Northern Ireland Sights

Botanic Gardens

  • Garden/Arboretum

Published 08/11/2015

Fodor's Review

In the Victorian heyday, it was not unusual to find 10,000 of Belfast's citizens strolling about here on a Saturday afternoon. These gardens are a glorious haven of grass, trees, flowers, curving walks, and wrought-iron benches, all laid out in 1827 on land that slopes down to the River Lagan. The curved-iron and glass Palm House is a conservatory marvel designed in 1839 by Charles Lanyon. Inside, the hot "stove wing" is a mini jungle of exotic plants such as the bird of paradise flower and heavily scented frangipani. The Tropical Ravine House is due to reopen in early 2016 after extensive renovations. In the main grounds you can wander around the arboretum and the 100-year-old rockery, or in summer savor the colors and scents of the herbaceous borders. A fun challenge is to follow the Tree Trail which leads you around 20 trees, many planted in the 19th century, with specimens such as the Tree-of-Heaven, Japanese red cedar, and the wonderful Ginkgo biloba from China. The trail was set up by the Friends of Botanic Gardens and you can download a detailed version of it by visiting

Sight Information


Stranmillis Rd., Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT9 5AB, Northern Ireland



Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Gardens daily dawn–dusk; Palm House Apr.–Sept., weekdays 10–5, weekends 1–5; Oct.–Mar., weekdays 10–4, weekends 1–4

Published 08/11/2015


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