Garden Museum
Garden Museum
3.5
Speciality MuseumsGardensHistory Museums
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The Garden Museum explores and celebrates the art, history and design of British gardens and their place in our lives today. Visitors will discover the stories of great gardeners through a permanent collection of artefacts and tools from gardening throughout history alongside botanical art, photography, and paintings exploring how and why we garden. Exhibitions, events, and community projects delve into art, architecture, plant science, food, sustainability, well-being and more, all through the lens of gardening. Housed in the deconsecrated church of St Mary-at-Lambeth, the Garden Museum contains the burial place of John Tradescant, an early gardener and plant hunter. To preserve his tomb, the Garden Museum was founded by Rosemary Nicholson, an admirer of Tradescant, in 1977. At the heart of the Museum is a sheltered courtyard garden designed by Dan Pearson as an ‘Eden’ of rare plants.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Waterloo • 8 min walk
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See what travelers are saying
  • Kris T
    3 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    A good afternoon
    I had a great coffee and ginger oat cookie delicious and not expensive. The tower was stunning nice I had my breath back. I enjoyed the museum but I thought the gardens and galleries could be much bigger.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written June 20, 2023
  • Graham B
    Reims, France121 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good location, fabulous building.
    Good location, fabulous building. The Garden Museum recounts the history of formal gardening in the UK since the 16th century. There is also a small display of old gardening tools that look very much like modern ones. One or two interactive displays to help you understand the dangers and adventures of bringing exotic plants from Asia, South America or Africa. The building is a restores 18th century church, complete with stained-glass windows. A cafeteria and toilets are available, and there is a tube station, a five-minute walk away.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 29, 2023
  • Ken C
    Derby, United Kingdom271 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tastefully restored church now a museum
    Depending on your level of interest in the history of gardening ,ours is average interest, but did find some interesting facts to enlighten our visit. Not everyone's cup of tea but the building its-self is tastefully restored from Lambeth St Mary's church and alone is worth a visit. A trip up to the the top of the tower can be hard going but worth it to view London from a different angle. A nice restaurant with garden area also on the site,slightly expensive,but this is tourists London!
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 18, 2023
  • Liz
    London, United Kingdom40 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Would love the cafe if it served savory things, but the books on sale are wonderful
    I like the Garden Museum's courtyard and wanted to see the new plans for the open space outside on the corner of the street. I didn't eat at the cafe as lunch started at noon and there are no snacks that are not sweet sold before then. The bookshop always has interesting books, though I found their cards less interesting: maybe they should have cards featuring their own plants?
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written March 8, 2024
  • gailcollins
    West Byfleet, United Kingdom59 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hidden Gem
    Beautiful, friendly and tranquil place. staff brilliant, helpful and informative. Fay on reception could not have helped us more. She took our coats told us about the wonderful tower. Which we climbed. What a view from the top.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written April 2, 2024
  • Sarah L
    16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Quirky little museum in incredible setting
    Lovely little museum. Wasn't busy today - a Saturday. It's small and will not take up too much time. The view from the tower is incredible. Be warned that the tower doesn't open if too windy. The steps up to the top of the tower are narrow and steep and there is only a slack rope handrail to hold on to. Proceed with caution and only if wearing correct footwear. Cafe nice but fairly noisy so not relaxing. Very well staffed. Excellent toilet facilities. The setting is beautiful including the stained glass windows. I would recommend this museum - something a bit different.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 6, 2024
  • Richard C
    798 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nicely presented exhibits in a redundant church
    There are both permanent and rotating exhibits about gardening at Lambeth Palace. It's a bit strange to go to a Garden Museum rather than a garden, but if you're enthusiast you'll enjoy seeing William Robinson's cloak and a well preserved container of Slug Death. There's a small garden in the courtyard (with the grave of William Bligh) and a marvelous cafe. I thought it was a bit pricey, but everything is in life after lockdown. Lovely quiet space it is, though.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 24, 2024
  • JN65
    Liverpool, United Kingdom323 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Quirky and worth a vist
    Pleasant, tranquil place. Quite niche, obviously...it won't be of much interest to you if you are not interested in gardening. But it's a nice, interesting, small museum in an old church with info and artefacts related to the history of gardening, plus art exhibitions that change over time, as well as temporary exhibitions. There is only a very small garden here - it's a museum, not a landscape garden. The tomb of the sailor Bligh (of Mutiny on the Bounty fame) is in the garden, which might interest some people. Cafe is nice but not cheap. There's a tower you can climb. We wanted to, but it was 'too slippy' due to recent rain. We got a voucher from reception so we could come back later, which was nice.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 30, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles343 reviews
Excellent
104
Very good
114
Average
60
Poor
36
Terrible
29

Robert W
London, UK3,815 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Solo
This is a museum of the garden housed in a former church whose graveyard is the last resting place of William Blythe and The Tradescents. They’re both well known for their horticultural knowledge and research. The building itself combines both an ancient church with modern additions making use of the space to create intimate galleries.

The collection is curated and tells you about the history of gardens over the years. They also have temporary installations like Derek Jarman Prospect cottage which is a delightful insight to a legendary film maker who devoted his last years to his garden in Dungeness which is known for its semi arid and desert like conditions. A beautiful insight into some of the weirdest landscapes in the U.K.
Written September 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fuensanta S.L.
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
Came in last Sunday with my partner to have lunch and see their British Flowers Week 2021 installations.

The café setting is just mesmerising, I had made a booking for 2 at 1 pm and they had a table prepared for us outside in their stunning Sackler Garden, eating with such beautiful weather and enjoying the sights of the garden made our day. The service was outstanding and the food was delicious. Would like to thank Maria, Eros, Sam and the rest of the staff for their recommendations and for being so friendly.

After our lunch, we went straight inside to see their temporary exhibit and installations for British Flowers Week, and felt very welcomed by their staff and volunteers, who had a great knowledge of the temporary installations and the current Constance Spry exhibition. It was the first time my partner visited (not my first time at the Museum) and he told me how much he found the nave a beautiful realm and how much he enjoyed coming to visit.

Thank you all for a beyond wonderful Sunday Date out in the sun!
Written June 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

micha993
London, UK24 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
Revisited a number of times recently. It used to have a community run cafe, a lovely knot garden see the photos of contributors from back in 2015 and a museum part after the discovery of 3 archbishops of Canterbury.

The garden has been completely ruined with a brown metal box housing an over priced coffee shop. The part of the museum with a little exhibition on the excavations is no longer accessible. A fully corporate enterprise now with the name Sackler attached to it.

Going up the in parts 12th century tower is worth it. As Londoner I would recommend to gardeners to go to the Chelsea Physic Garden instead.
Written October 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RuthyGlasgow
Glasgow815 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
I enjoyed the visit here, very rustic and some attention needed in some patches of the garden, not sure if this is a work in progress. Lots of things I was interested in and lots of just someone's junk? I did enjoy being in the old St Mary-at-Lambeth Church with beautiful stained glass windows and so lovely that it was rescued from being a ruin to this little museum, and I also managed to climb the winding tower stairs to the top for wonderful views. It was expensive for not much back but I did enjoy being there. I bought a couple of little garden and tree poetry handbooks that were second hand but in great condition, for a good price, and a little scissor gadget for dead heading plants that I'd never seen before. There is a cafe which looked lovely and modern. It's the type of place that you would go to if have free time and completed all the other touristy things you had set out to do. I loved the walk from my hotel over the bridge and along the embankment, passed all the Covid memorials on the long walls, so very sad. Then onto Lambeth Palace which you cannot get in to as the Arch Bishop uses this place to stay when in London? Got good photos of it though whilst at the top of the church tower. So for me, I was very pleased to have found this little treasure and it just ended my trip well in London.
Written December 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roberta R
Sevenoaks, United Kingdon202 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
Absolute delight from the moment we stepped through their glass doors into this wonderful converted church. We had not done any homework on the museum, we just wanted to visit the Derek Jarman exhibition having known Prospect Cottage at Dungeness since we were children. The wow factor when we saw the frontage of his cottage looking just as it does on sunny days took one's breath away and that set the seal on our visit - incidentally our first real adventure since lockdown. The museum itself has so many exhibits all attractively presented and with just the right amount of words to read and so informative. The warm welcome we received, the staff and volunteers, the cafe, shop and toilets, not to mention the little garden were absolutely terrific. Thank you to everyone and we shall be back.
Written July 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Helenatam
London, UK66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Friends
Went with friends to see the Jarman exhibition which was wonderful - just like being there on the real beach at Dungeness. The whole museum is delightful - we loved the short films of people & their garden sheds actually shown in a garden shed! Climbing the tower was great fun & worth it for the workout (!) and the view from the top of the tower. All that pleasure for £10! Followed by a truly excellent lunch in the beautifully appointed cafe. Lovely friendly staff too. What more can I say apart from, ‘I’ll be back!’
Written November 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Claire C
Crowborough, UK8 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Given the love of gardening in the UK this museum focuses mainly of wealthy people who had gardeners. There was no information about the rise of garden centres, nothing about allotments, gardening in a small garden or on a balcony. It cost us £15 each to get in and really wasn’t worth it. We were looking forward to seeing the garden but this was part of the cafe and tiny, the pretty garden that we could see was actually outside of the museum grounds and free to get in! We went to the cafe and ordered 2 iced teas at £3 each as we were both very thirsty, they were in really small glasses and were mistly ice. We got charged service bringing the bill for two minute drinks to £6.75!! I’d been looking forward to going to this museum for some time but came away feeling ripped off, I didn’t learn anything and wasn’t entertained although we did quite enjoy the plant hunting game and the building was nice. All in all though we wish we’d not bothered and gone to a free park with a bottle of drink instead, it would have been much more rewarding.
Written May 28, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kenyoga
Warwickshire32 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Couples
Nicely set in pleasant surroundings - Constance Spry exhibition interesting if a little superficial. Updating evolution of domestic gardening exhibit excellent. Well stocked small shops with very pleasant tender. Cafe with potential marred by unwelcoming, bossy, headless chicken style-cafe manager presiding over inhibited subservient crew - a little out of keeping with the rest of the place.
Written May 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vacation67766399325
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
Extremely disappointed and very annoyed at the £36 I wasted. We are very keen gardeners but this museum had nothing of any interest. The actual garden is tiny and, quite frankly, completely under whelming. I was so excited as I am a huge Tradescant fan but I have been left feeling robbed and acomplete mug.
Written August 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MPGF73
London, UK25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
A brilliant museum and a great cafe all in one. The museum is well laid out, accessible to all and interesting even if gardening isn’t your biggest interest. Must’ve been past this place on the bus many times and never knew it existed but can’t wait to go back.
Written September 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Garden Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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