The Stunning Botanic Gardens In Durham City

The Botanic Garden in Durham is a unique attraction located on the outskirts of the city centre. It's a beautiful place to visit & full of scientific intrigue!

The Botanic Garden in Durham is a unique attraction located on the outskirts of the city centre. Owned by the prestigious University of Durham, the 10-hectare garden is resource used by the university for teaching and research, a venue for educational visits and a beautiful vista open to the public. It has a variety of landscapes to discover in every season, including wildflower meadows, mature woodlands, bamboo groves and glasshouses full of exotic plants and insects. The Botanic Garden has won a wide variety of awards throughout the years for its outstanding visitors’ experience and attractions.

History of the Garden

Scientists founded the first Botanic Garden in Durham as an experimental garden in 1925. However, as the university began to grow, the garden was moved onto a new site in 1969 to help it develop without disturbance. The Botanic Garden has been on its current site for over 50 years and was built by the university for teaching and research purposes. Since its opening, the garden has expanded exponentially and now includes a popular visitor centre, café, gift shop and much more and attracts almost 1 million visitors, young and old, throughout the year.

The Garden

The Botanic Garden is home to a plethora of rare and interesting plants, herbs and flowers. All of the plants are well labelled with intriguing information such as its scientific name and where it comes from. Hidden within the garden, are unique wildlife sculptures for visitors to discover, a carboniferous garden telling the story of the coal industry in County Durham, bird hides and much much more!

The Glasshouses

The glasshouses, located close to the main Visitor Centre, are home to a variety of plants, tropical bugs and butterflies from different habitats. These tropical bugs include arachnids, beetles, millipedes and other creepy-crawlies from around the world. Throughout the year, the Botanic Garden hold special events in which their gardeners bring out the insects for closer inspection and children are given the opportunity to handle the creatures. This area of the garden is incredibly popular with visitors as the chance to get up close to these creatures is a spectacular opportunity!

The Tropical House

Within the Tropical House, the Botanic Garden have replicated the warm and humid environment of a rainforest which even includes real rain! Inside the Topical House, visitors can discover a range of plants and foodstuffs such as bananas, sugarcane, coffee, giant bamboo, epiphytic orchids and bromeliads.

The Cactus House

Within the Cactus House, the dry and bright conditions of a desert habitat have been replicated. Here, visitors can explore plants from Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Africa and Madagascar including Prickly Pears, Cactii, Aloes, Agave and a huge variety of succulent plants.

The Botanic Garden

The beautiful Botanic Garden is surrounded by incredible woodlands with trails that lead through the wildflower meadow, across small bridges over trickling streams. Within the woodlands, there are several layers including shade-adapted trees such as oak and beech trees, shrubs, woodland herbs, ferns, mosses and fungi and wildflowers such as bluebells. All of these woodlands are home to a wide variety of wildlife including birds, small mammals and insects.

The Wildflower Meadow

The wonderful wildflower meadow is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the whole of the Botanic Garden. It is inhabited by butterflies, moths and insects that feed off the huge variety of plant species.


Located within the Botanic Garden Visitor Centre, is a coffee shop that serves hot and cold drinks and snacks. There is a seating area, but the shop also offers takeaway options. The coffee shop also exhibits local artists and photographers’ work throughout the year which is also available for purchase.

Within the Visitor Centre, there is a small gift shop that sells a range of unique souvenirs and gifts for garden lovers alongside mugs, textiles and handmade greeting cards. There are also many pocket money toys for children to purchase.

Opening Hours

The Botanic Garden is open 7 days a week, all year round. However, closing times differ depend upon the season.

Summer (March to October)10am – 5pm
Winter (November to February)10am – 4pm

The Botanic Garden is closed over the Christmas and New Year period.

Admission Prices

Adult  – £4.00
Concession – £3.00
Student/Children (5+) – £1.50
Infants – FREE
Carers – FREE
Durham University Campus Card Holders – FREE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *