By Chloe Charitey Pudjo (22S03G) and Mei Feifei (22A13A)
The Gallop Extension is the newest addition to the famed Singapore Botanic Gardens. In this article, Raffles Press takes you on a tour through its 8 hectares of lush greenery, open spaces, and picturesque black and white houses.
Located along Gallop Road, the Gallop Extension is a considerable distance away from the Bukit Timah Gate at the Botanic Gardens MRT. If you are coming by public transport, consider alighting one stop away at Farrer Road MRT instead.
From Farrer Road MRT, you can walk along Woollerton Park and directly enter the Gallop Extension through the Gallop Road Gate or the Woollerton Gate.
Once you are in the park, it will be difficult to miss the two colonial black and white bungalows — Inverturret and Atbara — that now house the Botanical Art Gallery and Forest Discovery Centre respectively.
We feel that the Gallop Extension is worth a visit for the sake of the well-preserved, iconic colonial era architecture alone. It would probably be easy to spend an entire afternoon relaxing on the balconies of the buildings or admiring the enchanting interiors.
In addition to the gorgeous physical structure of the Botanical Art Gallery, it is also currently holding the ‘Flower Obsession: Plant Collecting in East Asia, 1600s–1900s’ exhibition.
The exhibition features horticultural manuals, catalogues, and botanical encyclopaedias — “an invaluable archive of flower obsession, providing records of plants being cultivated, selected, exhibited and traded in a bygone era”.
We loved the intricate sketching and vibrant colours of the drawings that were carefully arranged to bring attention to the anatomy of the flowers.
After exploring the two levels of the Botanical Art Gallery, we headed to the Forest Discovery Centre via ‘The Ramp’ and were treated to several informative displays about Singapore’s distinctive forest ecosystems. The Centre is split into the Nature Explorer Zone and the Forest Conservation Gallery.
While you are admiring the exhibitions, do be careful: we were warned that stray bees “sneak in” at night and spend the day buzzing around the Centre.
Speaking of bees, the Gallop Extension houses Bee’s Knees Petite, a takeaway cafe located a short distance away from the Forest Discovery Centre. Grab a drink and a snack and head to the benches scattered around the park for some refuelling.
Alternatively, head to the open fields for a picnic set against the charming backdrop of colonial architecture and gentle slopes.
The quiet ambience and privacy made for a perfect picnic experience. For those consumed by wanderlust, let your dreams of a Parisian picnic come true here.
There were many shaded spots around the park, so it is definitely an ideal spot for cosy birthday celebrations, anniversaries or just some time alone! Elevate your picnic experience by further exploring the grounds and soaking in the flourishing yet well-manicured garden landscape.
The Gallop Extension makes a special effort to cater to families. Beyond offering scenic picnic spots, the COMO Adventure Grove is a children’s playground closely integrated with nature.
With features that cater to the hikers, the foodies and the families, the Gallop Extension has something for everyone. Coupled with the galleries, we actually found it more fun than the main Botanic Gardens.
The Gallop Extension is definitely worth it if you are looking for a short weekend excursion. Immerse yourself in flourishing nature, and when the heat starts getting unbearable, escape into the colonial bungalows to check out the exhibitions. Finally, end the day off with a picnic and watch the sunset over the canopy.
We hope you enjoyed this article. For more coverage on hidden gems around the island, check out our special edition here.