We had a little Sunday excursion down the Metropolitan line to the Barbican Centre, to check out the Barbican Conservatory, which is free and open every Sunday until the end of September. Here are our top 5 reasons to go and do the same.
1. Go and get Zen
It’s a well known fact that plants help relaxation, and the Conservatory at the Barbican is rammed full of them. There are places to sit, and just watch, or if creatitivity is more your thing then you can perch and draw as we saw a few people doing. With fountains and a fish pond, and benches throughout, it’s somewhere you could spend hours just relaxing. In the centre of the City, it’s a great place to escape, and what’s more it’s free unlike some of the other plant-based great things in London.
2. The Arid Room
Arid. Desert. This room, at the back of the conservatory is so cool. All the cacti and succulents have got their own awesome room, without the heat and discomfort of the actual Sahara. Go and look at all the phalic shapes and silly names too, and see some amazing flowers on plants you didn’t even know flowered!
Well I never, the Conservatory doesn’t just have plants, it has animals too. As well as the humongous fish in the fish pool (watch them swim up the tiny route between them too), they also have Terrapins. You’ll have to look up to find them, as they have their own shelf away from people, but they’re super cute and there’s a whole bunch to just watch interact with the land and water and just be super turtle like.
4. The Whole Experience
If you want to take the time and spend longer there than just the walk around the plants, you can book online on the Barbican Website to have a guided tour around the plants, a great way to learn your “Satan’s Kiss” from your “Swiss Cheese” while you’re at it. If you’re more gastronomy than green fingered they even have a pop-up Searcy where you can book online on the Barbican Website to have a prosecco afternoon tea amid the plants! What a Sunday treat!
5. The Building and Banksy
Ok so should you go to the Barbican and feel like Attenborough has filled your veins, then the whole building is open for you to explore. The Barbican Centre is just so cool. It’s a Brutalist building, or group of buildings with a modern touch, although they make every effort to keep the retro seventies parts to the building – the decor, the wood panelling in the toilets and the general feel of the place. It’s beautiful! Have a wonder around and if you didn’t come that way, on your walk home go via Barbican station, and in the tunnel en route are two Banksy works, protected by glass, that were done earlier this year on the opening of the Basquiat exhibition.
It’s a really lovely place to go – get yourself down there!