A tranquil pocket of greenery stretching across the banks of the River Cherwella, the University of Oxford Botanic Garden is the UK’s oldest botanical garden, dating back to 1621. Located on a five-acre plot on the Magdalen College grounds, the diminutive garden makes up for its small size with an impressive variety of plant and flower species—more than 6,000 different ones from around the globe.
Renowned as one of the world’s most biodiverse areas, the garden hosts everything from giant rhubarb to the common stinging nettle, with highlights including the old English Yew tree, which was planted in 1645, a gigantic waterlily that could hold a child’s weight and an array of carnivorous plants. The walled garden also has a pond, a physic garden growing medicinal plants and herbs and a series of greenhouses filled with exotic plant species. If you’re craving more space, the Botanic Garden also operates the 150-acre Harcourt Arboretum just south of the city, where you’ll find wildflower meadows and bluebell woods blooming throughout the spring and summer months.
The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is located southeast of Oxford city center, close to the Magdalen College, and is open daily from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in winter and 6 p.m. in summer. Adult admission is £4.50.