Glasgow Botanic Gardens
730 Great Western Road
(at Queen Margaret Drive)
Tel: 0141 334 2422
Opening hours: The Gardens are open from 7am until dusk daily. Glasshouses open 10am – 4.45pm (4.15 in winter). Visitor centre open 11am – 4pm.
The Glasgow Botanic Gardens are reknowned worldwide for their impressive tropical and temperate plant collections from around the world.
The Botanic Gardens is a large parkland situated in the West End of the city (a 5 minute walk from Hillhead underground station). The gardens were created in 1817, in order to supply the University of Glasgow. They were originally used as a venue for concerts and other events, until 1891 when the gardens were incorporated into the park and gardens of the City of Glasgow.
The Botanic Gardens house several massive glasshouses. One of these, Kibble Palace, is one of the most prestigious iron and glass structures remaining from the Victorian era. As one of the largest glasshouses in Britain, it covers a total area of 2137 square metres. Kibble Palace was originally designed and built by John Kibble for his private home on Loch Long in the 1860s. However it was brought to the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow by barge along the River Clyde, and was assembled at it’s current location in 1873. After being used as a concert venue, it was eventually used for growing plants in the 1880s. It underwent a large-scale restoration programme between 2004 and 2006, when the palace was dismantled, repaired for conservation purposes and then rebuilt.
Within the grounds of the Botanic Gardens there are many species of horticultural and botanical interest. Kibble Palace houses the national collection of tree ferns (including those from Australia and New Zealand). The glasshouses also host an extensive collection of tropical plants from Africa, the Americas and the Far East. In my opinion, the large collection of tropical orchids is simply breathtaking. Within the grounds there is a 200 year old Weeping Ash tree, something that I feel is quite exceptional and always makes me feel insignificant.
There are also a number of nice walks by the River Kelvin, and the Botanic Gardens are a particularly nice spot for a picnic on a nice day. The Gardens also host a number of events throughout the year. More details of these can be found on the Glasgow City Council website here.
The Gardens are open from 7.00am till dusk daily, but the specific facilities within the park are subject to opening times.
Glasshouses: 10.00am – 4.45pm (4.15pm in winter)
Visitor Centre: 11.00am – 4.00pm
Toilets: 10.00am – 5.00pm (this may vary through the year)