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“Wonderful oasis in the city!”

Chelsea Physic Garden
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Secret Gardens Tour of London with Afternoon Tea
Ranked #95 of 1,815 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed April 25, 2013

I love London, but the garden was a new one on me - found it in a coupon booklet (2 for 1 entry with train ticket) - but what a find!

It incorporates so many wonderful elements, history, beautiful gardens and a wonderful calm atmosphere. My Mother and I really enjoyed our visit, and learnt a lot. The staff were friendly and helpful.

Be aware, gravel paths in open toe sandals. There was a private function so could not try the cafe, but don't begrudge the venue trying to make money in hard times. This is a wonderful place to visit and learn or do as I saw others doing, bring a book and enjoy this wonderful place! If you are travelling from abroad and only have a short time in London then yes there will be other things at the top of your list, but for something a bit different this is a great choice!

Not sure children would enjoy, not a lot of space to run around (and of course this would detract for others) the other thing is children need to be supervised due to poisonous seeds and deep pools (so think carefully) Also, wheelchair users may find it hard going. Also, no parking.

1  Thank Berkshire_Chap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"free tour"
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"wonderful plants"
in 5 reviews
"tranquil place"
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"royal hospital"
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"garden cafe"
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"different areas"
in 6 reviews
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368 - 372 of 469 reviews

Reviewed February 6, 2013

Chelsea Physic Garden is the oldest botanical garden in London and it is full of charm.
Far smaller then Kew, still interesting
Probably you couldn't place this in an overal "top to visit in London" but I realy enjoyed it.

The garden is closed in the winter till end of March apart from special events. I went early February to see the snowdrops special.

So who should go?

If you're a looking for a different calm afternoon in nature still in the city center. The cafe has a nice terrace.

If you love botanical gardens: interesting collection of tree ferns, plants from the canaries, pelargoniums and more.


1  Thank artica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

This lovely walled garden in the middle of London, UK, is a fascinating collection with a tremendous history. As you go through the garden, you will( if you are a gardener and know Latin names) be constantly faced with the great people of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries who collected, identified and brought into cultivation many of the plants that we are familiar with today. Gorgeous layout, with a cafe and gift shop as well. This is still a working botanical garden with research.

1  Thank htwollin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2012

I visit these gardens every year in summer and always find something new of interest. This small secret garden tucked away between beautiful old houses in a quiet, peaceful corner of Chelsea is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Britain. Founded by the Society of Apothecaries of London, one is amazed to see the medicinal & curative uses of a wide variety of plants, including some of the commonly encountered species. It has thousands of species of plants, some rare ones including some endangered species. The garden boasts of many firsts - the first hothouse, first cedars grown in England & also has one of the earliest rock gardens.
There is a statue of Sir Hans Sloane, in the garden, as it was he who had donated this piece of land to the Apothecaries on condition that each year some seeds or plants be sent to the Royal Society.
The garden even has a good restaurant and under the boughs of the creepers in the garden or in the inside dining area you may enjoy a good cream tea and sumptuous lunches or dinners.
Entry timings are from 12 noon to 5 pm on Wednesday to Friday, but till 6 pm on Mondays.
A beautiful secret place to spend a relaxed time with good eating!

3  Thank firuzakhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 25, 2012

If you are staying in the Chelsea-Kensington area this a really nice way to spend a few quiet hours especially on a fine day. It is a small walled garden near the Thames which has created a milder micro climate for the plantings normally unable to survive at this latitude. Even on a windy day it is protected and pleasant.

The entry cost is around £9 but worth it for anyone interested in medicinal, and unusual plants. Closed Mondays and Saturdays. Closed for winter but open for some special days such as Christmas fair.

The garden began in 1673 as an Apothecary garden to help train students in the various plantings. It has since expanded. Of particular interest to Australians are the contributions of Sir Joseph Banks and the Australian plot. There are all sorts of weird and wonderful plants, beautiful trees and a small pond with graceful plantings, then wander the rows or garden beds, sit under a tree or on the grass, to enjoy the peace.

The Tangerine Dream Cafe is terrific, all fresh produce, interesting salads, tasty food. I love the salmon! Cakes are divine, enjoy the lavender scones, and a nice glass of wine. Great value.

If you have time take one of the tours.

Whilst you can "see" it in an hour allow 3 for a meal, soak up the atmosphere and read the information. A photographers dream.

Seasonal changes make it place to return to time and again.

When you've finished check out Thomas and Jane Carlyle's Georgian National Trust House in Cheyne Row, a few streets away. Open Wednesday to Saturday.

A gem of a garden in a hustle bustle city. Suitable for everyone, families, friends, couples, garden enthusiasts or those that kill everything!!!

3  Thank Rochelle12452
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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