University of Bristol Botanic Garden  » Travel  »
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  • Probably the main reason for this is that it is just a little bit too obscure to be part of the main tourist trails through Bristol, as well as the fact that it makes relatively few concessions to visitors who are not intensely interested in plants - you are definitely visiting a garden first and foremost rather than a play area with some trees attached
  • Getting to the Botanic Garden is not any great problem, since it lies off Stoke Park Road very close to the Downs and can thus be walked to in just a few minutes from the numbers 8 or 9 bus routes
  • There IS some car parking at the site itself, but this is rather limited and I would not recommend relying on it unless you have a Plan B up your sleeve
  • In the garden itself, perhaps the most interesting and original part of the place is that illustrating the evolution of land plants
  • On occasions such as when there is a special event or exhibition, basic refreshments may be available, and there are toilets, but your £3.50 entrance fee (which I think is acceptable) does not gain you entrance to anything else

    • by fredhound
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      The University of Bristol Botanic Garden is one of those places which really ought to be slightly more of a tourist attraction than it in fact is, but which I can understand not being so. Probably the main reason for this is that it is just a little bit too obscure to be part of the main tourist trails through Bristol, as well as the fact that it makes relatively few concessions to visitors who are not intensely interested in plants - you are definitely visiting a garden first and foremost rather than a play area with some trees attached!

      The other possible sticking point is that the Botanic Garden has moved within the last couple of years from its traditional home in the Leigh Woods area, west of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, to a new site close to the Downs off Stoke Park Road. There is nothing at all wrong with this choice of


      location in itself - the move apparently had to take place in any case as the Leigh Woods site was due to be redeveloped for housing. However, it does mean that the new Botanic Garden is still fairly underdeveloped, and therefore less immediately spectacular even at the height of summer than it will be when it has been allowed properly to mature.

      Getting to the Botanic Garden is not any great problem, since it lies off Stoke Park Road very close to the Downs and can thus be walked to in just a few minutes from the numbers 8 or 9 bus routes. There IS some car parking at the site itself, but this is rather limited and I would not recommend relying on it unless you have a Plan B up your sleeve. Things are a little more straightforward during the university vacations, since at those times of year it is generally possible to ...


      • use the car park of the hall of residence just across the road.

        In the garden itself, perhaps the most interesting and original part of the place is that illustrating the evolution of land plants. This area, set in a pleasant dell, contains a broadly chronological display of plants ranging from the lichens and mosses of the earliest times, through the tree ferns and early trees of a few hundred million years ago, to the relatively recent appearance of flowering plants and grasses. I found this to be very well done and extremely interesting - if anything I might even have preferred it to be a bit larger.

        Elsewhere there are a number of other themed areas, such as a Chinese medicinal herb garden, a display of plants unique to or associated with the Bristol area and a largish collection from New Zealand, although when I visited this had not really got going. There are also

        several medium-sized greenhouses where plants requiring warmer conditions are kept. These, I feel, could have been improved by the addition of a bit of animal life - there are already a few fish in a pool, but butterflies or even (carefully chosen!) birds would have added colour and movement.

        There is not much in the way of extra tourist attractions here. On occasions such as when there is a special event or exhibition, basic refreshments may be available, and there are toilets, but your £3.50 entrance fee (which I think is acceptable) does not gain you entrance to anything else. To sum up, then, the Botanic Gardens do not make many concessions to the casual visitor, but if you have a deep interest in plants then - especially once a few more years have gone by and the place has grown up a bit - you should find enough here to hold your attention for some while.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in April, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 3813041058220830/k2311a0413/4.13.10
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