Areas of natural beauty in the city of London | Tunde Folawiyo

Whilst London is filled with all of the usual attractions one might expect to find in a capital city – restaurants, galleries, bars and countless shops – it also houses a surprisingly large number of natural attractions, the most popular of which are Kew Gardens and Chelsea Physic Garden. As a frequent visitor of London, Tunde Folawiyo is most likely aware of these places. They’re the perfect areas to explore, if you’re in need of a temporary respite from the hectic pace of the rest of the city.

Tunde Folawiyo

Kew Gardens (officially known as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) can be found in Richmond upon Thames. Stretching out across 121 hectares, it is home to over 30,000 plant species, as well as more than seven million seed specimens. For those with an interest in botany, or anyone who appreciates beautiful flowers, this is a lovely spot to while away an afternoon. In total, there are 90 attractions here; however, for many, the highlights are the Chokushi-Mon and the Azalea Gardens.

The former is a traditional Japanese Garden which was installed in Kew 103 years ago. It is a spectacular sight, with stone baths, ornate woodwork carvings of flora and fauna, as well as a number of intricate panels which depict an ancient legend. The diversity of the plants and flowers which grow inside this garden is astonishing, with many being of Asian origin. The Azalea Garden is another stunning area of Kew Gardens; its current design was developed nineteen years ago, and consists of 29 beds of brightly coloured azaleas, laid out in concentric circles. It’s best to visit this particular area between March and April, when the flowers are at their most colourful.

Chelsea Physic Garden is a spot which Tunde Folawiyo has no doubt heard of. Although it is significantly smaller than Kew Gardens, it still contains a considerable number of beautiful plants, most of which are grown for curative purposes. It is divided up in to several different sub-gardens, including Pharmaceutical, World Medicine, and finally Edible & Useful.

Founded over 343 years ago, it was originally used by apothecary apprentices, who needed to learn about the medicinal qualities of plants. However, the incredible aesthetics of its many flowers and plants soon caught the attention of the public, and it quickly became a tourist attraction. Today, its microclimate allows over 5000 plants species to thrive here, including grapefruit, pomegranate and olive trees.

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