Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Oluwatosin Michael
Jan 24, 2022 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Oct 07, 2021
The Glass Pavilions at Sheffield Botanical Gardens with purple flowers in the foreground.

  • Sheffield Botanical Gardens is home to over 5000 diverse plant species across nineteen gorgeous acres of cultivated land just outside of the city centre.
  • The garden was first designed by Robert Marnock and opened in 1836, and is now a Grade II listed site by English Heritage.
  • Visitors can explore over eighteen themed gardens around the picturesque Broadwalk all for free, including the family-favourite Bear Pit.
  • Sheffield Botanical Gardens also put on a huge programme of renowned events throughout the year which are not to be missed, including Music in the Gardens, Illuminate the Gardens and Art in the Gardens.

Home to thousands of rare and unique plants from all around the world, the Sheffield Botanical Gardens and Pavilions are a Grade II listed site of architectural and historical interest situated just south-west of Sheffield's vibrant city centre.

These beautiful, 19-acre sloping gardens in Sheffield were initially designed by one of the leading landscapers of the 19th century, Robert Marnock, and first opened in 1836 to the British public on select days throughout the summer.

This rare Georgian horticulture garden went on to be known as one of the best Gardenesque style landscapes in England and now boasts a huge range of National Plant Collections and over 5000 species of plants, flowers and vegetation.

Several picturesque pathways guide visitors around Sheffield Botanical Gardens' 18 different areas, which are themed by geographical location or botanical variety. There is a huge range of plant life to discover from the traditional Victorian Rose garden, the cultivated Prairie area, the preserved fossils of the Evolution garden (one of which is said to be 312 million years old!

), the temperate climate area and the more tropical environments of the Himalayan and Mediterranean gardens.

Visitors will also delight in the renowned Glass Pavilions of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens, which are now Grade II listed buildings and have become iconic landmarks of botanical Sheffield.

These huge greenhouses offer a fascinating and luscious horticultural experience to meander through before taking to the Gardens' central Broadwalk and surrounding sweeping lawns.

Elsewhere in Sheffield Botanical Gardens, there is plenty more for kids of all ages to explore and enjoy.

Set out to discover the Pan, Spirit of the Woods statue in the Rose Garden which was donated to the grounds in 1934 by Sir Charles Clifford and features a bronze, nymph-like sculpture of Pan (Peter or the Greek God - you decide!)

sitting in an enchanted tree.

Another firm favourite with kids and adults alike is the intriguing Bear Pit area, which lies hidden amongst the gardens. This brickwork underground pit is full of stories from when the gardens first opened in 1836, a celebration which including bears, monkeys, eagles, foxes and deer on-site, and now features an adorable standing bear statue designed by David Mayne.

There is tons of seasonal fun to be had at Sheffield Botanical Gardens all year round too, with their huge programme of cultural and scientific events.

In the summer months, the grounds come alive with outdoor theatre performances and Music in the Gardens concerts, and in Autumn your family will be mesmerised by the Pavilions' much-loved Illuminate the Gardens light and firework displays.

As well as the renowned Art in the Gardens exhibit that takes place every September, you can also find multiple arts and crafts exhibitions on-site throughout the year plus chances to pick up your very own gorgeous plants at the regular Plant Sales and Cactus Shows put on by the Gardens.

Sheffield Botanical Gardens offers one of the best free days out for families to get back to nature and explore the delights of the plant world in a historic Georgian site. For more unique family adventures just outside of Sheffield, why not head to Clifton Park and Museum just north-west of the city?

What to know before you go

  • The summer Sheffield Botanical Gardens opening times are 8am to 7.45pm on weekdays, and 10am to 7.45pm on weekends and Bank Holidays. In the winter, the Botanical Gardens are open from 8am to 4pm on weekdays, and 10am to 4pm on weekends and Bank Holidays.
  • The Glass Pavilions are open from 11am to 3.30pm every day, and the Curator's House Tea Rooms on site are open from 8.30am to 5.30pm on weekdays and 10am to 5.30pm on weekends.
  • Entrance to the Sheffield Botanical Gardens is free.
  • There is a lovely Sheffield Botanical Gardens café on site - the Curator's House Restaurant and Tea Rooms - which serves a range of breakfasts, lunches, Sunday roasts, cream teas and homemade cakes using fresh and seasonal ingredients.
  • You can also find many family-friendly eateries nearby, including Nonnas Sheffield, Juke and Loe, The Lescar pub, The Porter Pizza Company and more.
  • Dogs are allowed in the garden as long as they are kept on leads.
  • The Sheffield Botanical Gardens are fully accessible for wheelchair users with step-free alternative routes throughout. A Botanical Gardens Access map is available for visitors to use.
  • Some mobility scooters are available to hire for free for your visit.
  • Accessible toilets can be found at the Curator's House and the Thompson Road drive.
  • Please note that cycling is not permitted within Sheffield Botanical Gardens and cyclists will be asked to dismount during their visit. No other recreational sports or ball games are permitted within the garden.
  • Please refrain from feeding the animals and climbing the trees within the garden.
  • There is a hugely popular array of Botanical Gardens Sheffield events taking place throughout the year including open-air theatre shows, music concerts, art exhibitions, plant sales and the much-loved Botanical Gardens Sheffield fireworks.

Getting there

  • Sheffield Botanical Gardens is located just one mile south-west from Sheffield city centre. The main entrance is on Clarkehouse Road.
  • If you are driving to the venue, please note that there is no Sheffield Botanical Gardens parking on-site. Limited street parking can be found off of Clarkehouse Road, and there are some accessible parking spots located off of Thompson Road.
  • Parking towards Sheffield city centre can be found at Sheffield Wellington Street NCP car park and the NCP Furnival Gate car park.
  • You can also use one of the multiple Park and Ride services throughout Sheffield, such as the Hallamshire Hospital stop which is a 10-minute walk to the Botanical Gardens.
  • Regular buses from Sheffield city centre run to the Botanical Gardens via Clarkehouse Road and Ecclesall Road.
  • Sheffield Train Station is a nine-minute drive or taxi ride to the Botanical Gardens, or a 25-minute bus ride via the 120, 51, 81, 82, 83 or 88 routes.

England Sheffield South Yorkshire United Kingdom Yorkshire and the Humber

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The Glass Pavilions at Sheffield Botanical Gardens with purple flowers in the foreground.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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The Glass Pavilions at Sheffield Botanical Gardens with purple flowers in the foreground.

Sheffield Botanical Gardens