Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden (1 of 1)

There are two routes to the main entrance and ticket office – one has level access and one is stepped. The doors to the ticket office and gardens are manual but staff are happy to assist if needed. There is level access around the exterior of the gardens with hard packed gravel surfaces suitable for wheelchairs. Most of the paths have clearly defined edges, although there are some areas where plants encroach onto the paths. There is also a section of path which adjoins the river and does not have a raised handrail or barrier. Some of the glasshouses have narrow corridors and are very hot and humid. There is an exhibition room which has one step up – a potable ramp is available on request. 

This table contains summary information about the building

On-site designated parking for Blue Badge holders No
Public designated parking for Blue Badge holders within 200m Yes
Other nearby parking Yes - Pay and display
Main entrance Level. Intercom. Powered door
Alternative entrance Yes - level
Wheelchair accessible toilets 1
Lift N/A
Hearing support systems No
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The level access to the Botanic Garden is off Rose Lane.  Parking on Rose Lane itself is not allowed (although the road can be used as a drop-off point). The closest Blue Badge spaces are on Merton Street (watch out for the cobbles!). Please also see the the parking map for details of other Blue Badge parking. 



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The main entrance to the gardens is down a set of steps from the High Street. For level access, head down Rose Lane, and there is a black metal gate with intercom on almost immediately your left hand side (the car park is further down on the right  hand side). Press the button and the end of the gate will open to allow level access. From here, follow the path around to the right to reach the small archway into the gardens. Head into the ticket office on your left to purchase your tickets (entry is free for disabled visitors and their companions, but you still need to go through the office).


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The ticket office is on your left hand side as you come in through either the main gate or the level access entrance.  The door is propped open during visiting hours, but it may be a bit narrow for some larger wheelchairs.  There is a reduced height section at the counter, but no hearing loop available.  The reception area also functions as the shop.  Please see the “Gift Shop” section on page two for more information. 


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Accessible toilets
 Exit reception, walk past the conservatory, and turn left to reach the toilets.  Go through the Iron Gate, and the accessible toilet is about halfway down on your left hand side.  Please take care as the door is on quite a tight spring closure.  The toilets will be locked just before the gardens close each evening.

Standard toilets
Men's and Women's toilets are located next to the accessible toilet. 


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The glasshouses do have large glass doors, and these can be very heavy if closed, particularly the door to the main glasshouse, which is up a slope.    


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The glasshouses are arranged in two groups; Carnivorous Plants, Lily House, Fernery, and Alpine House are in the group closest to the ticket office;  Arid House and Palm House are further along (see map). Long corridors link the areas within each group. Flooring in the glasshouses is a mixture of paving, textured concrete, and wooden boards. Please note that all areas can get crowded on busy days. There are access features to note in the glasshouses below:

Conservatory – The conservatory floor is fairly even and there is a backless bench to rest on. Most of the plant labels are at an accessible height for wheelchair users.  Please be aware that there are two metal support poles in the middle of the floor space. There is plenty of space to move around.

Carnivorous Plants – Plants in the carnivorous house are arranged on two levels of staged beds, and wooden ‘cobbles’ on the floor can make access difficult for wheelchair users; the door is also rather narrow. There is a magnifying glass available to appreciate the details of the plants. There is plenty of space to move around.

Lily House – Space inside the Lily House is rather restricted, particularly around the corners of the main pond; people using larger wheelchairs may find that this area is not accessible. The humid houses have gratings in the floor with holes approx. 2cm square - some people may need to take extra care here. The Lilly House is kept at a high temperature (over 30C) and is very humid. 

Fernery - There is a stone floor in the Fernery which can be wet and slippery at times. The fernery is very humid.  

Alpine House - The direct entrance from the gardens has one step down with no handrail. Level access is available into the Alpine House from the main glasshouse. The Alpine House is not large enough for most wheelchairs to turn around; wheelchair users may have to exit backwards

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There are benches with backs scattered around the gardens, centred on the fountain area.  Visitors are allowed to walk on the grass, but the lawns often have a small lip up to them, which some wheelchair users might need a hand negotiating.  The gardens run down to the river at the lower end, and the drop is marked by stone edging.   The paths are mostly hard packed gravel which is easy going for wheelchairs, although some paths among the beds are too narrow to negotiate easily. 


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There are different types of labelling in the gardens, but most are the ‘traditional’ small slate-effect labels, which those with visual impairments might find hard to read. The glass display board in the glasshouse corridor is also difficult to read.  

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Leave the ticket office by the entrance, and the exhibition room is past the arch on the right hand side.  There are three concrete steps up to the room, with no handrail or nosings.  A portable ramp can be used for level access, although this is very steep; please ask at reception.  Wheelchair users will need both doors opening.  Once inside there are moveable chairs, a low sideboard, and plenty of ambient light.


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There is no hearing support system available. 

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Contact details

The University of Oxford Botanic Garden
Rose Lane
01865 286 690

Contact the Access Guide

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