Time Out says
The sprawling Barbican complex in the City of London definitely isn’t the place you’d expect to find one of the capital’s greatest green spaces. But wander for long enough among its concrete angles and you’ll stumble into a gasp-inducing tropical paradise. The Barbican Conservatory opened in 1984 and is one of the biggest greenhouses in London, second only to Kew Gardens. It houses 2,000 plant species, including towering palms and ferns, across an extensive series of concrete terraces and beds. There are even koi carp and terrapins. The atmosphere is almost post-apocalyptically peaceful.
The Conservatory is open on Sunday and bank holiday Monday afternoons, as well as selected Saturdays until 10pm (with a pop-up café and bar!) and for occasional special events. Entrance is free. Alternatively, you can take a guided tour or – if you’d like to linger a little longer among the foliage – book in for a civilised afternoon tea.
|Opening hours:||Sun only, 12pm-5pm (last entry 4.30pm)|
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Users say (21)
Average User Rating
4.6 / 5
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- 4 star:8
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This is one of those secret London places that I love to bring friends from out of town. A literal urban jungle with lots of different types of flowers and other plants. A warm (and free!) place to spend an afternoon especially when it is rainy and dark outside. You can easily spend a few hours admiring, photographing and drawing there; and check out the other cultural things on offer at Barbican Centre. We had a bubbly afternoon tea there recently and it was really lovely too!
A wonderful green space in the heart of the city, it is a stark contrast to it's surroundings. The Conservatory provides a lush area to enjoy afternoon tea or simply a beautiful walk to appreciate the efforts undertaken to cultivate a natural world indoors.
There is a great pond with some humongous koi carp as well as another little pond with fish in it and a delicate footbridge. Some stunning flowers of mega proportions, it was a lovely afternoon adventure with the family.
As a member of the young Barbican scheme I've been to the Barbican a few times, enjoying music and exhibitions (do google Young Barbican's as its free to join with lots of discounted ticket offers), but have never found the elusive Conservatory! I was surprised to find the Barbican open on a recent bank holiday and used the opportunity to find the second biggest conservatory in London. I was with my Dad (a keen horticulturalist) and we were both really taken aback by the variety of tropical plants and the vastness of the glass-roofed area. The displays of the history of the conservatory were also really interesting- particularly the lengths it took to establish everything back in the 1970s! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and will 100% be back again, a wonderful tranquil spot in London that I would recommend again and again.
AWESOME! I sort of stumbled across this whilst waiting for some mates. What a beautiful piece of beauty, encapsulated in a heart of stone.
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