….visit the Barbican Conservatory
The best way to describe the Barbican is a labyrinth; an 80s maze of Brutalist architecture where hidden around corners and wrong turns is art and displays that, although you might not have expected them, will be a welcome and enjoyable surprise.
The Barbican Conservatory is just one of these surprises, albeit a rather large and more permanent one. As the second largest conservatory in London, the Conservatory is home to more than 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees, along with a myriad of birds, amphibians and fish.
The harsh architecture is softened by the overgrowth of flowering vines and tree branches reaching up towards the sunlight, giving the place an air of abandonment and quietude that is scarce elsewhere in London.
Wherever you look however, oversized, exotic flowers bursting in full bloom can be seen; it is almost enough to make you forget you are in London, and instead wandering through a tropical forest on an island, before the pitter patter of rain brings you back to reality.
One of the highlights of the collection include the Conservatory’s cacti garden, which houses a mixture of the usual household fauna combined with the more frankly bizarre types covered in dense cobwebs or erratically shaped , like these:
At the end, pay a visit to the aviary where you can easily while away half an hour watching the finches flitter back and forth and the Japanese quails burrow little holes.
The Conservatory is only open on select dates with free entry, so make sure you check ahead of time on their website here to avoid disappointment.
If the Conservatory isn’t enough for you, pay a quick visit outside to look at the expansive fountains located out the back of the Barbican. You might get a few looks yourself: