It’s fair to say that Sheffield lacks many of the typical ‘tourist attractions’ of other cities, with the exception of The Botanical Gardens. Taking the crown of Sheffield’s first green space, the Botanical Gardens is an exceptional oasis!
As is true of pretty much everywhere in Sheffield, the Botanical Gardens runs down a fairly steep slope from Clarkhouse Road to Ecclesall Road. Located in an area dominated by the University and Hospitals, parking is difficult. There is paid-for on the road parking, but it’s hard to find. However on a Sunday parking is free and plentiful.
Opened in 1836, the gardens were designed by some of the era’s leading landscape gardeners. They originally were only open to shareholders and subscribers, it wasn’t until 1898 when financial difficulties led to Sheffield Town Trust purchasing the gardens, that they became free to the public.
The two most notable features of the gardens are the conservatories which dominate the top of the parks and the bear bit located on the Brocco Bank side of the park. The Bear Pit housed a live bear for the public’s entertainment in the Victorian times and now has a bronze bear, which children love!
The Gardens are extensive and fascinating. They’re lovingly cared for by the Parks Department and the Friends of the Botanical Gardens. I am fairly ignorant when it comes to plants, but I understand that the gardens contain an impressive collection which the Friends are constantly expanding.
It’s easy to get lost exploring the grounds, there’s steps and paths, hidden corners and lawned expanses. It’s a wonderful location to explore with children, stroll around or relax.
There are toilets and a cafe on site. The paths are gravel but easily accessible by pushchair and a lot of it looks wheelchair friend too, except for the steepness.
First SPP visit: 4th November 2017