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5 Amazing Botanical Gardens to Visit for the Perfect Day Out

Botanical gardens are amazing places to visit are often open during the autumn and winter months. You can find many common and exotic plants to give you inspiration and all are labelled with their botanical names.

There’s a network of these treasure-trove gardens around the UK. Here are ten of the best that are certainly worth a visit this weekend.

1. Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham Botanical GardensThese magnificent gardens are located within 1.5 miles of the city centre. They have a long history having first been designed by a leading horticulturalist and garden planner J.C.Ludon in 1829.

The gardens then opened to the general public a few years later in 1832 and the garden layout has changed very little since its first inception.

If you need to go out your way to visit these gardens you’ll definitely be rewarded with a fine collection of exotic plants that are housed within four impressive glasshouses. These include the Tropical Glasshouse, Mediterranean, Arid and Subtropical Glasshouse.

To the front of the glasshouses there is a large lawned area with surrounding plant beds and shrubberies. The overall feel of the garden is that of a Victorian park complete with a bandstand that is often used for special events throughout the year. This is truly an oasis that is set within the heart of Birmingham in the Edgbaston area of the city.

Garden Opening/Closing Times:

The Gardens are open every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day from 10.00 am.
1 November to 1 April 2013:Doors close at 4.00pm or dusk.

See website for additional opening/closing times throughout the year.

Admission Charges:

Adults – £7.00
Children – £4.75
Concessions – £4.00
Under 5’s – Free

Location: Map

Website: http://www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk/

Tel: 0121 454 1860

2. University of Bristol Botanic Garden

Bristol University Botanic GardenThis beautiful garden is filled with a large and varied selection of plants. There are many eye-catching displays and numerous exotic species that are a feast for the eyes.

The 1.77 hectare garden is home to four essential plant collections and it is the first new university botanic garden to have been created in the last 40 years within the UK.

The four key areas of the garden cover Evolution, Mediterranean Climate Regions, Local Flora & Rare Native Plants and Useful Plants.

Garden Opening/Closing Times:

January, February, March, November and December
Open Monday to Friday
From 10:00am – 4:00pm, or dusk if earlier

See website for additional opening/closing times throughout the year.

Admission Charges:

Adults – £3.50
Under 16 – Free
Garden friends & staff – Free

Location: Map

Website: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/botanic-garden/

Tel: 0117 3314906

3. Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Cambidge Botanic GardenThe university’s botanic garden are set in forty acres of beautiful gardens and glasshouses. There is a huge collection of of plants to give the visitor some much needed inspiration to apply to their own outdoor space.

The garden really does focus on the family experience and encourages children to investigate more through its many information points that give substance and history to the exotic planting.

The garden was created by Professor John Stevens Henslow for the University of Cambridge in 1831 and was opened to the public in 1846. The Garden itself has been designed for year-round interest.

So no matter what time of year you decide to visit you will find a huge array of fascinating fauna and flora. The gardens own published visitor numbers show that there were more than 200,000 visitors in 2011 so it’s well worth a visit.

Garden Opening/Closing Times:

April to September: 10am–6pm
February, March & October: 10am–5pm
January, November & December: 10am–4pm

Admission Charges:

Adults: £4.50
Children 0-16 inclusive: Free
Concession: £3.95
Friend sand students of CUBG: Free

Location: Getting there

Website: http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/Botanic/

Tel: 01223 336265

4. Durham University Botanic Garden

Durham University Botanic GardenThe garden does a great job in attracting people of all ages to this beautiful location with a host of events, guided tours and a local watch group for children and flower shows. This impressive botanical garden has a special collection of exotic plants that originate from all over the world and are certainly worth seeking out.

The garden’s 24.7 acre plot of exotic plants include specimens from Japan, China, Chile, and many other locations from the continents of South Africa to Eastern Asia. With the gardens being located on the southern outskirts of Durham City it means that there are many areas of beautiful woodland with familiar plants and wildlife to be seen.

The glasshouse contains tropical rain-forest plants and many species from the Mediterranean region. Children will also find the tropical bugs, stick insects, scorpions and tarantulas of real interest. The garden as a whole provides all-year-round interest so will make a great destination whatever the time of year.

Garden Opening/Closing Times:

10am to 4pm (November until the end of February)
10am to 5pm (March until the end of October)

Admission Charges:

Adults – £4.00
Children & Students – £1.50
Concessions – £3.00
Infants (under 5) – Free

Location: Map

Website: http://www.dur.ac.uk/botanic.garden/

Tel: 0191 33 45521

5. Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Sheffield Botanical GardensThe Sheffield Gardens are home to over five thousand varieties of plants and are all set in nineteen acres of land. The gardens have recently had a significant restoration with around £6.7 million being spent. Most of the money was raised through a generous donation from the Heritage Lottery Fund with an award of over £5 million.

The garden were first opened in 1836 and designed by Robert Marnock. The glass pavilions are of significant importance being Grade II and were reopened after restoration in 2003. Must-see buildings within the gardens include the south entrance lodge, the main gateway and a bear pit.

There are a number of stand-out highlights that mean a visit here will be enjoyed by all.  Notable areas of interest include the National Collection – Diervilla and National Collection – Sarcococca. The garden prides itself on the diversity of its species meaning there’s interesting plant-life to see all year round.

Garden Opening/Closing Times:

Winter: 8am–4pm
Summer:8.00am – dusk / 7.45pm
Check on Bank Holidays

Admission Charges:

Free entry for all.

Location: Map

Website: http://www.sbg.org.uk/
Tel: 0114 268 6001

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