- Duthie Park in Aberdeen, Scotland is the home of an experience you won't forget.
- Walk around the Victorian Duthie Park, one of the best Aberdeen parks, including a bandstand, play areas and more, and transport yourself back in time.
- Take in the beautiful plants inside the David Welch Winter Gardens, and go in search of the talking cactus.
- Visit the Japanese Garden, a memorial to the dead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Duthie Park is the perfect place for families who love a walk. With wide, open spaces, if you're looking for somewhere for dog walking, picnics, bike rides and fun in all weathers. Duthie Park is also the home of the David Welch Winter Gardens, also referred to as the Duthie Park Winter Gardens, so is great for friends and family interested in horticulture. It's so good that Duthie Park is Scotland's third most visited gardens. If you're looking for more things to do in Scotland, why not visit the Codonas Amusement Park for a day of thrills and surprises, or the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, for education on Aberdeen's relationship to the North Sea?
Duthie Park opened in 1883, after being gifted to Aberdeen City Council by Miss Elizabeth Crombie Duthie in 1880. It was opened by Princess Beatrice. It fits in with the Victorian aesthetic today, with features like the bandstand, fountains, and boating pond. In the 1900s the David Welch Winter Gardens was added to the park and has become an award-winning feature of the park. It contains the second largest collections of bromeliads and giant cacti respectively in Great Britain after the Eden Project. It's one of the largest indoor gardens in Europe. It also has the world's only talking cactus, Steve.
Duthie Park has many beautiful elements which are a favourite of the public that visit. The boating pond is perfect for children looking to try out model yachts or do some kayaking. You can also walk around the adjacent small circular pond by Riverside Drive and the three linked ponds which include rockwork, islands, stone-shelter and cast-iron bridge. Walk around and see the beautiful and popular Temperance Fountain. There's also the 'mound' with a flagstaff, the east Polmuir gate lodge and north-west lodge to see; all of these parts of Duthie Park and more have been there since 1883. The bandstand was erected in 1893, and there's also the Hygeia memorial to Elizabeth Crombie Duthie in 1898. Guests to the site can also enjoy the ball games Astroturf and the two play areas. One play area is for younger children, the other for older and more adventurous children, voted best play space in Scotland in 2013 by The Nancy Ovens Trust. Children can also search for McPuddock the frog and Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. You might also be able to find the huge granite Obelisk that stands in Duthie Park. Once in the centre of Marischal College, it was moved after the college was extended. If your family likes adventurous and free fun, orienteering is available at Duthie Park. It can also help people see the location of things they didn't know existed in the park. There's also a nearby Duthie Park Café serving hot and cold drinks and snacks, which has a beautiful location that looks into the gardens. Duthie Park events also happen throughout the year, organised by Friends of Duthie Park, with everything from music to parties.
The David Welch Winter Gardens are a tranquil spot on Polmuir Road, rebuilt in 1969. Inside, you might be able to see features like tree ferns, Spanish moss, anthuria, and banana trees. You'll also be able to see the huge collection of cacti available. The Gardens are split into different houses to explore. Walk around the Temperate House, Corridor of Perfumes, Fern House, Victorian Corridor, Japanese Garden, Tropical House and Arid House. You also might come into two adorable cats inside the area. These two cats were saved from railings salvaged from the middle of the city's Union Street. Nearby, there's also the Japanese Garden, a memorial for the public to remember the dead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Duthie Park is close to the city centre, allowing visitors to explore Aberdeen easily. You could explore Jump In, home to trampoline fun in Scotland. There are also plenty of castles and other heritage sites, as well as plenty of places to play. For sit down meals with the family, you might like Maggie's Grill, The Ferryhill House Hotel which can also be stayed in, Jewel in the Crown, 8848 Restaurant, Monsoona Healthy Indian Cuisine, Namaste Delhi, Wild Ginger Restaurant, Almondine, Sooshee, and even more. For places to stay, there's the Inn at the Park Hotel, an elegant 19th-century hotel right next to Duthie Park. There's also The Great Western Hotel Aberdeen by Magnuson Worldwide, and Mercure Aberdeen Caledonian Hotel which are both chains a little further away but it's still easy to get to the park.
What to know before you go
- The Duthie Park opening times are 24 hours a day all year round. The opening times for the Gardens vary. Check on the website before coming to see if they are open for your visit.
- The Park and Gardens are both free entry.
- The site is wheelchair accessible.
- The site is buggy accessible.
- Toilets can be found in the café area.
- Duthie Park is on Polmuir Road in Aberdeen, close to the city centre. It's around a 15-minute drive. There is an on-site car park.
- Duthie Park is between two and three hours away from Edinburgh, and around 9 and a half hours from London.
- Aberdeen Station is the closest station. It's a 23-minute walk, a 9-minute drive, or a bus journey using the number 17, 18, 7, 7B or X7.
- The closest bus stop is the Duthie Park Bus Stop which is serviced by the 7, 7B, 7S, 17, 17A, 18, 172, 181, 182, 183 and X7.