This weekend I went to visit the Barbican Conservatory – a hidden tropical oasis in the heart of the city. Carry on reading to see why I would recommend checking it out..
The Barbican Centre is a performing arts centre in the City of London and the largest of its kind in Europe. The Barbican Centre hosts concerts, theatre performances, film screening and art exhibitions. It also houses a library, restaurants and a conservatory.
The Barbican Centre is a grade 2 listed building built in the Brutalist architectural style. The building has always divided opinion with it grey, harsh concrete design. In the conservatory the grey concrete contrasts with the glass walls and greenery.
The Barbican Conservatory is the second largest conservatory in London after Kew Gardens. The Barbican Conservatory houses more than 2000 species of plants and trees including cactus, banana plants and palm trees. They are also home to terrapins and koi carp.
It can take up to an hour to walk around. You can even find a quiet corner to do some drawing or read a book. You can pay and pre-book a one hour guided tour of the conservatory. The conservatory can also be hired for meetings and receptions.
You can also enjoy afternoon tea within the conservatory. The conservatory is open to the public as well as visitors coming for afternoon tea – it is not a private setting and requires booking in advance. There are also other food options within the Barbican including the Barbican Kitchen on the ground floor. Of course due to its location there are lots of great places to eat at near the Barbican Centre.
Getting There: The Barbican Conservatory is on the 3rd floor of the Barbican Centre. The closest tube stations are Barbican, St Paul’s and Moorgate. The nearest rain stations are Liverpool Street and Farringdon. The 153 and 56 bus route pass by The Barbican Centre. If you are looking to drive there The Barbican has four car parks close by. On Sunday you should easily be able to find free street parking near by.
Price: Its completely free to visit!
Public opening times are very limited; currently only afternoons on Sundays and some Bank holiday Mondays. Open from 12 noon–5pm with last entry at 4.30pm.Opening days and times are given on the Barbican website and definitely check the website for details before your visit. Please contact the Box Office on 0845 120 7500 with any access related enquiries.
Final Thoughts: I would highly recommend checking out the Barbican Conservatory. It is a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon and it is totally free 😀 It is also a great chance to explore the rest of the Barbican Centre and get some great food.