Chelsea Physic Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden
4.5
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
London's oldest botanic garden, containing a unique living collection of over 4,500 different edible, useful and medicinal plants that have changed the world. Established in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London as a Physic Garden, it is now open to the public with events, workshops and family activities.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Chelsea
Wealth courses through The King's Road, Chelsea's upmarket artery of West London life packed with shops, eateries and glitzy nightspots. For people-watching at its best and luxury retail therapy that's largely unrivalled, this area cannot be missed. But if this showy street starts to overwhelm or a moment of price tag shock sends you reeling, a quick detour down pretty much any of many King's Road veins will reveal a quieter side of Chelsea. Here the stately Royal Hospital hosts its world-famous flower show, and the Thames rolls along at a lazy pace, with leafy Battersea Park and its Peace Pagoda beckoning from across the river.
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See what travelers are saying
  • Vanessa F
    Netheravon, United Kingdom92 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Secret garden
    From embankment Road you get a glimpse of this secret garden through the Kings gate( fertiliser gate) walk round to royal hospital road to building to entre £12.50 entry fee. Initially thought it was expensive but included as many tours of garden as you like. Went to cafe and waited. David volunteer guide was very engaging and gave a brilliant informative 45 min tour . One of our party obviously regular visitor and between 2 a full interesting time spent. Supporting this charity is well worth it. Then spent another hour exploring ferns and other parts of gardens. This is a historical and botanical garden , not a park for little children. Interesting for those interested in herbal medicine and origins of medcine
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 26, 2023
  • Travelgeek1982
    Long Island, New York1,251 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible garden with a cozy Café
    Stunning garden with an incredible heritage and a café full of character with good atmosphere and very pleasant staff. Delicious homemade cakes and gorgeous fizz. Became a member on the spot and cannot wait to visit again.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 30, 2023
  • Andrew O
    Delph, United Kingdom61 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    What a garden! Thank you, Bernard.
    Think of an oasis of calm in the middle of chaos and then times it by ten. That is the Chelsea Physic Garden. It is a great garden that is simply breathtaking. The gardeners and volunteers, and staff, are passionate about the garden and the work they do there. This is an important garden in terms of botany and science, but regardless of that, it is a garden that gives gardeners ideas for their own space. Everything here is transferable to domestic gardens. The tours open the garden to visiters and are free. From the headache tree to tales of Hans Sloane himself, this is a garden that should be visited by every gardener. I have been promising myself for years to go and I am glad I have had the chance to visit. I could spend weeks there looking and learning. I want to thank Bernard, my tour guide, who took time out to chat with me. Bernard has a wealth of knowledge on ferns and was warm, and welcoming.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 4, 2023
  • Rexgom
    Christchurch, United Kingdom166 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    What a great experience (and thanks to Janet)
    We went to this garden as we had an afternoon spare and entered just before the 14:00 guided walk started so we decided to join. Our host was Janet and she gave us a detailed history of the gardens, their purpose, and the contents. Her talk was loaded with interesting facts as we walked round and she pointed out particular plants and provided background information about each. It was a great afternoon which we thoroughly enjoyed. I know we won't remember everything Janet showed us, we might remember some but we will remember the enjoyment of the afternoon. We are sure the other guides are as good as Janet :-)
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 15, 2023
  • John
    Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom38 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unexpectedly fascinating
    I was taken not expecting much, but I found it fascinating. To get anything out of you have to the guided tour. Otherwise the whole garden, not particularly beautiful, would be meaningless. I can highly recommend it, and the very small basic outdoor cafe in the old taxi shelter on the other side of Albert bridge.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 23, 2023
  • Tiger086
    London, United Kingdom13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don't miss the tour with Clare!
    This is the best peaceful idyll in London. Packed with beautiful flowers, plants and trees. I took the tour with Clare - would highly recommend. She knows her plants so well, and has a host of intriguing backstories - her tour is the best I've taken in London.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 1, 2023
  • Erica
    3 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of London's green lungs.
    On a sweltering day, we visited the Chelsea Physic Garden a haven of tranquility and beauty. An incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining guide, Valerie, walked us from shady spot to shady spot. It was a fabulous day out that felt good for the soul. Thank you.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 8, 2023
  • MrsFuzzyBear
    West Midlands, United Kingdom292 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very interesting, particularly with guided tour
    This is one of those places that is a peaceful little green oasis in the middle of the city. Of course, it has particular appeal for anyone interested in botanical sources and history of medicines. There is an entry fee, but we felt this was quite good value as we were able to join an excellent guided tour with a volunteer guide (Valerie), which really added to the interest. (Although of course, the tour can only cover some selected highlights of the garden - So there is always more to see!) We were also lucky that the glasshouses had apparently just reopened before we visited. The cafe/restaurant on-site was also very good.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 14, 2023
  • AlinaRC
    1,746 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Autumn arrives at Chelsea Physic gardens
    The gardens are a delight any time of year. As autumn arrives, there is plenty of colour from late flowering shrubs and trees; berries and turning leaves. We went to see the recently restored glasshouses - not quite finished but almost there. One house with the scented pelargoniums, another with cacti and then the long greenhouse with tropical plants. The fernery was also looking green and lush. Part of the gardens are a traditional botanical garden with plants arranged in order by family. More recent planting includes vegetables and other edible plants. The location in london and high walls give it a very mild climate, where plants that otherwise only grow in warm climates still thrive. It has the UK's largest olive tree, a fruiting grapefruit outdoors, and pomegranates with fruit. We joined one of the guided tours - an interesting mix of history, plants of seasonal interest and anecdotes about the medicinal properties of the plants. It takes about a couple of hours to look around, but you can easily spend longer finding out more about the fascinating history of the plants. On the practical side, there is a small shop with well selected, plant related gifts, and a cafe that does a small but tasty range of hot and cold food - we enjoyed a reasonably priced tomato soup. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. It is about 12 minutes walk from Sloane Sq tube, or a 170 bus stop directly outside.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 31, 2023
  • Robert L
    Rome, Italy2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A historical Garden with a beautiful Cafe
    Gorgeous botanical garden with a lot of history and heritage. We were lucky to visit just after the glasshouses reopened. They are stunning. The cafe is a real gem, friendly waiters and lovely food, the red basil lemonade is a must. The shop is full of goodies and we got couple of nice tea towels to take home.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written December 30, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

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

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles683 reviews
Excellent
442
Very good
183
Average
35
Poor
11
Terrible
12

sheepygold
london5,383 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Friends
This isn't the best time to visit as none of the glasshouses are accessible due to renovation also the garden is between times so there are some highlights but I wouldn't say there is a huge amount to see. Also there are more weeds than I have ever seen which detracts from the usual excellent appearance. Finally the cafe is disappointing, it is very expensive indeed so a can of Coke was £3.50.
Written May 20, 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.

Vanessa F
Netheravon, UK92 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Solo
From embankment Road you get a glimpse of this secret garden through the Kings gate( fertiliser gate) walk round to royal hospital road to building to entre £12.50 entry fee. Initially thought it was expensive but included as many tours of garden as you like. Went to cafe and waited. David volunteer guide was very engaging and gave a brilliant informative 45 min tour . One of our party obviously regular visitor and between 2 a full interesting time spent. Supporting this charity is well worth it. Then spent another hour exploring ferns and other parts of gardens. This is a historical and botanical garden , not a park for little children. Interesting for those interested in herbal medicine and origins of medcine
Written July 26, 2023
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.

The_Dunelmian
Surrey, UK117 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
Although only a four acre site, there’s a huge amount to see, hear and learn in this oasis of serenity in the heart on SW London. We have been keen to visit for years, and finally made it here due to other plans having been cancelled, and what a brilliant day out we enjoyed.

Once we realised how much is packed into this garden we decided to take the advice of the lady on the desk and join one of the (free) guided tours. I have to say that was one of the most informative and enjoyable guided tours we have ever taken anywhere. Chris, the volunteer guide, spent over an hour explaining the history of the garden dating back to the apothecaries, as well as the importance of so many of the specimens on display whether to medicine (still actively involved here), global culture, or global cuisine.

Lunch in the cafe was excellent, not overpriced given where you are, and although very busy the staff were efficient and took orders at a reasonable pace which I imagine the kitchen needed. We sat in the marquee which was very clean, with a tank of chilled water freely available.

The glasshouses are due to reopen in 2023 so we plan to return in the Spring as there is so much to see in this fascinating gem of a working garden.
Written September 3, 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.

Scifchic
Raleigh, NC222 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Solo
This is a lovely garden situated along the Thames directly across from Battersea Park. The thing I loved most about this location besides the care of the landscape is how each plant has a small sign identifying name, where from and when introduced to the garden. If you are in to apothecary and are looking for a quiet way to send a couple of hours, do visit. They also have a cute gift shop and a small restaurant with outdoor seating. The restaurant offers coffee and cocktails along with desserts and delicious chartrutiere boards. It was simply lovely #gardens #visitlondon #chelsaphysicgardens
Written June 21, 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.

michelle r
Dublin, Ireland127 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
Exquisite and fascinating gardens well worth a visit. We took the guided tour that is included in the price, which was led by a very knowledgable and gifted guide calledValerie, and it was so interesting and entertaining. The gardens are beautiful, the diversity of plants and their history and relevance is fascinating and absorbing. To top it all, there is a cafe in a beautiful old building, with outdoor seating, that has very good food and cakes. What more could you want?
Written July 10, 2023
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.

John
Kingston upon Thames, UK38 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
I was taken not expecting much, but I found it fascinating. To get anything out of you have to the guided tour. Otherwise the whole garden, not particularly beautiful, would be meaningless. I can highly recommend it, and the very small basic outdoor cafe in the old taxi shelter on the other side of Albert bridge.
Written August 23, 2023
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.

Joannah
Wellesley, MA55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Solo
This garden reminds us that, beyond their beauty, plants have so much more than that to offer! Do take a tour with one of the excellent guides who will share fun facts about the history of the garden as well as the way plants are used medicinally. Visiting in early April meant I missed the famed snowdrops but the woodland garden to the rear was beautiful as well as informative. I had a delicious lunch and although I didn’t participate I did see some lovely Japanese “kokedama” that kids were making in a workshop today.
Written April 5, 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.

brummies1965
Birmingham, UK7 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Having originally turned up on a Saturday to find it closed, a re-visit was required. During my more successful visit (as in actually finding it open) I enquired as to why they didn't open on Saturdays. Somewhat snootily I was told it has always been that way and we almost felt chastised for asking! Of course, being a charity they can rely on other people's money to keep them afloat and not bother themselves with suiting the schedules of paying customers!

A guided tour of the garden was an absolute hit; full of fascinating historical tidbits. This is a must-do. While only coming back to life now (in early spring), we still found it an attractive garden and well worthy of spending a few hours there. The greenhouses shouldn't be missed either - they are stunning.

Surprisingly, the second highlight was a visit to the cafe. I understand it's just been 'done up'. It's very pretty with clean loos and plenty of space. Our waitress (Nora/Norma?) couldn't have done more for us, and we really enjoyed our late lunch thanks to her and the lovely dishes we chose based on her recommendations.

I'd say it's very easy to mull away the hours in the garden as it's soo peaceful and tranquil, until that is you are rudely told to leave by someone ringing a bell. All in all, while the tour guide and cafe staff were lovely, everyone else we came into contact with treated us (the paying public) as a bit of a nuisance, and I wouldn't recommend for this reason.
Written March 29, 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.
Dear brummies1965, Thank you for posting your review, we value feedback from our visitors as it helps us to improve our visitor experience. We are not usually open on Saturdays as it is the only day reserved for private hires of the Garden. This is to reduce the impact of our private hires on paying customers, such as yourself, as quite frequently a private hire means erecting a marquee on the main lawn and receiving deliveries throughout the day, which impacts the visitor experience. We do apologise if this was not communicated to you in an appropriate manner. If you are interested in visiting on a Saturday, we are exceptionally open on Saturdays for our Plant Festival (27 April 2024) and for the Chelsea History Festival Open Weekend ( 28 - 29 September 2024). Both of these events are free and open to all. In regards to the bell, we ring the bell to signal that we are closing the Garden, giving our visitors plenty of time to finish their visit and make their way to the exit. It is a tradition that we are told dates back to the time of the Apothecaries when they managed the Garden in the 18th and 19th centuries. We do make reference to this on the visitor guidance page on our website and our intention is not to make people feel unwelcome, simply to make visitors aware of our closure for the day. We are glad to hear that you had an enjoyable time on the tour and in the Cafe. This positive feedback has been passed on to the relevant parties, which I'm sure will be appreciated. We hope that you will visit again and thank you again for your feedback.
Written April 8, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nicola D
Hessle, UK3,080 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
I had a couple of hours to myself while my husband and grandson were doing ‘boy things.’ So I had a treat exploring the Chelsea Physic Garden, even managing the tube by myself. I arrived early but was unable to go in (friends of the gardens only before 11am) so I was directed to the Army Museum down the road for a cuppa in their cafe!

It was worth the wait! It’s only small but perfectly formed, a walled botanic garden with a micro-climate dating from the 1600’s when it was made for the apothecary’s of London.

I had a browse on my own and then joined a guided tour given by a volunteer which was extremely interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I would have liked to have a drink and cake but sadly ran out of time. The greenhouses were also shut for renovation ready for their anniversary next year.
Written August 4, 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.

sheepygold
london5,383 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Couples
Even though we are heading into Autumn there is a lot to see here both in the glasshouses and outside. We spent nearly 1.5 hours looking around. The cafe is very nice for coffee and cake too plus they do various hot and cold meals.
Written September 23, 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.

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

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