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Escape from hustle and bustle of Central London to peaceful places which you will not believe ever existed. Expect total tranquillity.
Established in 1984, the Conservatory is a home to around 2,000 species of plants and trees, some of which are rare in their native habitat. The species are mixture of temperate and arid types ranging from areas of the rocky deserts and wildness of South Africa to the coastline of Brazil. Admission is free, no booking required. The Conservatory is open on selected Saturdays from 12–10pm; and selected Sundays from 12–5pm. Please check the website before you visit.
Address: Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS
Closest tube station: Barbican
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
It is also known as ‘Neasden Temple’, this traditional Hindu temple in north-west London is a quiet place of worship, learning and community service. The Mandir was hand-carved in India in 1995 before it arrived in London. This wonderful place of worship attracts around 400,000 visitors annually, welcoming people from all walks of life. Visitors can admire the intricate carvings, learn about Hinduism or simply experience the peace and tranquillity of a traditional Hindu temple in the heart of London. General Opening times are Monday to Sunday 9am to 6pm. Free admission.
Address: 105-119 Brentfield Road, London NW10 8LD
Closest tube station: Neasden
Leighton House Museum
The Museum used to be a home of the Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896). This is the only purpose-built studio-house open to the public in the UK and also one the most remarkable buildings of the 19th century, containing a vast collection of paintings and sculpture by Leighton and his friends. Many of the most prominent figures of the Victorian age were entertained in this room; including Queen Victoria herself who called on Leighton in 1859. But Leighton lived alone in his palace, occupying the house’s only bedroom on the first floor. Opening times are Wed to Monday 10am-5:30pm, Tuesday closed. Tickets from £7
12 Holland Park Rd, Kensington, London W14 8LZ
Closest tube station: Earl’s Court
Buddhapadipa Temp (Thai Temple)
You will not believe me if I tell you about Buddhist Thai Temple in the heart of a residential area in Wimbledon. The Buddhapadipa temple is the first Thai Buddhist Temple to be built in the UK. It is a home to nuns and monks with atmosphere of calm as you step inside that makes you immediately use your ‘library voice’. The temple is open to all visitors as long as you are respectful to the Buddhist beliefs. You will find a house, pond and several bridges within the ground of the temple. Signs with messages of wisdom are posted in the garden, take a minute or two to read them. When entering the temple, remember to take off your shoes in the hallway. General Opening times Mon-Fri 10am-5pm. Sat-Sun 10am-4pm. Free admission but some events might require purchasing a ticket. For meditation and other events, please visit the website.
14 Calonne Rd, Wimbledon, London SW19 5HJ
Closest tube station: Wimbledon