Botanic Gardens is an important part of Belfast's Victorian heritage and a popular meeting place for residents, students and tourists.
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. It's 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
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.
Today, the park is popular with residents, students and tourists and
is an important venue for concerts, festivals and other events.
Directions to Botanic Gardens
Entrance to the park is via 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. If you are walking to the park from Belfast City Hall, go along Bedford Street, Dublin Road and University Road and follow the signposts.