Cambridge University Botanic Garden has a long history as a University teaching and research resource, dating back to 1831, and eventually opening its doors to the public in 1846. Its founder, Professor John Stevens Henslow, whose most famous pupil was Charles Darwin, was convinced that trees were the most important plants in the world and that is why they are so prominent in the Garden. The garden covers an area of some 40 acres and has a collection of more than 10,000 plant species.
Whilst trees and shrubs form the main features of the garden there are also separate landscaped areas which represent other plant forms. Among these are the Rock Garden which has alpines from the mountains of every continent and the Lake and Water Garden. The Glasshouses have seasonal displays of a wide range of plants, including cacti, carnivorous plants and orchids.
The mature trees of the gardens comprise of ancient cedars, the oldest giant redwoods in the UK and the first trees of the dawn redwood to be grown outside its native China. It is interesting to note that the main avenue of the gardens is planted with variations of a species of pine to illustrate the variation found within a species.
A special feature of the garden is the Fen display. This aims to illustrate just how man’s management of the Fens has changed the old habitats to create the modern landscape.
One of the best ways to get the most out of a visit is to join a group tour. The tours are designed to reflect the particular season and are led by specialist guides.
Light refreshments are available in the cafe and visitors are also welcome to bring their own food to eat in the picnic area.
Children under 16 years of age gain free admission provided they are accompanied by an adult. Companions of disabled people are also allowed free access to the gardens.
The Cambridge University Botanic Garden is situated less than a mile to the south of the City centre and is only five minutes walk from the railway station.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Tel: +44 (0)1223 336265