Search for the name, locality, period or a feature of a locality. You'll then be taken to a map showing results.

The Belfast Botanic Gardens Park


The focal point of this public park is the early-19th-century curvilinear Palm House, fronted by bedding, walks and benches. The nearby Tropical Ravine is a late-19th-century glasshouse with an important landscaped plant collection. The wider park features some surviving gates and lodges and an extensive path network through areas of lawn planted with ornamental trees and including two herbaceous borders, a rose garden, a rock garden and a bowling green.

The park is approached through a brick-lined entrance with the name of the garden on a sandstone panel.

The focal point is the curvilinear iron Palm House containing permanent and seasonal displays of ornamental plants. This overlooks an area of seasonal bedding flanked by walks and benches.

A short distance away is the Tropical Ravine, a distinctive brick structure with a glazed roof whose interior is a landscaped, gorge-like winding and undulating walk through tropical vegetation.

The remainder of the park is composed of extensive lawns with groups and specimens of ornamental trees, criss-crossed by walks. Features include the herbaceous borders, the rose garden and the rock garden. There is a bowling green.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

The gardens are open daily from 7.30 am. Closing times vary seasonally.


In Belfast city centre, off Botanic Avenue.


Belfast City Council

Belfast City Hall, Belfast, BT1 5GS

The garden was established by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society in 1829 as a members' subscription garden. The perimeter of the park was marked by a series of gates and lodges, of which the most significant was the Stranmillis Lodge, built in the Venetian Gothic style in 1877 to the design of William Batt.

The pioneering curvilinear Palm House was built by the Dublin ironmaster Richard Turner in 1839 to the design of the architect Charles Lanyon. The central dome was added in 1852 by Young of Edinburgh.

The Tropical Ravine, originally known as The Glen and designed by the gardener Charles McKimm, was added in 1889.

The garden was purchased in 1895 by Belfast Corporation and opened as a public park.

During the early-20th century the ornamental plantings were expanded with the addition of herbaceous borders, a rock garden of 1931 and a rose garden of 1932.

Some land and features around the perimeter have been lost to development, including the Stranmillis Lodge and other lodges, but the character of the park remains essentially unchanged.

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • Environment and Heritage Service of Northern Ireland Heritage Gardens Inventory

  • Reference: An 101
  • Green Flag Award


  • Flower Bed
  • Rockery
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Rose Garden
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Bandstand
  • Tropical House
  • Description: The Tropical Ravine was built in 1889 to the design of Charles McKimm. It is a landscaped walk through tropical vegetation, externally housed within a brick building with a glazed roof.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Herbaceous Border
  • Gate Lodge
  • Palm House
  • Description: The Palm House is a curvilinear display glasshouse of cast and wrought iron designed by Charles Lanyon and built by the Dublin ironmaster Richard Turner in 1839. It is a pioneering and influential structure of its kind. The central dome was added in 1852 by Young of Edinburgh. The building retains its original decorative features, including external ironwork trim and ornamental grates and staging. It retains its function as a plant display house.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Bowling Green Pavilion
  • Bowling Green
Key Information





Principal Building

Parks, Gardens And Urban Spaces





Open to the public