What To See And Do In The Garden
St Andrews Botanic Garden is a place for learning and discovering, relaxing and being mindful and playing and exploring.
The garden is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. There is lots to see over our 18-acre site including a rock garden, rhododendron glade, pond, pinetum and much more! We are also busy developing our new and exciting Tangled Bank area in the Garden, which showcases the very best of Fife’s habitats.
We hope you have a fantastic visit whatever your reason for joining us today!
Key Garden Features
Our newest living experiment, exploring how best to conserve rare and beautiful sand dune systems.
Plant Highlights: Blue Fleabane (Erigeron acris) and Marsh Orchids (Dactylorhiza) & Ecosystem Engineering Grasses
A haven for wildlife and beautiful space to relax, featuring aquatic, marginal and moisture loving plants
Plant Highlights: Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus), Flag Iris (Iris pseudoacorus) & Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis)
Showcasing tough plants, adapted to rocky and mountainous conditions
Plant Highlights: Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla), Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata), Pinks (Dianthus) & Saxifrages (Saxifraga)
Home to our collection of woodland plants, included rare and threatened rhododendron species
Plant Highlights: McCabe Rhododendron (Rhododendron macabeanum) & Tree Rhododendron (Rhododendron arboreum)
This area for development allows us to explore the features to be included in The Biocene Garden - an innovative new garden sharing the urban habitats we should aspire to in the future.
Art & Exhibitions
Gathering Surface – Dan Drage
We’re delighted to host Gathering Surface, a series of art pieces shaped and installed by local artist Dan Drage.
Gathering Surface includes three main types of work — Pit-and-Mounds, Clusters, and Sleeping Fir – which each explore the relationship between time and the physical world, and porous boundaries between materials.
You can explore Gathering Surface throughout the Garden, from the Poplar Glade, leading to the Meadow. Free to view anytime with standard Garden admission.
We’re now able to share the Bioscope - an exciting new feature blending nature and technology!
The Bioscope has been designed by Marcos Cruz and Brenda Parker from the Bartlett School of Architecture, creating a building which will be alive with microscopic biodiversity.
It will host animations developed by Fife Contemporary's Artist in Residence Emma Varley, which explore our understanding of what is natural and what is synthetic through AI generated images of plants.
The Bioscope will be available to view throughout the summer from 30th June 2023.
Exploratree Play Area
Run wild with the forest! Our brand-new natural play area has been custom-designed, re-purposing trees which were brought down during storm Arwen and Barra, with a series of timber and rope structures creating a giant spider’s web!
Climb through the spider’s web and up to the tree house, look in the trees for red squirrels, up to the sky for birds and under logs for millipedes. Our Enchanted Web provides physical and creative play opportunities and challenges inviting children to climb, balance and explore the natural world around them.
Bespoke made by Sam Green, the Exploratree is full of individual quirks, celebrating the individual nature of each piece of timber.
Know Your Nature Trail
Know Your Nature is our brand-new self-guided family trail for Summer 2023!
Explore the Garden, investigate the wildlife that lives here and earn your Know Your Nature badge! Discover exciting new activities around the Garden, helping you to learn about plants & wildlife together as a family!
Know Your Nature will be available to explore around the Garden from Friday 30th June! Make sure to pick up your Nature Activity Pack & Badge from our Visitor Centre to get the most out of the trail - £3 per child
Our Ramblers Rucksacks are packed with activities to help families explore the Garden together! Each Rambler's Rucksacks contains activity sheets full of challenges to try around the Garden, plus all the kit you'll need - including a bug pot, magnifying glass and compass.
Available to hire for the duration of your visit for £3 per rucksack - please speak to our Visitor Centre Team.
Rest and Relaxation
Around the garden we have benches, seating and grassy areas which make the perfect spot to relax and take in the beautiful surroundings.
The garden is home to lots of wildlife, with a great variety of mammals, birds and insects to discover during your visit, including red squirrels!
Or sit and enjoy a picnic - we have lovely food and drink options available from our Visitor Centre and you are also welcome to bring your own picnic along.
Read more about us in our Visit section.