I am born and breed in Bristol but only just found out this even existed.
I took the opportunity of being off of work to take myself on a date to see what it was like.
I drove to the downs and parked (you can park for 5 hours for free), there are buses you can get and these are listed on the Gardens website. There is a small car park at the Gardens, that I didn’t realise was there, as it was a short walk from the Downs I wasn’t upset when I realised!
I got in for free as I have a University card, it costs £5/£5.50 for an adult and free for under 18.
When you arrive there is a small hut that you need to go to pay / show your University card.
There is a small café, it served hot and cold drinks and had a small selection of sandwiches, there appeared to be some compost toilets but there were also proper toilets in a block by the greenhouses!
The main garden is situated around The Holmes (not open to the public).
There are 15 different areas and the greenhouses to visit.
When I visited there was an exhibition on called The Impossible Garden (13th July – 25th November 2018), this exhibition was created by Luke Jerram.
When I arrived I was told there was an exhibition but didn’t read the leaflet I was given so started wandering around thinking there’s some random things in this garden! When I read the leaflet it was the art work for the exhibition, I may have had to return to the beginning and start again and actually pay attention this time round to what was happening in the garden. The exhibition was based on vision and perception, after looking at some of the pieces of art I felt a bit queasy and needed to take a rest on the giant bench!
I chose to go in September so unfortunately the flowers weren’t all in bloom, I imagine it must be very pretty in the summer.
When you have wandered around the gardens you can go to the Greenhouses which are behind the car park, there are 3 greenhouses that are open to the public each one gets warmer as you walk through! I really like cactus and they had a good display of the little fellows!
I would say the Botanical Garden is worth a visit, plan your visit and don’t go on a wet day! Think about when the flowers will be in bloom and see if there are any exhibitions on as I think this gives you more for your money.
I enjoyed my couple of hours at the BG where I could forget about life and enjoy the peace and tranquillity.
As I can get in for free I would go again but I’m not sure I would pay to keep visiting.
I would suggest combining the visit with going to the suspension bridge, or a walk around the downs. You could go for food on White Ladies Road or in Clifton Village.