Glasgow Botanic Gardens

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Glasgow Botanic Gardens

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The most beautiful, compact and accessible green space in Glasgow is packed with history, botany, fine architecture and hidden surprises

Originally laid out in 1841 to supply the University of Glasgow, the gardens were acquired by the City of Glasgow and made public in 1891. In 1873, the gardens’ defining building – the eccentric wrought-iron and glass domed glasshouse Kibble Palace – was erected, followed a few years later by the Main Range teak glasshouse. Both remain beautifully preserved, free to enter and filled with exotic plant life, from arid lands and tropical rainforests alike.

The long east-west facing green in front of the glasshouses teams with life on warm days, be it families or groups of students or yoga classes. With two good food concessions on the grounds – a takeaway kiosk, and the Botanic Gardens Tearoom situated in the old Curator’s house – you needn’t stray far for refreshments. But bear in mind that you can’t consume alcohol in public spaces in Glasgow – and the Botanics’ groundskeepers are very vigilant.

In the undergrowth towards the southwest border of the park lies a little-known relic of Glasgow’s public transport past. In the late nineteenth century the Glasgow Central Railway dug a tunnel beneath the gardens, and opened two stations – the underground Botanics Station, and Kirklee Station towards the north entrance – before closing them both in 1939 when the line was decommissioned. While Kirklee Station is almost completely demolished, the ruined, graffiti-marked remains of Botanics Station can still be partly viewed through a moss-covered airshaft – an eerily fascinating dead space, crying out to somehow be made publicly accessible.

By: Malcolm Jack


Venue name: Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Address: 730
Great Western Road
G12 0UE
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  • Things to do Until Sunday March 17 2019

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