Fodor's Expert Review Botanic Gardens

University Area Garden

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. 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. On the last Sunday of August each year more than 30,000 people converge on the grounds for the Belfast Mela, a program of music, dance, food, and arts. Stalls and stands are laid out, and street theater, drummers, and choirs from many countries take part in the festivities... READ MORE

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. 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. On the last Sunday of August each year more than 30,000 people converge on the grounds for the Belfast Mela, a program of music, dance, food, and arts. Stalls and stands are laid out, and street theater, drummers, and choirs from many countries take part in the festivities alongside global cuisine in a world-food market, while tastings and tea-leaf readings are held in a tea emporium.

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.

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Garden

Quick Facts

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

028-9032--0202

www.belfastcity.gov.uk

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free

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