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Parks and Gardens in Reykjavik

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Iceland
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Thingvellir
In the last few decades, research has made it clear that Þingvellir is a natural wonder on a international scale, with the geologic history and the biosystem of Lake Þingvallavatn forming a unique entity, a magnificent showcase. Being able to witness the evolution and formation of new species in a place like Lake Þingvallavatn is of immense value. The Þingvellir area is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, being situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The faults and fissures of the area make evident the rifting of the earth's crust.
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Svartifoss Waterfall
A short walk into Skaftafell National Park in South Iceland provides visitors with a breathtaking view of Svartifoss (Black Falls). Ice-cold meltwater from the Svinafellsjokull glacier feeds the famous Svartifoss waterfall. The waterfall tumbles down 20 metres (80ft) over a cliff which is bordered on both sides by tall black basalt columns, resembling pipes of a giant organ, which is where the waterfall gets its name. This wonder of natural architecture inspired the design for Iceland’s National Theatre and the Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik. The hexagonal columns form inside a lava flow which then cools extremely slowly, giving rise to crystallization. Similar well-known lava formations are seen at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, and on the island of Staffa in Scotland.
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Loch Gruinart
Loch Gruinart is perhaps one of the most beautiful parts of Islay offering stunning views combined with unique wildlife, rare birds and thousands of geese in the wintertime. From the parking close to the bird hide a track takes the visitor through some sheltered woodland offering nice views over the loch, good birding opportunities and viewing platform. RSPB Loch Gruinart Nature Reserve lies to the north-west of Islay and covers some 1600ha. It is a special kind of nature reserve because it includes a working farm - in fact, the biggest in-hand farming operation on a nature reserve anywhere in the UK, and possibly in Europe. There is something to see year-round at the reserve. Some say the most spectacular time to visit is in October when internationally important numbers of barnacle and white-fronted geese return from Greenland for the winter. At the same time, brent geese and whooper swans fly in from Iceland and stop for a day or two's rest before heading onwards to Ireland. This is also a good time to see birds of prey - hen harriers, sparrow-hawks, merlin, peregrine and golden eagles. Redwings strip bare the berries on the rowan trees, flocks of small birds feed in the autumn stubbles, and choughs pull apart cowpats for dung-beetle larvae.
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Leith Hall Garden and Estate
Your visit to Leith Hall will be by guided tour, giving a fascinating insight into the changing aspirations, needs and tastes of the Leith-Hay family over the centuries. The house itself is quirky and curious, reflected in the worldwide collections on show.
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Johnston Gardens
A city garden with streams, waterfalls, ponds, rockeries and rustic bridge that help to make this one of the most charming areas in the city. The garden is planted with rhododendrons, spring bulbs, heathers and alpines; the ponds are full of irises, aylesbury, mallard and muscovy ducks.
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David Welch Winter Gardens
The David Welch Winter Gardens at Duthie Park are one of Europe’s largest indoor gardens and Scotland’s third most visited gardens. It boasts a beautiful floral paradise all year round, with many rare and exotic plants on show from all around the world.
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Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Glasgow Botanic Gardens is located in the heart of the city’s West End by the River Kelvin and contains a variety of plant collections, woodland copses and riverside walks as well as the famous Kibble Palace. Kibble Palace is a magnificent glasshouse designed by John Kibble and houses the national collection of tree ferns. Plants from tropical rainforests grow in the palm house.
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Scottish Wildlife Trust Montrose Basin
Montrose Basin is the enclosed estuary of the South Esk River. The reserve includes a 4-star visitor centre along with four remote bird hides.
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Barnhill Rock Garden
This beautiful garden offers a tranquil environment with spectacular views across the River Tay and boasts a wonderful range of alpines, shrubs, woodland and waterside planting. The Barnhill Rock Garden is an award-winning public park extending to more than two hectares. This beautiful garden boasts a wonderful array of alpines, shrubs, woodland and waterside planting with spectacular views across the River Tay. The garden, which is situated on part of a former nine-hole golf course, was started in 1955 by clearing an area of volcanic rock which at one time had been the old shoreline. Over the years it was then extended eastwards over areas which had once been sand dunes. Visitors and locals alike can enjoy the beauty of the garden which provides an excellent place for recreation and relaxation. Situated on the esplanade in Broughty Ferry, the garden is within a short distance of other amenities and attractions such as restaurants, an award-winning beach, and the 15th century Broughty Castle which overlooks the harbour.
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Strathclyde Country Park
Strathclyde Country Park is an iconic North Lanarkshire Country park which lies in 400 hectares of countryside in the valley of the River Clyde. Set within beautiful surroundings the park is one of the most popular family attractions in the central belt of Scotland, with thousands of visitors coming each year to the park in order to enjoy the vast range of activities and events on offer.
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Antrim Castle Gardens and Clotworthy House
The gardens are a complex living museum containing over four centuries of culture and heritage. Within the heart of the 60 acre gardens is a unique visitor experience, Clotworthy House.
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Lauriston Castle
With its calm, tranquil atmosphere, and stunning views across the Firth of Forth, Lauriston is the perfect place to escape from the bustle of the city centre. Enjoy a woodland walk, a visit to award-winning Japanese garden, or step back in time and experience what life was like in an Edinburgh middle-class home at the beginning of the 20th century.
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Edinburgh Zoo
The wildest visitor attraction in Scotland. Edinburgh Zoo is home to over 1,000 rare and beautiful animals from around the world and home to the UK's only giant pandas and koalas. RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is packed with fun and un-zoo-sual things to do. Why not watch zoo's famous penguin parade and visit the world’s only Knighted penguin, Sir Nils Olav. Or spend your day learning about brilliant birds, mischievous meerkats, super strong sun bears and more with daily keeper talks! Get closer than ever to monkeys, lemurs, wallabies and pelicans in a walkthrough habitats or at a daily animal-handling sessions. Watch a Sumatran tiger walk right over your head in Tiger Tracks, an amazing glass viewing tunnel. And if you prefer smaller critters, you’ll enjoy Wee Beasties where you can find reptiles, amphibians and insects. Edinburgh Zoo is unlike any other visitor attraction in Scotland. As part of RZSS, one of Scotland’s leading conservation charities, the Park acts as a gateway to our wider work, both here in Scotland and in over 20 countries around the world.
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Dynamic Earth
A visit to Dynamic Earth is like nothing else on Earth. It's a chance to experience the primeval forces of nature as they shaped our planet, to journey through space and time and even go on a 4DVENTURE around the world. You'll be embarking on the interactive adventure of a lifetime - the lifetime of our planet.
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Holyrood Park
Holyrood Park is a short walk from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in the heart of the city. It is a 640 acre Royal Park adjacent to Holyrood Palace. The parks highest point is Arthurs Seat, an ancient volcano, and sits 251m above sea level giving excellent view of the city; it is also the site of a large and well preserved fort. This is one of four hill forts dating from around 2000 years ago. With its diverse range of flora and geology it is also site of Special Scientific Interest.
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Belfast Zoo
Belfast Zoological Gardens is home to more than 140 species of animal, many of which are in danger in their natural habitat. As one of the oldest visitor attractions in Northern Ireland, many visitors have fond memories of visiting the gardens, which have been home to the animals since 1934. Belfast Zoo is now a leading and award-winning visitor attraction in Northern Ireland, with more than 200,000 visitors each year. Popular attractions include the Asian elephants, Barbary lions, Rothschild's giraffes, California sea lions, penguins, apes, Malayan tapirs, giant anteater, Malayan sun bears, Visayan warty pigs, Goodfellow's tree kangaroo, red-backed bearded sakis, crowned sifaka, ring-tailed lemurs and reptiles.
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Belfast Botanic Gardens
Botanic Gardens is an important part of Belfast's Victorian heritage and a popular meeting place for residents, students and tourists. Botanic Gardens was established in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society, in response to the public interest in horticulture and botany. Originally known as the Belfast Botanic Garden, the site contained exotic tree species and impressive plant collections from the southern hemisphere, many of which can still be seen in the park. Today, the park is popular with residents, students and visitors and is an important venue for concerts, festivals and other events. It is home to the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine.
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Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park
Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in south Belfast is one of the city's most popular parks. The park is home to the City of Belfast International Rose Garden, which attracts thousands of visitors to Rose Week celebrations which take place in July each year. Covering more than 128 acres, the park is made up of rolling meadows, copses, woodland and gardens and is home to a wide range of plants and animals. An ideal base for exploring nearby Lagan Valley Regional Park, it contains international camellia trials, a walled garden, a Japanese-style garden with water features for quiet contemplation, children's playground and orienteering and eco trails. There is also a bottle bank, barbecue area, picnic tables and full car parking facilities.
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Bangor Castle
This impressive building was built for the Hon Robert Edward Ward and his family in 1852. The building is situated in the grounds of Castle Park alongside the North Down Museum and is just a short walk from Bangor Castle Walled Garden.
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Mount Stewart House
Mount Stewart, located on the shores of Strangford Lough in County Down, is Northern Ireland’s much-loved family home. Following a three year £8 million restoration programme, this 19th- century house has been significantly transformed, making it a must-see attraction on the island of Ireland. Voted as one of the top ten gardens in the world, Mount Stewart reflects a rich tapestry of design and planting artistry bearing the hallmark of its creator. Edith, Lady Londonderry’s passion for bold planting schemes coupled with the mild climate of Strangford Lough allows rare and tender plants from across the globe to thrive in this celebrated garden. Each of the formal gardens exudes a distinct character and appeal. Mount Stewart is a delight for the senses with a series of formal themed garden compartments around the house including The Italian, Spanish, Mairi and Shamrock Garden.
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Bergen Aquarium
Meet the sea lions, the creepy - but great crocodiles, fish and the fascinating snakes at Bergen Aquarium. Film screening and feeding daily. At the Bergen Aquarium you will meet famous local personalities like Pingrid Alexandra, Vitus and Zelters. You can also experience the great atmosphere created by the young and old citizens of Bergen who keep coming back to say hello to the animals - and to meet each other. Since 1960, the aquarium has formed a vibrant part of our local identity
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Kirklinton Hall & Gardens
Take a 17th Century ruin, add 14 acres of gardens and grounds, blend with a sense of history, mix in a large dollop of irreverence; add a generous pinch of fairy dust, and stir. That is the recipe for Kirklinton Hall & Gardens. Also in this stunning garden is an orchard, nuttery, quince grove, bog garden, duck pond and palace, pigs, a yurt, a gypsy caravan and a campsite. A scented rose maze and rose terraces surround the Great Hall. We also have a children's garden with sandpit, playhouse and a Kids Sunflower Bed.
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Phoenix Park
The Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed public park in any capital city in Europe. It was originally formed as a royal hunting Park in the 1660s and opened to the public in 1747. A large herd of fallow deer still remain to this day. The Park is also home to the Zoological Gardens, Áras an Uachtaráin, and Victorian flower gardens The Phoenix Park is only a mile and a half from O’Connell Street. Both passive and active recreational pursuits may be viewed or pursued such as walking, running, polo, cricket, hurling, and many more. The Glen Pond is set in very scenic surrounds in the Furry Glen. There are many walks and cycle trails available to the public.
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Dublin Castle
Erected in the early thirteenth century on the site of a Viking settlement, Dublin Castle served for centuries as the headquarters of English, and later British, administration in Ireland. In 1922, following Ireland’s independence, Dublin Castle was handed over to the new Irish government.
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St Stephen's Green Park
St Stephen’s Green Park is a historical park and garden, located in the centre of Dublin city. Cared for by the Office of Public Works, the park is an important public resource in the area, and provides an oasis of green calm in the middle of a bustling city. Its four centuries of history are eventful and complex, involving such important figures as Arthur Guinness, 1st Baron Ardilaun, and Countess Constance Markievicz. The park itself hosts a large number of important sculptural monuments to Irish history. Many species of birds and plants also call the park their home. Public facilities at St Stephen’s Green Park include a playground and a garden for the visually impaired.
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Blackpool Stanley Park
The 390-acre Stanley Park is a landmark in its own right, with a magical blend of architecture, horticulture and recreation. Stanley Park abounds in wildlife and its features appeal to the naturalist, the plant lover or one who would do nothing more than relax in elegant surroundings. Delightful horticultural displays can be found throughout the park. Don’t miss the Italian gardens, water fountains, statues, rose gardens and Remembrance Garden. Admire the impressive Cocker Tower - a memorial to Blackpool’s first Mayor Dr William Cocker, the bandstand and ornamental bridges over the lake. Stanley Park has a long sporting history and offers the best facilities in resort from a game of pitch and putt to a round of golf, a trim trail, athletic arena and a sports club for all keep-fit enthusiasts, plus play facilities for the children.
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Blackpool Model Village & Gardens
Blackpool's award-winning attraction the Blackpool Model Village & Gardens, established in 1972, has been inspiring the imaginations of families for decades. There are 100's of creative village scenes that will spark your imagination to life as you wander around their beautiful gardens, along the walkways. Follow the quiz and don't miss any of them. Marvel at the many handcrafted models and figures that represent life's rich tapestry and step back in time to those bygone days when life seemed to move at a slower pace, from a Scottish Castle, protected by its ranks of Guardsmen to a tranquil Cornish fishing village. From thatched cottages hidden away and a Tudor village whos, diminutive residents enjoy a cricket match on the village green. Many new buildings are added yearly along with a working train running through the shopping centre of the main village another in front of the shambles′ and a model railway featuring Thomas Annie & Clarabel!
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Marton Mere Local Nature Reserve
Marton Mere Local Nature Reserve, home to hundreds of species of wildlife, is nationally recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, not bad considering it was once a part of the town’s rubbish tip!
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Gypsy Wood Park
Everyone in the family will love a day out at Gypsy Wood Park! We are one of North Wales’ top family attractions, and with a huge range of attractions and things to do for all the family, you’ll be sure of a fun-filled family day out. Come and meet our friendly animals, take a ride on Woody’s Train, try your hand at one of our family games, run wild in our outdoor play areas, make some music in our treehouse and see if you can spot all of our fairies on the fairy hunt and lots more, all set in 20 acres of beautiful natural Welsh woodland. And don’t forget to pack your wellies for the woodland walk and write up your wishes for the Fairy Princess. So why not come and make happy holiday memories with us here at Gypsy Wood Park?
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Lightwater Valley Theme Park
Thrill seekers will love the sky-high thrill rides! Soar through the air on the Eagles Claw, hurtle through the deep, dark forest aboard The Ultimate (Europe’s longest roller coaster) and venture into the underground world of Raptor Attack, then come see the park from a whole different viewpoint aboard the Black Pearl or hop on Apollo and take a spinning ride far above the treetops. There are plenty of rides for the junior thrill seekers too, including Splash Falls with sharp turns and sudden drops, wet N wild fun on the Wild River Rapids, and swashbuckling adventures aboard our speedy Skull Rock and the tummy-tickling Flying Cutlass. Plus jump around on our huge Jumpin’Jacks! bouncy pillow. Younger guests will love the outdoor and indoor play, the Lightwater Express train ride around the park, Eagles Creek Farm tractor ride, plus a selection of young fun fairground rides, the Adventure Playground and Mini Sand Diggers.
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Knowsley Safari
Have an adventure at Knowsley Safari this summer! Kick off the day with a tour of the 550 acre Safari Drive and get acquainted with over 700 wild animals, from baboons to camels, wildebeest to lions, all from the comfort of your car.
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Mother Shipton's Cave
Mother Shipton’s is a beloved Knaresborough landmark and England’s oldest visitor attraction, open since 1630. This popular visitor attraction tells the story of Mother Shipton and the Petrifying Well. A picturesque mile-long walk along the River Nidd features the cave where famous Yorkshire prophetess Mother Shipton was born. It is situated next to the Petrifying Well, a unique geological phenomenon. Over hundreds of years, curiosity has drawn millions of visitors to the well to see cascading water turn everyday objects to stone - as if by magic. People around the world visit the park, a remnant of the Royal Forest of Knaresborough with some of the oldest, tallest beech trees in the country. Mother Shipton was born in a cave in 1488 and grew up around Knaresborough. As she grew older, her prophecies became known throughout England. She foretold the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and the Great Fire of London in 1666. She made her living telling the future and warning those who asked of what was to come. Great for all ages, there’s fun for families in the adventure playground, scenic picnic areas, interactive trails and actors during events, and petrified objects displayed in the museum and gift shop.
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Golden Acre Park
This popular park in North Leeds is renowned for its wonderful gardens, popular tea rooms and circular lakeside walk. At 136 acres, this is a large park and is near to two of Leeds' most treasured nature reserves: Breary Marsh and Adel Dam. It's also on the route of the Leeds Country Way and the Meanwood Valley Trail.
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