The Chelsea Physic (for healing) Garden ⇒ was established in 1673 and is the second oldest botanic garden in the UK after the Oxford University Botanic Garden ⇒. The garden has approximately 5,000 plants including those with exotic scents. It is a very peaceful and pleasant walled garden hidden away in west London.
There are some free tours upon entry but there is an entry fee and charges for the workshops, courses and special tours. Please see the website link above.
The easiest approach is by the 170 bus (bound for Roehampton) from Victoria Station to Chelsea Physic Garden. On alighting, just outside the gardens educational center, walk back a short way along the bus route to Swan Walk and the main entrance is little way down that road. Map of the Garden ⇐.
The garden is next to the the Royal Hospital Chelsea ⇒ (home of the Chelsea Pensioners).
Chelsea Physic Gardens Views and Flowers
In the Greenhouses
Pelargonium Milfield Gem
Around the Gardens and Outdoor Flowers
Statue of Sir Hans Sloane
Sir Hans Sloane ⇒
Helienthus Annuus – Ring of Fire Sunflower
Whilst this world was young,
Before names could fall from human tongue,
There was no I, nor thou, nor thee,
Only flower and grass and tree.
No sound but sweet refrain,
Of wind and sea and rain,
No less a flower without a name,
A living beauty just the same.
The Natural History Museum, the very interesting Science Museum and fabulous Victoria & Albert Museum are all close together and very near South Kensington underground rail station. All are free to enter, although a small donation is usual, and have picnic areas (a wise choice).
The Natural History Museum also contains The Earth’s Treasury and The Vault of precious items. Both are worth seeing. It is advisable to arrive early at the Natural History Museum to avoid queues and download/save/print the the map. The website. Here is the architecture and a few of the exhibits.
The Architecture and Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin Statue
At the main entrance “Dippy” (diplodocus), sometimes a Blue Whale, welcomes visitors with equal aplomb. Dippy likes walks in the park, sushi and going to the theater. Would like to meet similar, must have good sense of humour.
At the side entrance one is greeted by a smaller cousin. And then ~
The escalator to hell. It actually leads to a display of information about the earth’s early years and volcanoes. Included is a mock min-market that shakes to simulate an earthquake. It wasn’t working when I was there. How come they always turn off the dangerous stuff whenever I arrive ? It’s a mystery to me.
Near the elevator, on the ground floor, you can meet one’s ancestral relatives. The top row is the present and then seven rows of one million years each. Spot anybody that you know ?. To read the labels, click on the image and then again to magnify.
Unfortunately the dinosaur gallery was closed during my visit, but there were a few on show.
This little tyke is animated. Noticeably breathing and occasionally moving in his/her sleep.
The Cynognathus was supposedly about the size of a dog. If that’s true, I wonder if Lord Baskerville knows it’s out.
Aka, prehistoric stick insect.
Killer Bird and Pseudo-elephant
“My mother always said you were a skinflint, look at me when I’m talking to you and when are you going to fix that shelf and stop calling me beaky”. “Aaaarg”
Shell and Triton’s Trumpet
The Baler Shell, so-called because it is very useful for baling out canoes (honest).
There are loads of stuffed animals. I picked just one.
The Dodo bird, it is reported, became extinct because it was not sufficiently afraid of mankind. There’s a lesson in that somewhere.
I can take a hint.