The University of Bristol Botanic Garden is a green oasis in the heart of the vibrant city of Bristol…within walking distance of the Downs and the famous grade 1 listed Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Set in the grounds of a remarkable Victorian country house, the Botanic Garden is home to a wide diversity of plants and unique collections from around the world. Beautiful herbaceous borders welcome you at the garden’s entrance and lead you past magnolias, arums, honeysuckles and paradise flowers, and on through its colourful and clearly themed displays. In the summer months the large pool displays waterlilies known as Marliac Hybrids, which were bred in the 19th Century by Monsieur Latout-Marliac who provided waterlilies to the famous French Impressionist painter, Claude Monet.
The evolution of plants through time is a strong theme in the garden, and the sunken Evolutionary Dell enables you to walk through the past 500 million years of plant evolution on land. Primitive plants can be seen to evolve over time into ferns and horsetails, and ancient forests are represented by Australian Tree Ferns, Dicksonia antarctica, and the Wollemi Pine, Wollemia nobilis, thought to be extinct until 1994 when it was discovered in the Wollemi National Park wilderness.
In the unique Traditional Chinese Herb Garden, plants are displayed by their medicinal uses, showing how they can be used to treat different parts of the body. A tall Ginkgo planted by the Victorians stands majestically in the garden, a rarity in cultivation, surrounded by peonies and bamboos.
The climatically controlled glasshouse complex has five separate zones to explore. The Warm Temperate Zone houses cacti from the Americas, carnivorous plants, and many succulent and shrubby plants from South Africa. Plants from sub-tropical forest regions are displayed in the Sub-Tropical Zone, where exotic orchids can be seen growing on the trees, allowing visitors to immerse themselves into the display.
Just through some sliding doors is the Tropical Zone which is home to tropical aquatics, and a variety of food and medicinal plants. The tropical pool houses the Giant Amazon Water Lily, Victoria amazonica with its magnificent leaves, each capable of supporting the weight of a small child, theoretically speaking of course!
Garden Tours and Events are held throughout the year…..
The gardens and glasshouses are open to everyone throughout the year, from 10am to 4.30pm weekdays, plus Sundays April to October, plus Saturdays June to September. Admission £3.50 for adults and children enter for free. Numerous events and tours (for groups of 10 or more) are available throughout the year. The gardens were designed to offer full disabled access.
Tours of the garden and glasshouses take around 1½ hours, cost £4.50 per adult and require a minimum of 10 people. The tours are tailor-made to your requirements, ensuring a fascinating and enjoyable experience for everyone. Group tours are ideal for:
• Garden clubs and horticultural societies
• Clubs and associations
• Specialist interest groups
We also have a diverse programme of school tours of the Botanic Garden. Please contact us for more details.
The garden also organises a range of themed tours every year, focussing on subjects such as Chinese medicinal herbs, Mediterranean herbs and wildlife interest. Please visit the website or contact us for more details.
Refreshments available by prior arrangement.
To book a bespoke tour or for further information about forthcoming events:
Call: the Tour Administrator on 0117 331 4906
Or visit the Botanic Garden’s website: www.bris.ac.uk/botanic-garden
Visitor address: University of Bristol Botanic Garden, Stoke Park Road, Stoke Bishop, Bristol BS9 1JG