Chelsea Physic Garden – London’s oldest botanical garden

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

My series of small blog post about my favourite hidden places in London.

This year we are really trying to walk more and one of the ways we are getting more steps in is by strolling from one side of London to the other…A few Sundays back we walked from Tufnell Park all way down to Chelsea. Calum found these gardens somewhere on Instagram, called Chelsea Physic Gardens.  The gardens were created in 1673, first established by the Apothecaries in order to grow medicinal plants, this extraordinary garden in London has had wide reaching impact around the world.

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

I’ve never heard of this place before so for me it was an absolute hidden gem. And it is the oldest botanical garden in London. It is not a secret that I am a huge fan of anything botanical – my blog name says it all…and I wrote about our trip to Kew Gardens and Clifton Nurseries last year.

I would absolutely love to go back in summer and autumn to see the garden in full bloom! But even in early February it was stunning, we got lucky and when we were there, it was a snowdrop season. But I do think photos talk for themselves.

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

There is a lovely gift shop and very nice looking cafe, it was incredibly busy though so we didn’t get a chance to try any of the food, but I would recommend booking a table if you are planning on visiting the garden cafe.

The entry to the garden is around £7 and it is a wonderful way to spend an hour or so if you are in the area.

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

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Chelsea Physic Garden, oldest botanical garden in London - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik – city guide

Our final day in Iceland we decided to spend in Reykjavik. When we left our camper van behind (it got picked up at 6pm on the 27th of June) which actually was surprisingly emotional…we had spent last 8 days in it by this point, we had an evening and a full day ahead of us to explore the capital of Iceland.

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

After having THE BEST shower ever (I am not even exaggerating, after staying in a camper van for the last week, showers had became a treat) in our lovely airbnb, we decided to have a little stroll around town. Almost 7 months have past since then, but i still remember the taste of the very first beer in Reykjavik. I have done a very little research and starred a few places on google maps but all bars were great and i would strongly recommend any of them.

Kaldi BarKaffibarinnMicro Bar – some of our favourites. My biggest tip would be – research the happy hour!! You’ll end up saving a lot of money.

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

We even saw some Scottish beer in one of them! So after having a very mini pub crowl, we decided that sleeping in an actual bed sounds too good, so an early night it was!

Our full day in Reykjavik we decided to start with a free walking tour – again, it was brilliant and I strongly recommend it! It was a great introduction to the history and current political situation in Iceland, plus our guide had a great sense of humour. After the tour we could even sign up to a free email with tons of tips from local people.

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog
24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

Our second stop that day was the iconic church – Hallgrímskirkja. I don’t want to sound spoiled, but we weren’t incredibly impressed with it…hear me out! It is a beautiful building, inside is really cool but the top bit is a little bit disappointing. Views are great, I just think it could be much better if someone would invest in it. But it is definitely worth a visit, I am just being very picky.

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

We visited Reykjavík 871±2 Museum, where you can learn about first recorded settlements in Reykjavik – I thought it was brilliant and very informative. The rest of our day we spent by walking around, eating, drinking and buying souvenirs. I got a great mug and a hat from these guys. Still my favourite mug! We also walked to the Harpa music hall – very impressive and cool building.

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

We had some lunch at a little noodle place, really fancied some pho for some reason…Again, I am a vegetarian so we didn’t go to any of local restaurants, because they mainly serve seafood. We did however, had a hot dog from the most famous hot dog stand in the world. Can you spot what I had as a veggie option?

24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

Because we had a morning flight back to London the next day, we decided to have an early night. But Reykjavik is wonderful – small enough to be able to walk around but big enough to have lots of things to do. If we had more time, we probably would have visited one of many public swimming pools – maybe next time.

Have you seen the rest of our Icelandic adventure?

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24 hours in Reykjavik - Too Many Plants Blog

 

A walk in Riga Old Town – Europe’s hidden gem

Riga Old Town in Latvia - Too Many Plants Blog

Some of you might know that I grew up in Latvia, a little North European Country on the coast of the Baltic sea. I love where I am from! I have lived in UK for the last 11 years now but it is always amazing to be going back.

I had a very quick trip to Riga for the New Years Celebrations, in total we spent 3 days there but again, too many photos were taken so I thought I’ll put together a little post to show you my hometown.

Riga Old Town in Latvia - Too Many Plants BlogRiga Old Town in Latvia - Too Many Plants BlogRiga Old Town in Latvia - Too Many Plants BlogRiga Old Town in Latvia - Too Many Plants BlogRiga Old Town in Latvia - Too Many Plants Blog

Strolling around Old Town is always on my to do list, every time I visit, I make sure I spend some time walking around and admiring medieval town – Riga is over 800 years old so you definitely get a feeling of stepping back in time.

Also food is phenomenal! If you ever visit Latvia, you have to go to Lido – a chain of restaurants which serve rustic cuisine, very affordable but so so delicious.

Riga Old Town in Latvia - Too Many Plants BlogRiga Old Town in Latvia - Too Many Plants BlogRiga Old Town in Latvia - Too Many Plants BlogRiga Old Town in Latvia - Too Many Plants BlogRiga Old Town in Latvia - Too Many Plants Blog

Have you been to Riga before?

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Riga Old Town in Latvia - Too Many Plants Blog

 

 

Climbing Ben A’an in Scotland on a snowy day

The very first post this year I would like to dedicate to yet another Scottish gem – Ben A’an. Every time we go to Scotland, we try to go for a nice walk or climb something, this time we decided to venture outside on the Boxing day to climb Ben A’an.

Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog

Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog

Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog

I actually found the hike in Wild Guide Scotland which I got for Christmas. It is a relatively easy hike which takes under 2 hours for a return trip. However we got so incredibly lucky with the weather, that I thought that this climb deserves a post of its own, simply so I can share some of the pictures from that day.

Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog
Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog

We set off pretty early at 9am (well it was a day after Christmas after all), the drive takes about an hour from Glasgow but it snowed (if you live in UK, you can understand our excitement) so the drive was truly magical and we took our time driving through mountains. There is a very handy car park near Loch Achray, our car was the very first one there that morning and it was pretty much full when we were leaving, so it totally payed off to wake up before 8am the day after Christmas.

Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog
Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog

The hike itself is a very steady climb, not going to lie, we did struggle at times post Christmas dinner, but it gave an excuse to stop for photos. The path is brilliant, pretty sure it has been relaid quite recently too. Ben A’an is small hill at 454m high but the views from the top are absolutely spectacular all due to its brilliant location.

Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog
Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants BlogClimbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants BlogClimbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog

We were the first people at the top that day which was phenomenal as we got to take photos with white snow everywhere. On our way down we met soooo many families which yet again proved that getting up early is always worth the photos.

Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog

Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog

Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog

Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog

Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog
Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants BlogClimbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants BlogClimbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants BlogClimbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog

Have you seen the rest of my posts about Scotland?

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Climbing Ben A'an in Scotland - Too Many Plants Blog

 

Visiting the Geffrye Museum in London and Christmas Past – Connecting the London Dots

One of my absolute favourite museums in London is a bit of a hidden gem, it is the Geffrye Museum. Museum dedicated to living rooms of London through the last four centuries. Walking around it, you get a feeling that you are peeking through a peephole. I have been there before a few hours back, but this year I’ve found out that they are actually decorating the rooms for Christmas, so the last Saturday we ventured East to soak up some of that Christmas spirit.

Geffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants Blog

The period rooms go from as far back as 1600 to the present day, where you can see and read how people lived and used the space, and I think it is fascinating to learn how much it has changed in the last centuries.

Geffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants Blog

Geffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogThere is a brilliant looking cafe, it was full to the brim on a Saturday morning, and a great gift shop, where I had to force myself to walk away from buying every Christmas ornament there is…

Geffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants BlogGeffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants Blog

The Geffrye Museum is going through a lot of changes next year, so they will closing in January so i strongly recommend popping in if you have a few free hours. Especially that museum itself is completely FREE.

More from Connecting The Dots Series:

Clifton Nurseries Kew Gardens Kenwood House Foxes Farm Pumpkin Patch

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Geffrye Museum - Christmas London - Too Many Plants Blog

Exploring Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands

Loch Morar

In the beginning of November we had a mini getaway to Scottish highlands, during this trip we did a little walk near Loch Morar. The scenery was insane and I’ve ended up taking tons of photos (nothing new here) so I thought this place deserves a little blog post of it’s own.

Hiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants Blog

Hiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants BlogHiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants Blog

Hiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants Blog

The loch is 18km long and is the deepest freshwater lake in British Isles with the maximum depth of 310 m. But it is mainly famous for having an actual monster in it…apparently it is called Morag and people have divided opinions if it is a good one or causes something bad to happen if you meet her. Sadly we didn’t see any monsters while walking around but the loch is stunning and can totally imagine something odd roaming around it.

Hiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants Blog

There is a little settlement on the Northern side of the Loch, called Bracorina where we left our car and walked along the shoreline. There are a few hikes that you can do there, we only did a little one this time but next time I would love to hike all way to Tarbet, which takes around 3 hours and then you can get a ferry from there.

Hiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants BlogHiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants BlogHiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants BlogHiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants BlogHiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants BlogHiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants Blog

While we were there, the weather was truly Scottish and we experienced glorious sunshine, torrential rain and hale within an hour. If you are in the area, Loch Morar is definitely a worthy stop.

Hiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants BlogHiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants Blog

Hiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants BlogHiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants Blog

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Hiking at Loch Morar, Scottish Highlands - Too Many Plants Blog