Friday, 31 January 2014

Discovering the fabulous gardens of Chelsea and Fulham

Chelsea and Fulham neighborhoods of London are characterised by their stunning leafy private squares, a product of Victorian housing development.Green sites like the Chelsea Physic Garden, Bishop's Park and the adjacent Fulham Palace, the Royal Hospital and the Hurlingham Club Grounds are the most popular ones. And beneath the green grass and paving stones of this extremely charming aria lie fragments of history.
For example at Fulham there is evidence of over 2000 years of human activity, and  there has been discovered a Roman settlement beneath the Fulham Palace Meadow Allotments and interesting enough, because of that plot holders are not allowed to dig too deep.
One of the most visited gardens is the Chelsea Physic Garden which was established in 1673 being the second oldest botanical garden in UK and a celebration of the beauty and the importance of plants. It holds more than 5000 types of plants, a collection of tropical, subtropical and Mediterranean and Canary Islands species. Expert guides will give you an insight on the history of this green spot hidden behind high walls and explain the many uses of the rare plants, from life-saving drugs to tea.

Fulham Palace gardens, the historic home of the Bishops of London, are also a very charming place to unwind. Fulham Palace was owned by the Bishops of London for over 1,300 years and was their country home from the 11th century. The stately rooms house a museum, a gallery space and a cafĂ©/ bar overlooking the extensive botanic gardens. The 13 acres layout includes many rare trees, 18th century landscaping and a fabulous walled garden. Here you can see an ancient evergreen oak, estimated to be at least 450 years old and a part of the selective Great Trees of London.

Internationally renowned, the Hurlingham Club is a green oasis bordering the Thames in Fulham and is set in 42 acres of magnificent grounds. Recognised throughout the world as one of Britain's greatest private members' clubs, it retained its quintessentially English traditions and heritage, while providing modern facilities and services to its members. An exclusive sports and social club it has published the first rules of polo in 1873, rules that are followed by most of the world to this day. The members have access also to a nine hole golf course and other sports include lawn tennis, cricket, bowlsskittles, squash and swimming.