The Handbook
The Handbook

Looking to book up a few family-friendly days out for the summer holidays? Add exploring one of the UK’s finest botanical gardens to the list. 

From the Eden Project, famed for its bubble-like domes, to the Royal Botanical Gardens in the heart of Edinburgh, here are eight of the best botanical gardens to visit in the UK.

Eden Project, Cornwall

Renowned for its bubble-like domes, the Eden Project in Cornwall is one of the UKs top eco visitor attractions, bringing thousands of visitors to the seaside district every year. 

The tourist attraction is home to thousands of plant species, and houses the largest rainforest in captivity. Both family-friendly and educational, the Eden Project covers several acres, with the Outdoor Gardens, Rainforest Biome and Mediterranean Biome covering about 13 hectares – the equivalent to over 35 football pitches!

The Outdoor Gardens, Rainforest Biome and Mediterranean Biome cover about 13 hectares - the equivalent to over 35 football pitches!

The educational charity is also known widely for its live music events, also known as Eden Sessions, which have previously seen the likes of Snow Patrol, Muse, Lily Allen and Ben Howard play on the big stage. 

Fall in love with its quirky traits, rare plant species and uncover something new.

Reopening: 17th May 2021 

Where: Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall, PL24 2SG
Website: www.edenproject.com

Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh

Head up to Scotland this summer and spend a day (or several, there’s so much to see!) exploring the Royal Botanical Gardens. 

Known for delivering world-leading plant science, conservation and education programmes, they’ve made it their mission to ‘explore, conserve and explain the world of plants for a better future’. Spread over 70 acres of green space, stroll around the pretty landscape, home to a backdrop of hills and Edinburgh’s city skyline, and discover rare and ancient plant species. 

Head over to Logan Botanic Garden, named Scotland’s ‘most exotic garden’, and explore the array of ancient plants from all across the world, from New Zealand to Southern Africa. 

Where: Royal Botanical Gardens, Arboretum Place, Edinburgh, EH3 5NZ
Website: www.rbge.org.uk

Trebah Garden, Cornwall

Another beautiful spot to uncover when you’re on your Cornwall road trip is Trebah Garden, located in Falmouth.

Spread over 26 acres, Trebah Garden is a little sub-tropical utopia, set on the shores of a beautiful sandy coastline. Hide under the canopies, explore the colourful tunnels that lead down to the secluded beach and stroll past some of the prettiest, exotic blooms on offer. The secluded beach is home to little rock pools, which will provide the kids hours of fun, along with crystal clear blue sea.

Reopening: 29th March 2021

Where: Trebah Garden Trust, Mawnan Smith, Falmouth TR11 5JZ
Website: www.trebahgarden.co.uk

Kew Gardens, London

A day trip to Kew Gardens is always magical, whether you’re burrowing your head inside the Davies Alpine House or letting the kiddies run wild at the Children’s Garden. 

There’s so much to see along the way. Stroll through the Bamboo Garden and Minka House, before picnicking along the Arboretum nuzzled amongst the 14,00 trees around you. See the Cedar Vista and head along the Lake and Sackler Crossing to admire the wildlife merking in the pond, before taking a mindful moment in the Japanese Gardens. 

Reopening: Kew is now open! Some areas remain closed off to public for now so keep up to date on their website

Where: Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE
Website: www.kew.org

Wakehurst, Sussex

The sister botanical garden to Kew, Wakehurst is located in Haywards Heath, Sussex and is home to flurries of flowers, the giant Mansion Gardens and the Westwood Valley, a woodland landscape inspired by the eastern Himalaya. 

Venture out of the city for a weekend and stop off here with the family, uncovering the Millennium Seed Bank, where you can learn more about Wakefield’s mission to protect wild biodiversity, Loder Valley Nature Reserve, a space home to over 300 plant species, and Children’s Heritage Garden. 

Reopening: Wakehurst is open! Some areas remain closed off to public for now so keep up to date on their website

Where: Wakehurst, Selsfield Road, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 6TN
Website: www.kew.org

National Botanic Gardens of Wales, Carmarthenshire

Having opened in May 2000, the National Botanic Garden of Wales became the first national botanic garden to be created in the new millennium, a pretty impressive title if you ask us. 

It’s here where you’ll find over 8,000 different plant varieties dotted around the 560 acres of countryside. The gardens are also home to a British Bird of Prey Centre, meaning you and the kids can gaze in awe as you watch eagles sweep by overhead.

Reopening: Closed until further notice

Where: National Botanic Gardens of Wales, Middleton Hall, Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire, SA32 8HN
Website: www.botanicgarden.wales

Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, Cambridge 

Known for supporting the University with research, the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens are also open to the public, offering a space to inspire your inner green fingers to get out and create something special in your own backyard. 

It’s here you’ll find a collection of over 8,000 plant species from around the world, as well as sweeping landscapes that can be enjoyed by all of the family. They also host several activities and events, from exhibitions to educational classes for kids.

For those closer to Oxford University, they also have their own botanic gardens too. 

Operating with pre-booked tickets only 

Where: Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, 1 Brookside, Cambridge, CB2 1JE
Website: www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

Fountains

Sheffield Botanical Gardens, Sheffield 

First opened in 1836, the Sheffield Botanical Gardens boast 19 acres of spectacular rare plants, a beautiful Grade II Glass Pavilions house and sweeping lawns. 

Uncover the 18 different areas, unlocking everything from the Mediterranean gardens through to the gardens inspired by the Himialayas. A must-see is the preserved fossil of a Lepidodendron – it’s a tree-like fossil – located in the Evolution Garden. It’s thought to date back to 300+ million years.

Reopening: Gardens are currently open, while the Pavilions still remain closed

Where: Sheffield Botanical Gardens, Clarkehouse Road, Broomhall, Sheffield, S10 2LN
Website: www.sbg.org.uk


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