Welcome to Chelsea Physic Garden
london’s secret garden
Tucked away beside the Thames, Chelsea Physic Garden is one of the few truly ‘hidden gems’ remaining in London. The Garden’s high walls give it a magical, secluded air and entering through its historic iron gate on Swan
Walk, guests and visitors are transported into a glorious, inspirational oasis, away from the hurly-burly of the city.
The Garden was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecariesof London for their apprentices to study the medicinal qualities of plants. This particular location was chosen as the proximity to the river creates a warm microclimate, allowing plants such as the largest outdoor fruiting olive tree in Britain to survive British winters. The Garden became one of the most important centres of botany and plant exchange in the world.
In 1712, Dr Hans Sloane, after whom nearby Sloane Square is named, purchased the Manor of Chelsea and some years later, leased the Garden to the Society for the grand sum of £5 a year in perpetuity. Thanks to this benefactor, four acres of botanical beauty in the heart of Chelsea miraculously survives to this day.
The Garden continues to play a role in discovery and learning, focusing on today’s renewed interest in wellbeing and natural medicine. As an independent charity, the organisation relies on visitors, clients, Friends and supporters to help protect and nurture the Garden for future generations.
Hiring the Gallery
The indoor function room is on the upper floor of main building, which lines one side of the Lawn. The Gallery has a traditional lecturer’s platform at the far end and a fully-installed, although subtly hidden, AV system. The room is well-lit, airy and spacious, and can easily accommodate a variety of functions. Please note that access is via a flight of stairs, and thus is regrettably not easily accessible for guests with disabilities.
An Intimate Setting for any Occasion
Whether a wedding celebration, anniversary party, corporate function, company away-day or confidential meeting, the Garden offers a verdant and tranquil location which you and your guests will never forget. The venue is available for exclusive private hire on Saturdays and on weekday evenings throughout the year. Guests may wander freely throughout the Garden and enjoy its contemplative, natural beauty.
Bespoke venue hire packages can be arranged across any combination of the Garden’s portfolio of indoor facilities and garden spaces.
Most events are centred on and around the large, main lawn at the heart of the Garden, a breathtaking location, with or without an elegant marquee.
The Garden hosts up to 400 people and a large marquee will seat around 250 people. With a marquee in place, a large proportion of the lawn remains exposed and so enhances the natural ambience of any event.
The Lower Lawn
Tucked away in the southwest corner of the Garden, this verdant secluded area is ideal for intimate day or evening gatherings of up to 100 guests.
A small marquee fits here perfectly.
The Garden Room and Gallery
The main building at the northern end of the Garden is a marvellous red brick Edwardian house, surrounded by greenery. This building hosts the Garden Room which, in addition to the spacious lawn, can seat around 80 guests or 100 for a standing reception. Located above the Garden Room is the Gallery. With wide views overlooking the Garden, this well-equipped space is ideal for presentations, conferences or private meetings, seating up to 70 people. Both rooms are spacious and light and can be arranged in a variety of layouts, independently or together, depending upon requirements.
Hiring Chelsea Physic Garden for your Wedding
Chelsea Physic Garden is the ideal venue for many special occasions. The Garden and its indoor spaces are suited to a wide variety of events, from large birthday celebrations, wedding parties and corporate events, to more intimate functions such as business meetings and small dinner parties. The entire site is available to hire exclusively, and areas can also be booked separately.
The Garden & Lawn
The Garden spreads over four acres in total and is roughly divided into quarters by intersecting paths, meeting at the central statue of Sir Hans Sloane, owner and benefactor of the Garden in the early 18th century. At the top of the site is the Main Lawn, an idyllic space well-suited for functions. Marquees may be installed here, with the wide variety of plants and flowers providing a beautiful setting for event.
Tucked away in the southwest corner, this secluded lawn is ideal for small, day-time gatherings of up to 100 guests.
This indoor function room is on the upper floor of main building, which lines one side of the Lawn and overlooks the Garden. The room is well-lit, airy and spacious, and can easily accommodate a variety of functions.
Please note that unfortunately we cannot accommodate children’s parties in the Garden
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Public entrance is via Swan Walk. SW3 on Tuesdays – Fridays, Sundays & Bank Holidays. On Mondays when we are partially open, entrance is via 66 Royal Hospital Road.
Disabled access for those with disabilities is at 66 Royal Hospital Road.
SCHOOL GROUPS & Family Activity Day attendees – please come to the green door on Royal Hospital Road, SW3 – beside the bus stop/shelter.
The nearest tube station is Sloane Square (District and Circle lines).
When leaving Sloane Square tube station, cross the road in front of you, turn left into Lower Sloane Street. At the traffic lights turn right into Royal Hospital Road and continue, past the National Army Museum on your left. Cross Tite Street and then turn left into Swan Walk – where the public entrance is for open days.
The Chelsea Physic Garden is easily accessible by bus; the 170 route to Victoria train station stops directly outside the Garden.
- Self-catering: no
- 10 to 400 number of people
- Night permit
- Live music
- Multimedia available
- Outdoor weddings
- Photo report
- Wedding ceremonies possible
- Parking is available around the garden, with coin-operated meters. There is pay & display parking in Battersea Park (see map), a 10 minute walk across Albert Bridge.
- In the centre
- Near public transport
- Airport: 20 km