These fantastic gardens can be found in the leafy suburb of Glasnevin just 30 minutes’ walk from The Castle Hotel. Once relatively unknown to tourists, the National Botanical gardens are now one of Irelands most visited attractions. These beautiful gardens cover a total area of 19.5 hectares, part of which is the natural flood plain of the River Tolka and make a great day trip.
The gardens were founded in 1795 and after being opened in the 1800s, it gradually developed over 30 years taking on the general layout which you see today. While it originally began with an agricultural theme to explore plants which were grown for food and medicine, it very quickly began to lean towards the botanical nature of science and discovery. With renowned botanist, David Moore at the helm as curator, he oversaw the development of the wrought iron glass houses and introduced countless plant specimens. During his years he developed strong ties with some of the top botanical gardens in various corners of the world, adding to the knowledge and diversity of the plants still on show today almost 200 years later.
As home to over 750,00 dried plant specimens, 20,000 living plants (300 of which are endangered species and 6 of which are completely extinct in the natural world) conservation is one of the garden’s forefront roles. Described as a Noah’s Ark for plants, they provide a key role in the protection of our vital plants and trees which due to global warming is now so greatly important.
Likewise, they are renowned for their passion for education among the community. Whether it be amongst other scientific and botanical peers or just to help the local gardener find out what will grow best in their east facing garden!
Lovingly restored over the last 50 years the gardens contain many attractive features including an arboretum, sensory garden, rock garden, Burren area, large pond, extensive herbaceous borders, and an annual display of decorative plants including a rare example of Victorian carpet bedding.
Statues and garden features adorn the footpaths to reveal a different vista at every turn and of course who could miss out on visiting the fabulously restored historic glasshouses such as the Palm House originally built in 1862. The new Education & Visitor Centre, opened in 2000, includes a cafe and a large lecture hall. It is fully accessible for people with disabilities.
With so much historical background, yet exuding modern foresights, the Botanical Gardens is one of Dublin’s most prized attractions and an absolute must see while here in Dublin!
Free of charge
General access is free but there is a charge for parking. Bike Stands are beside the car park entrance.
Guided tours cost €5 per person - available by prior arrangement.
Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm
last admission 4.30pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm
last admission 5.30pm
The National Botanic Gardens,
158 Botanic Rd,
National Botanic Gardens is located 30 minute walk or 10 minute drive from the hotel.
Public transport can also be taken, our front desk staff will be able to guide you on these.