Do you often find yourself pacing about the city’s streets, wanting to slip down a side street and escape the roar of the concrete jungle? Well, many of our major cities now feature urban escapes that act as the perfect departure lounge for those wanting to simply get away from it all.
So, whether it’s for a couple of hours or the full day, and whether you’ve heard of them or not, here’s our 10 favourite inner city gardens . . .
Festival Gardens, Liverpool
Akin to a phoenix rising from the ashes, Liverpool’s Festival Gardens was reopened in 2011 after 27 years of decay. Located at the southern edge of the city, the gardens were once visited by 3.4 million people back in 1984. Now restored to their former glory, ensure that you immerse yourself in Japanese culture and serenity by going along. Oh, and it’s free entry as well.
Fletcher Moss Park, Manchester
At 21 acres, Fletcher Moss Park is probably one of Manchester’s biggest hidden gems. Just a short walk from Didsbury Metrolink station, and recently presented with a Green Flag Award, discover a wide variety of rare and unusual plantlife within the terraced gardens and unearth the story behind The Croft. You can even take a stroll down towards the banks of the River Mersey if you fancy it.
Martineau Gardens, Birmingham
Blink and you’ll miss it. Just two miles from the centre of Birmingham, the community run Martineau Gardens is a sanctuary for all those inner city stresses and an oasis for such wildlife. The formal gardens that play host to curious tree and shrub varieties, and the rather more natural environments contain ponds, hedgerows and woodland. There’s even an adventure playground available for the little nippers too!
Botanic Gardens, Belfast
Stretching over 28 acres and standing close to the River Lagan, Belfast’s Botanic Gardens are of huge importance, both historically and biologically. Palm House dominates the majority of the views, as it contains an endless assortment of important tropical wildlife. Clearly, country singer Lynn Anderson has never been to Belfast as the grounds do in fact feature a rather large and impressive rose garden.
Bute Park, Cardiff
Flanked by the river Taff and the imposing Cardiff Castle, Bute Park is a prestigious haven located in the heart of Cardiff. Brimming with interest dating back to Roman and Medieval periods, there’s plenty to learn about during your visit. Away from the historical artifiacts, the park also features an abundance of wildlife, as well as an on-site cafe. The perfect day out!
The Hidden Gardens, Glasgow
Just a stones throw from the city centre, the Hidden Gardens are relativity new in terms of ‘green space’. Founded in 2003, the gardens are a tranquil setting designed to promote understanding between all cultures, faiths and backgrounds. Additionally, the gardens provide a safe haven from hectic Glaswegian life, as well as venue for a myriad of arts and cultural festivities.
Chelsea Physic Garden, London
A slice of serenity tucked away behind the Thames, Chelsea Physic Gardens are a botanist’s dream. Since 1637, this famous walled garden has become a celebration for the beauty and importance of plants. With a rock garden crammed full of Alpine plants and Britain’s largest fruiting olive tree, there’s lots to see here. Check out their website, they’ve got all kinds of activities happening through the summer!
Roundhay Park, Leeds
Situated on the eastern edge of Leeds, Roundhay Park is far from your average inner city green space. First up, its 700 acres features the UK’s largest selection of tropical plants, north of Watford Gap . If that isn’t satisfying enough, you can always explore the castle ruins and ornamental gardens. We sense that a lot of folk will be heading towards Yorkshire over the next few months, especially after the success of Le Tour.
Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
Just a mile from the Scottish capital, Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens are the perfect place for saturating your soul in peace and calm after a busy day on the city’s streets. Steeped in historical and botanical significance, the gardens date back to 1670 and are famed for their impressive plant life offerings. It’s probably worth a visit just to see Britain’s tallest Palm House and an award winning art gallery.
Plantation Garden, Norwich
Created by local businessman, Henry Trevor, in 1856, this three acre garden is positioned in the shadow of Norwich’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, has recently been restored back to its former glory. An enchanted setting welcomes you as you delve between a Gothic style fountain and medieval inspired walls and follies. Even most of the locals aren’t aware that this place exists, so count yourself lucky!