Glasgow Botanical Gardens

Glasgow Botanical Gardens Glasgow Botanical Gardens Glasgow Botanical Gardens

I visited the Glasgow Botanic Gardens on a bitterly cold day in February. My partner and I took it in turns to explore the glasshouses while the other waited outside with the dog. On a warmer, sunnier day, it would be the perfect place to spend hours exploring the trails, which weave down to the Kelvin Walkway and onto the Gardens Arboretum.

The Glasgow Botanic Gardens are located in the West End of Glasgow, Scotland. From the city centre it's possible to follow an uninterrupted walking route through Kelvingrove Park, along the River Kelvin, and into Glasgow's Botanic Gardens. Making the gardens a true urban green space that very much feels part of the city.

Glasgow Botanical Gardens Glasgow Botanical Gardens

Founded in 1817 and located on 8 acres of land at Sandyford, near Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. The Gardens were moved to their current, larger location in 1842. The purpose of the gardens was intended for use as a concert hall and meeting place. Until in 1891, when the gardens were incorporated into the Parks and Gardens of the City of Glasgow.

Spanning 25 acres, there are several glasshouses to explore including a herb garden, a rose garden, and a chronological bed with plants arranged according to their introduction to Scotland. The gardens are also home to the UK's national collection of tree ferns.

Glasgow Botanical Gardens Glasgow Botanical Gardens Glasgow Botanical Gardens Glasgow Botanical Gardens

The showstopper is Kibble Palace, a 19th-century wrought iron-framed glasshouse. Originally used for concerts and exhibitions, it's been used for the cultivation of temperate plants since the 1880s. The glasshouse is home to a collection of ancient New Zealand and Australian tree ferns. The wings of Kibble Palace house and the other glasshouse house impressive collections of orchids, begonias, succulents, and carnivorous plants.

Glasgow Botanical Gardens Glasgow Botanical Gardens

The Glasgow Botanic Gardens used to have its own train station with a railway line running through the gardens. The remains of the disused Botanic Gardens Railway Station can still be found hidden away on the grounds. If you know where to look you might find it.

The Glasgow Botanic Gardens are free to enter and dog-friendly. Dogs are not allowed in the glasshouses but they were welcome to explore the outdoor gardens and trails. Many others were visiting with their companions, taking the route along the River Kelvin between the Botanic Gardens and Kelvingrove Park.

Glasgow Botanical Gardens Glasgow Botanical Gardens

I'm keen to revisit Glasgow in summer, when the gardens are in full bloom and the weather is more enjoyable. However, despite visiting during winter, the glasshouses were stunning. I was blown away by the collection of plants, which were exceptionally well cared for and densely packed. It felt like I had been transported to another world.

The glasshouses were incredible, packed with lush, well-tended plants. The buildings were huge and felt never ending. The paths looped and twisted through the glasshouses, in and out of each wing. So much so that at one point I felt lost. The orchid displays were a favourite of mine, I could have looked at the alien-like blooms for hours.

Glasgow Botanical Gardens

The Glasgow Botanic Gardens is a must-see attraction when visiting Glasgow. It's one of the best attractions and one of the few dog-friendly activities. For more dog-friendly things to do in Scotland, visit the Glasgow travel guide.

Photographs by Jack Spicer Adams.

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