Last Sunday B and I had planned a massive country walk, we were going to jump on a train and head out to the North Downs for a hike and a Sunday roast – but we got a little carried away on Saturday night and were feeling too fragile when we woke up. We decided we would play it safe and find something to do in London. I’ve wanted to visit the Barbican Conservatory for a while now, our friend Dani (aka illhavewattsheshaving.co.uk) never stops going on about it how we need to go, but it’s only open to the public every other Sunday, and it always seems to be on an off week when we have a free day.
I bloody loved it! B and I are plant lovers anyway and have an excessive amount scattered around the flat, so this was always going to be a winner. Most Londoners will have been to the utopian concrete city that is the Barbican, one of the capital’s most famous buildings, but I don’t think its widely known about the conservatories. It’s free entry, and when we went it wasn’t too busy. At first glance it’s pretty impressive, with massive tropical palms and draping plants cascading down from two floors of balconies. The majority of the perimeter is reserved as a nursery with pot after pot of cuttings, and then up on the second floor there is the Arid House. This second room is full of loads of different cacti and succulents, some in huge pots, some in raised beds around the outside and other trailing varieties suspended from the roof. I’d recommend a walk around the Barbican itself as it is but I’d say definitely try and go on a day when you can get into this hidden gem too.