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What we’re seeing: The Barbican Conservatory

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Sundays: 11am–5pm, Bank Holidays: 12pm –5pm
Level 3, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS

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Photography: John McDavid

The Barbican Conservatory is London’s second biggest conservatory after Kew. The glassy, green oasis is in stark contrast to the brutalism of the Barbican Centre. And although in the heart of the city, it’s a relatively unknown bucolic spot. There are over 2,000 species of tropical and sub-tropical plantlife in the glasshouse, plus exotic fish, an Arid House for cacti and a small aviary, including finches and quails. The conservatory is built around the fly tower of the Arts Centre theatre. It opened in 1984, eight years after the completion of the Barbican, and is open for free to the public on Sundays and bank holidays. The Barbican complex itself features a wildlife garden, containerized allotments in the walkways, and around 12km of balconies, with numerous window boxes. For more information visit the Barbican website.

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