Visit London Blog » chelsea physic garden Enjoy the very best of London Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 10 Alternative Christmas Events in London Tue, 05 Nov 2013 11:05:43 +0000 Christmas planning is officially underway. Have yourself a quirky little Christmas this year and discover some real winter gems with our list of 10 alternative festive events.

1. Bluebird Ice Rink, Chelsea (£10)

Don’t miss this glamorous pop-up ice rink in the heart of Chelsea. Away from the more mainstream rinks, this little gem is nestled in the wonderful Courtyard at Bluebird Chelsea. Take to the ice for Christmas parties, festive drinks with friends or fun dates. 11 November to 5 January

2. Belgravia Christmas Market (FREE)

Explore this classic one-day Christmas market in the prestigious London district of Belgravia. See Elizabeth Street glowing with festive lights and packed with traditional Christmas stalls before taking a stroll down to Pimlico Road where you’ll find jugglers, trumpeters and stalls selling roast chestnuts and toffee apples. 1 December

3. Fish Market’s Funfair Terrace, Liverpool Street

A real winter wonder! Based inside the city’s oldest surviving warehouse built by the East India Company, D&D’s Fish Market offers a taste of the freshest fish and shellfish sourced from the British Isles. Cosy up with a blanket and a mug of hot spiced cider in the heated terrace, complete with a wall of twinkling fairy lights and snow globes. Don’t leave without trying an alcoholic snow cone! 1 November to 24 December

4. Christmas Dollshouse Festival at Kensington Town Hall (£11)

The one-day event attracts visitors from all over the globe and is regarded as the world’s finest gathering of craftsmen who work in miniature. Many celebrities including Helena Bonham-Carter, Tim Burton and Jonathan Ross have been spotted perusing the festival. 30 November

5. Christmas Fair at Chelsea Physic Garden (£5)

This unique two-day Christmas fair is held at London’s oldest Botanic Garden. Shop exclusively selected seasonal gifts before taking a guided tour of one of the most important centres of botany and plant exchange in the world. 30 November to 1 December

6. Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park (£7)

Take a romantic stroll through the illuminated woodland, soaking up the magical atmosphere of the 18th century lake. The trail finishes at the Great Conservatory on the site of an old medieval abbey. This charming event is the perfect way to experience the striking London home of the Duke of Northumberland. 16 November to 2 December

7. Once Upon a Christmas in Covent Garden (£35)

Explore the heart and hidden charms of Covent Garden’s iconic Piazza as the area is transformed into a panto playground for adults. In this immersive theatre event, audience members are sent to the hidden corners of Covent Garden in order to save Christmas. Adults-only. 18 November to 15 December

8. Santa & His Huskies at the London Wetland Centre (£5)

One for the kids. Snuggle up with huskies and let them take you on a sleigh ride before visiting Santa in his cosy Christmas grotto in the northern pine forest. There’s plenty of mulled cider, hot chocolate and mince pies to go round. 7 to 8 December

9. Christmas Past: 400 Years of Seasonal Traditions in English Homes at the Geffrye Museum (FREE)

Rediscover the rich and vibrant traditions of Christmas gone-by at this free event at the Geffrye Museum. Authentic festive decorations transform the Geffrye Museum’s period rooms so that you can take a glimpse into how Christmas has been celebrated in English middle-class homes over the past 400 years. 26 November to 5 January

10. Prêt-à-portea- A fashionista’s Afternoon Tea at the Berkeley (£29-£55)

Style gurus will want to feast on this new Autumn/ Winter 2013 Collection. See designer items turned into cakes, mousses and biscuits. Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley Hotel sees all the classic elements of the traditional English afternoon tea except that the pastries resemble the latest catwalk designs.

]]> 1
What’s On This Weekend: 9-11 August 2013 Mon, 05 Aug 2013 09:31:07 +0000

There are lots of fun activities on this weekend for both children and adults – why not learn about science, make your own ice cream or see some stunning press photography?

Icy Activity Day at the London Canal Museum

Cool down with this fun day of children’s activities at the London Canal Museum, which brings the story of the Victorian ice trade to life. Between 10am and 4pm kids can learn how ice forms, help create an ice-based artwork, and make – and sample! – authentic ice-cream with the help of Victorian cook Agnes Marshall. Entry to the museum is £4 for adults or £2 for children. 10 Aug

Treasures from a Hidden Garden at the Chelsea Physic Garden

In the 18th century, celebrated botanical artists such as Georg Dionysius Ehret worked in the Chelsea Physic Garden to study, sketch and paint the plants within. This tradition is still alive today, and members of the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society meet every month. This exhibition provides a rare chance to see their wonderful paintings and drawings – don’t miss out! Entry is £9 for adults. Until 30 Aug

Free Theatre Performances at The Scoop, More London

Part of the More London Free Festival, these back-to-back theatrical perfomances provide a perfect evening of free entertainment by the Thames. Every Wednesday to Saturday in August you can see a family performances of The Prince of Thebes at 6pm, followed by Oedipus and Antigone for older audiences from 8pm to 10pm. To see these two great Thebes-based plays, simply turn up and bag a seat; you’re also welcome to bring your own food and drink, as long as it’s not in glass containers. Until 1 Sep

Day of the Mind Fete, Mile End

The Shuffle Film Festival, curated by Danny Boyle, runs between 8 and 18 August and features the London Olympic opening ceremony director’s films as well as local shorts, dance and music. One of its highlights will be the Day of the Mind fete, run in conjunction with the Wellcome Collection. The free event takes place from 11am to 11pm on Sunday and includes talks, workshops and science-based fun for both children and adults. 11 Aug

The Press Photographer’s Year Exhibition at the National Theatre

Relive the events of 2012 at this consistently stunning exhibition, which showcases the best press photographs used in the UK media. More than 12,000 photographs were entered for consideration, and the competition’s judges have selected the best 150 for recognition and public display. You’ll see incredible shots in categories such as news, royalty, entertainment and the Olympics, which can’t fail to inspire you to make the most of your own camera. Entry to the exhibition is free. Until 30 Aug

More London events

]]> 0
The Other Flower Show: The Chelsea Physic Garden Wed, 08 Aug 2012 15:00:51 +0000 "Pertaining to Things Natural" sculpture exhibition at the Chelsea Physic Garden
It’s been on the London map for 340 years, but the Chelsea Physic Garden still remains a sanctuary from the city that surrounds it.

Founded by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries to help train apprentices in identifying plants, the garden and its collection of around 5,000 useful, exotic and medicinal plants form one of the world’s oldest botanic gardens.

Expansions and additions from successive head gardeners mirror discoveries in botany and horticultural fashion. Two examples are a fascinating pharmaceutical garden, and the UK’s oldest rockery – compete with giant clam shells brought to London by Captain Cook on HMS Endeavour!

Free guided tours by well-informed volunteers help bring the garden to life for those more interested in the history than the horticulture of the garden. These are usually available two or three times each day (timings vary).

Currently appearing at the garden is “Pertaining to Things Natural“, a series of outdoor sculptures by more than 20 leading artists. Each of these artworks responds in some way to its surroundings, ranging from a beautifully fluid marble screen to a pink metal spiral.

“Pertaining to Things Natural” runs until 31 Oct. The garden is open until 10pm every Wednesday until 5 September. Tickets to the garden are also 2-4-1 until 9 September if you present your Oyster card. Find out more on

Are you a fan of London’s gardens and parks? Let us know your favourite in the comments section below.

]]> 1
Visit London Asks: What’s Your Favourite Offbeat London Attraction? Fri, 05 Mar 2010 09:49:07 +0000

Psst! We want you to tell us a secret! What’s your favourite offbeat place in London?

London might be famous for world-renowned attractions like the Tower of London and Big Ben, but sometimes it’s the city’s hidden treasures that make a trip to the capital special.

Yes, Hyde Park is lovely, but what about the secluded Chelsea Physic Garden? And we know there are stacks of plays and musicals in London, but have you thought about seeing the hidden magic behind the shows at a backstage tour of the National Theatre or the Royal Opera House?

Enter our Only in London competition, and you could win an amazing prize for you and a friend:

  • two nights in a luxury boutique hotel
  • two London Passes giving you free entry to 55 top attractions
  • a martini-making masterclass; two tickets to a Royal Academy show and much more.

So you’ll have the chance to explore all your favourite offbeat places in London for free!

Let us know your favourite offbeat places in London in the comments below.

]]> 13