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Botanic Gardens

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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.

If a park contains a 3G pitch, its gates may remain open while the pitches are booked for play. Users must leave the park promptly after play finishes on the 3G pitches as the park gates will be locked within 15 minutes.

 Date  Closing time 
2018
12 November - 31 December 2018 4.30pm
2019
1 January 2019 – 27 January 2019 4.30pm
28 January – 3 February 2019 5pm
4 – 17 February 2019 5.30pm
18 February – 3 March 2019 6pm
4 – 17 March 2019 6.30pm
18 – 24 March 2019 7pm
25 March – 31 March 2019 8pm
1 – 14 April 2019 8.30pm 
15 – 28 April 2019
9pm
29 April – 5 May 2019 9.30pm (9pm for Botanic Gardens)
6 May – 28 July 2019 10pm (9pm for Botanic Gardens)
29 July – 11 August 2019 9.30pm (9pm for Botanic Gardens)
12 – 25 August 2019 9pm
26 August – 1 September 2019 8.30pm
2 – 15 September 2019 8pm
16 – 29 September 2019 7.30pm
30 September – 13 October 2019 7pm
14 – 20 October 2019 6.30pm
21 – 27 October 2019 5.30pm
28 October – 10 November 2019 5pm
11 November – 31 December 2019 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

Botanic Gardens was awarded the Green Flag Award in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. This award 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.

ParkLife Saturday Club at Botanic Gardens

ParkLife is a fun and free educational programme, designed to encourage children and their families to become more active and involved in outdoor activities in parks and open spaces across the city.

This project is run by Belfast City Council in partnership with Ulster Wildlife, aiming to increase children’s interaction with nature at their local park. ParkLife is open to children between the ages of 7-12. Children under 7 are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.

If you are interested in registering for our Saturday Clubs at Botanic Gardens, contact parklife@belfastcity.gov.uk for a registration form or contact the Outdoor Recreation and Education Officer on 028 9032 0202 ext. 3199.

Saturday Clubs  usually run on one Saturday in every month.

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