I read the other day that London can actually be classified as a forest because according to UN definition – a forest is a land with more than 10% tree canopy-covered area. London actually has 40% of its land area covered in trees, it isn’t so hard to believe really because of all the Royal Parks alone that we have here.
Then we also have places like the Barbican Conservatory which only adds up to the numerous green spaces that we currently have. Not that I’m complaining because I’m all for it! Who wouldn’t like it?
It is the second largest conservatory in London (after Kew Gardens) occupying 23,000 square feet and housing more than a thousand species of plants and trees – some of which are rare or endangered in their native habitat. It is huge and just like any other conservatories you’d go to, it’s definitely humid inside so make sure you’re prepared for it specially since we’re getting warmer weather these days. 🙂
They have recently opened their doors again to the public with a one way system protocol. Entrance is free but you’ll have to book your time slot in advance because they’re trying to control the number of people inside the conservatory at any given time. They will ask you to scan your tickets upon entry.
The Barbican Conservatory was originally designed to hide the building’s flytower from which scenery for productions taking place on the stage six stories below is lowered into place, it started with small pots of plants but then escalated quite quickly from there. It now looks like a proper jungle with palm trees towering over you. It even has a koi pond with the biggest and fattest koi carps that we’ve ever seen.
The best part of it all is all these are for free! Londoners, I can’t even begin to tell you how lucky you all are for having all these wonderful places in your city and not being charged a penny to enjoy it. We certainly don’t have anything like this in the Philippines when I was growing up and even if we did, we’ll probably have to pay an exorbitant amount of money.
Normally, the Barbican Conservatory is only open during Sunday afternoons and some Bank Holiday Mondays but because of the pandemic – they know how people would want to see some greenery in their lives after being cooped up in their apartments so they now allow access 7 days a week from 11am to 7pm. How incredibly generous?
The only thing they ask is for you to not be greedy and let others enjoy it as well. Observe the one way system, no picnics, no sketching and definitely no photoshoot. Lol. The staff at the entrance told off some women who were taking so much time on taking photos of themselves. It’s a good thing I have a quick thumb so our own photoshoot was quick and short. :p
Their website mentions that they’re only open from 13 July – 23 August and I reckon that after those dates, they’ll be back to just being open every Sundays so hurry and make the most of it now! Book your free tickets here.