Chelsea Physic Garden

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41 Love It
© Peter James
© Britta Jaschinski / Time Out
© Britta Jaschinski / Time Out
© Susie Rea
Ricard Petanque garden party © Debbie Bragg
© Charlie Hopkinson
Catharanthus roseus in the Medicinal Plants garden © Nick Bailey
Family activity day © Charlie Hopkinson
Family activity day © Pia Ostlund
Family activity day © Charlie Hopkinson
Tangerine Cafe © Charlie Hopkinson

Founded in 1673, Chelsea Physic Garden contains the world's oldest rock garden, made from fused bricks and flint, stones from the Tower of London, and Icelandic lava brought up the Thames by ship in 1772. Today the garden is also home to Britain's first garden of ethnobotany (the study of the botany of different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples), and a Garden of Medicinal Plants, tracing the chronology of plant remedies over almost an acre, from ancient Greek herbs to plants that are likely to be used in future medicine. Illustrated information panels explain what you're seeing, but there are also guided tours and walks, talks and workshops throughout the growing season. There's also a shop where visitors can buy unusual plants, and a café serving very good homemade cakes.

New for 2015 is the World Woodland Garden, which celebrates useful and medicinal plants from the Americas, Europe and East Asia. The half-acre garden is home to more than 150 species of plant and visitors can weave through it on a serpentine path or learn more about the collection from garden volunteers in one of the woodland clearings.

See more stunning gardens in the capital

Venue name: Chelsea Physic Garden
Address: 66
Royal Hospital Rd
Opening hours: Nov-Mar: Mon-Fri, 9.30am-4pm. Apr-Oct: Tue-Fri, Sun & Bank Holidays 11am-6pm; July 1-Sept 2 2015: late openings until 10pm on Wed 11am-10pm
Transport: Tube: Sloane Square
Price: £9.90, £6.60 concs, free under-fives
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
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An endearing little place, lovingly tended, where you can learn about useful plants. My own preference is for urban gardens that are less manicured and more, well, free (the Skip Garden in Kings Cross, for instance, doesn't charge for entry). But I am a cheap bastard, and presumably the entrance charges collected by the Chelsea Physic Garden are put to good use.


Apparently its the oldest botanic garden in London but it rocks! Loads of info about how plants are important in everything we do-not presented in a stuffy way.

Rosie M

Wonderful garden that really is a hidden gem, the gardens are incredibly interesting and with a free guided tour the history of the origins of not only the garden but the plants and their uses is explained. The shop has some lovely gift ideas and good range of books and souvenirs. The cafe/restaurant is lovely, can get very cramped but the food is really good, I had to buy their recipe book! Thoroughly recommended.

Ute K

A lovely & small botanical treasure chest in the middle of London, with many officinal plants, plants with fragrance & many many more, including a pond with newts & others

Ulla S

I simply love this place and the huge variety of plants it embraces with everything being lovingly explained for the viewer. But you can also simply go there for relaxation. I keep coming back whenever I´m in London.

Freire Barnes
moderatorStaff Writer

A veritable horticultural experience, the garden is a must for anyone green fingered or as an unexpected treat for visiting relatives or romantic sunday lounge.

Sean N

A fabulous garden that Is truly enchanting
a large garden with plenty to see
including a cactus house, medicinal plants, a well stocked shop, & plants to buy.
it's like walking into nania
not just a garden but a place where you can rest be at peace relax
leave the hustle & bustle behind of london
well worth the £10 entry fee.


This is one of the best venues in Chelsea for a summer wedding. My steel drum band ensemble has performed there many times and we also saw Boris there at a fund raising event. The grounds are excellent and the venue is well managed.