Slow Sunday at The Barbican Conservatory

Did you know that hidden on the third floor of The Barbican there is the most magical conservatory?

I've seen photos from this magical place over the years but I never really knew where it was in the maze-like structure that is The Barbican. At some point I actually just thought it was a myth. When I finally figured it out, I also found out it was only open to the public on Sundays and Bank Holidays. 

My usual Sunday routine includes doing housework and spending most of the day at church so I've never really taken the time to go to the conservatory, so very foolish of me. But, one of my besties is soon leaving the country to go study in Australia and we had been talking about visiting for months. So, two weeks back, we finally took a Sunday off and spent a bittersweet afternoon at the conservatory catching up and taking the time to be together for one of the last times before she leaps into her new adventure on the other side of the world.

Turns out the Barbican conservatory is the perfect setting for an afternoon of strolling around, chatting and making memories with your dearest.

With more that 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees, the conservatory is a visual delight. There is an inspirational collection of cacti and succulents, beautiful bamboo 20 feet tall and, plants and trees I've never seen before.

We spent time sitting amongst the trees marvelling at the strange contrast between the wonderful plants and the harsh brutalist architecture they are set in. It's a contrast that shouldn't work in theory but in practice is perfect.

I have a soft spot for brutalist architecture and The Barbican is one of my favourite iconic London buildings. I also spent a fair bit of my childhood there at music concerts with my parents, it holds a special place in my heart. Little did I know it housed this beautiful conservatory, the second largest in London.

Do you know where the largest one is? (Note to self: google that when I'm done here)

This has quickly become my new favourite spot in London and I will not stop talking abut it with everyone I meet.

Which has made it clear to me that I wasn't the only one who didn't know about it. So many people I've spoken to had no idea it existed. 

If you've never been I suggest you make plans to check it out one Sunday soon. 

(Before you do, check the website because sometimes they have funny closing times)

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Let me know if you make a trip and tag your Instagram posts #gowildlyandslow so I can see all your photos! 

Happy adventuring!

N x

Escape the city: Bewl Water day trip

Looking for a little wild travelling this winter? 

We've got no solid plans for any big far away adventures this winter so I'm staving off the travel urges with small adventures right here in the U.K. If you're looking for ideas for perfect weekend day trips that take very little planning and will still feed your desire for a touch of adventure stick around. 

First up head to Bewl Water in Kent for a short walk or a spot of water sports!

For the last few years on Boxing day I’ve dragged myself out of the food induced coma to get up and go for a short walk somewhere lovely. It lifts my spirits so much to get outside with friends or family and take in the quiet and stillness.

This year we went for a short drive to Bewl Water in Kent and it proved to be the perfect place for a winter walk. If you live in London its definitely worth making your way out there for an afternoon of walking.

The only set back is you have to drive there as it's pretty far from the nearest train station (You could probably bike there from Tunbridge Wells station though).

It was also the first proper outing for my new Fujifilm x100t (which I’m loving) and the weather was perfect for photos, I even got in front of the camera!

We got to the reservoir at about 2pm far too late to try and walk the whole 13 miles round the water! But plenty of time to have a nice walk through the surrounding forest and back along the water’s edge. 

As we headed back the sun was setting over the water, so we stopped to watch from the reservoir wall before we headed back to the car and then home for some dinner and a hot cup of tea. 

If you’re looking for somewhere to head to for a winter day out this is a great spot. Easy to get to (if you have a car) and easy going walking, (lovely for kids). 

There are toilet facilities at the car park (which costs £2) and there is a small cafe if you need to warm up after.

They also offer water sports facilities and a boat that runs in the summer which sounds like a lovely idea so I’m thinking its worth heading back in the summer too. 

Check their website for more details and driving directions. 

Happy walking