Lothianburn business no longer a secret as visitor numbers tripled in a year

Hamish Martin and his daughter Francesca Martin at  The Secret Herb Garden.
Hamish Martin and his daughter Francesca Martin at The Secret Herb Garden.

Visitors to The Secret Herb Garden have tripled in the last year, from 7000 to 21,000, resulting in the creation of 15 new jobs and an estimated turnover of £1.75 million.

Hamish Martin and his wife Liberty founded the business at the foot of the Pentland Hills at Lothianburn in October 2012 and now have 28 employees.

Hamish Martin with the company's gin.

Hamish Martin with the company's gin.

The site also contains the Old Curiosity Gin distillery, which is the only gin botanical garden with a distillery in the UK, created by Hamish in 2017.

Hamish said: “We are delighted with the growing success of The Secret Herb Garden and to be able to welcome even more visitors than ever before.

“We have something for everyone from being free to walk in the glasshouse and botanical gardens, smell the flowers and learn more in workshops to a great award winning café and gin tours, all making for a great day out.

“The support we’ve received from organisations like Business Gateway Midlothian has really helped us along the way in so many different areas, including planning and exporting which we are hugely grateful for.”

The ongoing support from Business Gateway Midlothian includes strategy and marketing development and linking up to the council’s employability team to provide apprenticeships for young people.

Ann Marie Macaskill, head of Business Gateway Midlothian, said: “The Secret Herb Garden is a fantastic local business that puts sustainability and nature at the heart of its offer. It has been fantastic learning and working with the team as they continue to educate, preserve and grow in Midlothian and create even more local jobs.”