Here, in a deconsecrated church (the tower, which you can climb, dates to 1377), you’ll find artifacts and academic respect paid to the greatest gardeners of Britaindom, including John Tradescant the Elder, a green thumb and seed pioneer who himself was planted in the churchyard in 1638. You’ll find an assortment of antique gardening implements, a collection of gardening-related art, plus a few curios such as an original 18th-century bronze season pass token for the Vauxhall Gardens—yes, only horticulture nerds need apply. The museum was set up in 1977 as a way to preserve the abandoned church of St Mary’s, but—garden museum irony alert—no one thought to dig down. In 2016, workers discovered a vault containing a collapsing pile of 30 lead coffins topped with a rusted Archbishop’s miter cap—like your nightmare’s nightmare. One of the corpses is Richard Bancroft, who oversaw creation of the King James Bible, and as many as five others are Archbishops of Canterbury, like England’s popes. You can find the clear, sealed panel leading to their chamber in The Ark. There are other graves to see: Captain Bligh of Bounty fame is in the yard. A more cheerful fact: The roundabout outside, at Lambeth Bridge, is where Clark Griswold told his kids, “Big Ben! Parliament!” (You either know it or you don’t).
5 Lambeth Palace Rd., SE1, England
Our Rating Neighborhood Lambeth Hours Sun-Fri 10:30am–5pm; Sat 10:30am–6pm (but check ahead). Closed first Mon of month Transportation Tube: Westminster, Waterloo, or Lambeth North Phone 020/7401-8865 Prices Admission £10 adults, £8.50 seniors, £5 students, free for children 5 and under. Church tower another £3 Web site Garden Museum
Map5 Lambeth Palace Rd., SE1 England London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.