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Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Kibble Palace at Botanic Gardens

The Tea Room at the Botanics Menu (opens new window) | Phone 0141 276 1614

We would love to welcome you to Glasgow Botanic Gardens. There is so much to see and a lot to learn here. We are very interested in plants and exploring the fascinating ways that they grow and how they affect our planet. Life on Earth cannot survive without plants and botanic gardens have a leading role to play in focusing on the importance of saving our World through protecting, and valuing plants and their habitats across the globe. The destruction of plant habitats on a large scale had led to climate change and by exploring the plants growing here you will begin to have an appreciation of the vast diversity of plant life even though we can only provide a snapshot of the massive extent of life on our planet.

Many of our visitors think on us as a park but a botanic garden is much more than a park and we would ask you to think on us as the Gardens. As a botanic garden we look after a collection of over 9000 different plants with the greatest number growing in the temperate and tropical glasshouses. Outdoors we have a growing representation of hardy trees - these are well worth exploring. In addition to our stunning Victorian glasshouses, we have over 20 hectares of landscaped grounds to explore much it along the beautiful River Kelvin.

Please talk to our staff if you have any questions. We are very happy to help our visitors to enjoy their time in the Gardens and to share with us a love and appreciation of plant life from the smallest garden plant to large tropical trees. Please take some time to explore the Gardens which are open free of charge every day of the year.

If you would like to become more involved or to support us please take time to join the Friends of the Botanic Gardens. They also have an active website with lots of information about us and ongoing activities. Visitors may also make a donation to the Friends of the Botanic Gardens. Any money donated this way will be used directly to support the important educational work of the Gardens.

Where is it?


What can I do there?

Explore the 'A' listed Kibble Palace, named after the Victorian John Kibble who brought the glasshouse from his home at Coulport, Loch Long, to Glasgow in 1873. This architectural treasure is a curving iron and glass plant-house where temperate plants from various areas of the World are displayed. Below the small dome, near the entrance, is a popular fish pond with an Australian Soft Tree Fern growing on an island. Separate sections sit to the north and south of the entrance dome. The north transept houses a display of carnivorous plants while the south transept, which has an open multipurpose floor area, houses a collection of plants that are native to the Canary Islands.

A linking corridor leads into the huge large dome where plants from four major geographical regions of the World can be seen - Southern Africa, Australasia, Temperate Asia and South America. In the central part of the dome a large number of tree ferns from the southern hemisphere can be explored.

When is it open?

The grounds are open from 7.00am until dusk daily. The glasshouses and tea rooms are subject to opening times.

Glasshouses: April to September 10.00am - 6.00pm (4.15 pm in winter) 
Tea Rooms: April to September 10.00am - 6.00pm (4.00 pm in winter)
Toilets: 10.00am - dusk (this varies throughout the year)

Free Entry to Gardens and Glasshouses

The Tea Room opening and service times

View to the Tea Room

The Tea Room at the Botanic Gardens is open daily from 10am until 5pm.

Lunch served 12 until 4pm

Afternoon tea served 12 until 4pm

Cakes and drinks served until 4.30pm





Glasgow Botanic Gardens were originally founded on an 8 - acre site at the west end of Sauchiehall Street at Sandyford in 1817. This was through the initiative of Thomas Hopkirk of Dalbeth who donated his own plant collection to form the nucleus of the new garden.

  • The Royal Botanical Institution of Glasgow ran the Botanic Gardens and an agreement was reached with Glasgow University for the provision of teaching aids, including a supply of plants for medical and botanical classes.
  • William Jackson Hooker, Regius Professor of Botany at the University of Glasgow (1820-41), took a very active part in the development of the Botanic Gardens. As a result they became eminent in botanical circles throughout the world. Hooker remained in Glasgow for 20 years before being made Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • This early success led to expansion and the purchase of the present site at Kelvinside, which was established in 1842.
  • At that time entry into the Gardens was mainly restricted to members of the Royal Botanical Institution and their friends although later the public were admitted on selected days for the princely sum of one penny. •
  • The Kibble Palace which now houses a forest of tree ferns was originally a private conservatory located at Coulport on Loch Long. It was moved to its present site in 1873 and was originally used as a concert hall and meeting place, hosting celebrated speakers such as Gladstone and Disraeli.
  • Increasing financial difficulties led to the Gardens being taken over by the then Glasgow Corporation in 1891 on condition that they continued as a Botanic Garden and maintained links with the university.
  • The Botanic Gardens are still a very popular venue with visitors from around the world as well as locals.


Outstanding Features

  • Glasgow Botanic Gardens is home to a number of significant plant collections including:
    • The National Collection of Begonias
    • The National Collection of Tree Ferns
    • The National Collection of Dendrobium Orchids
    • An Extensive Collection of Economic and Medicinal Plants
    • The Substantial collection of trees opened the door to membership of The National Tree Collections of Scotland
  • Within the Kibble Palace there is a fine collection of marble statues including the popular 'Eve' and 'King Robert of Sicily'.
  • For more information on hiring the Kibble Palace visit our Venue Hire page


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Last modified on 01 May 2024

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