Tucked away between the Thames and genteel Sloane Square is one of London’s best-kept secrets: a picturesque four-acre botanic garden that’s home to thousands of beautiful and diverse plants.

The Chelsea Physic Garden (the ‘physic’ refers to the natural world, as distinct from the metaphysical) was founded in 1673 for the study of plants – it still fulfils that task today but is also an enjoyable place for a peaceful wander.

There are several different sections, such as a garden of world medicine (including some opium poppies), an Australasian flower bed, and a small woodland garden.

Though you could see it all in 20 minutes, it’s worth taking the time to sit on a bench or lie on the grass and soak up the tranquillity.


» Royal Hospital Rd, SW3 4HS  (chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk). Until Oct 30. £8

Verdict: Go get physic(al)