experiences based on the Beatles, the Italian Job, treasure hunts, team building events as well as quick private tours around the parts of the city most people don't get to see - a bit like us :)   Meeting your so called 'competitors' has been a pleasure as well as an education in making sure our customers have the best time while visiting their chosen city. After all, this is the reason why we do it!

 

 

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