Busywork

Finding work for idle hands: making, baking and more.

Secret garden March 9, 2008

Filed under: Places to go — lauravw @ 2:21 pm

Quack.The week before last I went to see the Kensington roof gardens in London, and I can certainly recommend a visit.

To get there, take the tube to High Street Kensington, and turn right as you come out of the station (bonus: you’ll pass a branch of Kew). As soon as you pass the Gap, turn right – the gardens are above the building that Gap is in. You’ll walk down that street (Derry Street), thinking you’re in the wrong place because there are no signs up whatsoever. But there is a doorway on the right – you can see a reception desk through it. Go in there, say you’ve come to see the roof garden, and they will let you sign in and take the lift up to the top floor (it’s free!). There are directions here.

The gardens themselves are not the fanciest you’ll ever see, but they are very nice (and will be even nicer – I was there at the very end of February, so there are plenty of things that will grow as Spring moves on). And it’s a real treat to be somewhere so quiet in the middle of a busy part of London – we were the only people up there at first. A woman arrived a little later than us and was also excited to be in on this secret part of London.

There are some mandarin ducks to see, and a couple of flamingoes. If you’re planning a visit, phone ahead to check they are open – if there is a function on, they can close the gardens. It would be a great place to go with a picnic – and the London branch of Wholefoods is just a few yards away, so you could stock up there before going to the gardens.

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One Response to “Secret garden”

  1. melissa Says:

    If you’re interested in hidden gardens, you really have to mark your calendar for London’s Open Gardens Weekend (this year it’s 7-8 June). You buy a ticket (which goes towards charity) and you can gain access to as many participating gardens as you can get to in two days!

    I live on a mooring by Tower Bridge and it’s the only time of the year we open it up to the public, as all of our access is through barges covered in gardens. Apparently we’re the only floating gardens in the world! Here’s the spiel on the official site for us: http://www.opensquares.org/detail/GardenBarge.html

    Anyway, I’m baking for it this year so I can guarantee there’ll be good cupcakes on sale, too. 🙂 Last year we happened to have a nest of baby ducks that needed help getting down onto the water while everyone was there, too!


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