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Botanic Gardens

Help make Botanic Gardens the UK's number one!

Garden News are on a mission to find the UK's Best 100 Gardens and Botanic Gardens is in the running.

So far there has been an amazing response as people are voting for their favourite gardens across the country. But, time is running out as voting closes Monday 23 July.

Botanic Gardens is an important part of Belfast's Victorian heritage and a popular meeting place for residents, students and tourists. It is home to the Palm House and the newly refurbished Tropical Ravine.

To vote visit Garden News Magazine.

Botanic Gardens playground

The playground is currently closed and will reopen Summer 2018.

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College Park,
Botanic Avenue,
BT7 1LP

Botanic Gardens is home to the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine.

The Palm House contains a range of tropical plants, hanging baskets, seasonal displays and birds of paradise, and is one of the earliest examples of a glasshouse made from curved iron and glass. It shows how advances in glasshouse technology allowed horticulturists to grow exotic plant species during the Victorian period.

The building was designed by Sir Charles Lanyon, who also helped design parts of nearby Queen's University. The foundation stone was laid in 1839 and the two wings were completed in 1840 by leading ironmaster, Richard Turner. The dome was added in 1852.

The Tropical Ravine contains some of the oldest seed plants around today, as well as banana, cinnamon, bromeliad and orchid plants. It was built in 1889 by the park's head gardener, Charles McKimm, and his staff.

Like the Palm House, it shows how technology allowed gardeners to cultivate unusual species in a greenhouse environment. Features of interest include a plant-filled sunken glen, flowering vines, tree ferns and leaf silhouettes.

Botanic Gardens was established in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society, in response to public interest in horticulture and botany. Originally known as the Belfast Botanic Garden, the site contained exotic tree species and impressive plant collections from the southern hemisphere, many of which can still be seen in the park.

Unfortunately for the Society, the gardens proved expensive to run and many shareholders felt that the park's horticulture was compromised by financial issues. The site was eventually sold to the Belfast Corporation (now the Belfast City Council) and it re-opened as a public park, known as Botanic Gardens, in 1895.

Today, the park is popular with residents, students and tourists and is an important venue for concerts, festivals and other events.

Facilities

Sports facilities
Playground
Toilet facilities

Park opening hours

Orangefield Park and Victoria Park are open 24/7. The rest of our parks open at 7.30am and close at the following times throughout the year.

  

 Date  Closing time 
7 May - 29 July 2018 10pm (9pm for Botanic Gardens)
30 July - 12 August 2018 9.30pm (9pm for Botanic Gardens)
13 August - 26 August  2018 9pm 
27 August - 2 September 2018 8.30pm
3 September - 16 September 2018 8pm 
17 September - 30 September 2018 7.30pm
1 October - 14 October 2018 7pm
15 October - 21 October 2018 6.30pm
22 October - 28 October 2018 5.30pm
29 October - 11 November 2018 5pm
12 November - 30 December 2018 4.30pm

Getting here

Enter the park at Botanic Avenue, Stranmillis Embankment and University Road. Take any Metro no. 8 and get off at Queen's University. You can also take Metro no.7 and get off at College Park.

Award nomination

In 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, Botanic Gardens was awarded the Green Flag Award, which recognises the best open spaces in the UK. 

Other attractions

Botanic Gardens contains assorted tropical plants, giant bird feeders, a rose garden, an alpine garden, mature trees, flower beds and sculptures.

Walking routes

View walking routes

Useful links
Contact us


Contact 028 9031 4762 or 07767 271683 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm only)
Email Email