Dr Niel’s Garden, along the shore of Duddingston Loch, is a secluded treasure that offers natural beauty, peace, and inspiration to visitors. Situated in one corner of the garden is Thomson’s Tower, built in 1825 for the curious purpose of storing curling stones. It was there that the rules for curling were set down, standardising a sport that would be played worldwide. The octagonal building takes its name from the Reverend John Thomson, minister at nearby Duddingston Kirk, who repurposed the unused upstairs into a painting studio and space for entertaining like-minded artists. Over time, the tower fell into disrepair. Thankfully, it was restored to its glory in 2008 and now is home to memorabilia from its storied past. We suggest reaching out ahead of time to arrange a visit to the tower – it’s a special experience experiencing the origins of an Olympic sport.