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Botanic Gardens

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
Toilet facilities

Green Flag Awards 2014

Fourteen of our parks, cemeteries and open spaces now hold a Green Flag award, the national excellence standard for parks management. 

Our Green Flag parks 
Barnett Demesne Lagan Meadows 
Belmont Park Musgrave Park
Botanic Gardens Ormeau Park 
Cave Hill Country Park Roselawn Cemetery 
Dunville Park Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park 
Falls ParkWaterworks
Grove Playing Fields Woodvale Park

 

You can find out more about the Green Flag Awards at www.greenflagaward.org.uk

Park opening hours

All our parks open at 7.30am and close at the following times throughout the year. Flora Street Park closes at 4pm (subject to review).

 Date Closing time 
4 May - 26 July 2014 10pm (9pm in Botanic Gardens)
27 July - 9 August 2014 9pm 
10 August - 30 August 2014 8.30pm 
31 August - 6 September 20148pm 
7 September -  20 September 20147.30pm 
21 September - 4 October 2014 7pm 
5 October - 18 October 2014 6.30pm 
19 October - 25 October 2014 6pm 
26 October - 1 November 20145.30pm 
2 November - 3 January 20154.30pm 

 

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 and 2013 Botanic Gardens was awarded the Green Flag Award, which recognises the best open spaces in the UK. It is one of 12 of our parks, cemeteries and open spaces to receive this award.

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


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