Glasgow Botanical Gardens is one of Scotland’s finest gardens and is open to the public, free of charge, all year round.
The Gardens are based in the West End of the City, next to the River Kelvin, making this a peaceful retreat from the bustle of the City Centre. They were founded in 1817 at their original site at the end of Sauchiehall Street, which at the time was the edge of the city, but flourished so well by 1842 they moved to the larger site where they are now based.
Kibble Palace, originally known as ‘The Kibble Crystal Art Palace,’ is one of the Gardens’ most famous attractions. This large conservatory is home to some of the world’s most famous plant collections, belonging to The National Collection. It was completely restored in 2004 in a multimillion pound project; during this time the plant collection was removed for the first time in the Palace’s history. The Palace and the plant collections re-opened in 2006. John Kibble, who originally built the Palace at his home in the 1860’s, before arranging for it to be moved to The Gardens in 1873, is well known in many fields, but perhaps one of his more well known achievements was creating the world’s largest camera. Its lens was 13 inches in diameter, and had to be mounted on a horse-drawn cart to use it.
Admission to The Gardens is free. For those with an interest in botany, guided tours of the collections are available throughout the summer. A Heritage Trail is set up throughout the Gardens, which allows visitors to explore at their own pace, and includes around 30 of the most significant points of interest along the Kelvin Walkway and the Gardens Arboretum. You can also relax in The Tea Rooms and enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea.