One of the most delightful features of the Royal Victoria Park, the Botanical Gardens were formed in 1887 and within their 3.8 hectares (9 and a half acres) is one of the finest collections of plants on limestone, certainly in the West Country.
Less than a mile from Bath City Centre in the north west corner of the Park, the gardens boast many choice trees, shrubs, a fine herbaceous border, a rock garden and pool, a scented walk, a collection of old shrub roses, and a replica of a Roman Temple (the City’s exhibit at the British Empire Exhibition held at Wembley in 1924). These are just a few of the many attractive and interesting features of the garden.
To mark the centenary in 1987 the gardens were extended to include the Great Dell, a disused quarry and formerly part of the park itself, which already contained a very fine collection of conifers. It has been developed into a woodland garden, and contains ever more plants and features to add to this fascinating and beautiful park.
In the summer season, the Gardens are open from 08.00 - 18.00 all week. The Temple of Minerva is only open on weekdays from 08.00 - 16.00.
Activities in the Gardens
The Temple of Minerva in the Gardens was carefully adapted and extended in 2009 to create an indoor Interpretation Centre for visitors and schools / groups. The Interpretation Centre has a 15 minute video explaining the Heritage Lottery Fund restoration of Royal Victoria Park along with other information and occasional exhibitions.
If you are looking for an unusual place to get married, The Temple of Minerva is open for bookings and can be used for weddings, civil ceremonies and receptions. Contact 01225 396056 or Weddings_inHeritageParks@bathnes.gov.uk.
If you are looking for a fun family activity, why not try our Tree Gazing Trail around the Botanical Gardens. You can download the guide on the right hand side of this page. See how many of our special trees you can spot!
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Friends of Bath Botanical Gardens
Are you interested in the Botanical Gardens? Would you like to share this interest with others, or attend lectures and visit other gardens?
There is an association called the Friends of Bath Botanical Gardens which arranges a programme of events to include monthly evening lectures, tours of the gardens and summer visits to other gardens amongst other activities, as well as producing a regular newsletter. For further information and details on how to join please refer to their website: www.friendsofbathbotanicalgardens.com
Lee Dickson's sculpture
Proud to have one of the original 12 Giant Redwoods brought over to the UK in the 1850's, we were saddened when it succumbed to Honey Fungus (one of the few blights able to kill the Giant Redwood).
To celebrate its life and place within the Botanic Gardens, we commissioned a local artist - Lee Dickson, a chainsaw sculptor from Radstock - to create a sculpture (pictured right) in May 2001.
Standing about 7m high with a diameter of about 3.5 m, it is sited near the top entrance to the Botanic Gardens, close to the Dovecote.