The wide horticultural content and long history of the Garden are unique and, together with the changing seasonal displays, keep visitors returning year after year. Making the history of the Garden come alive, explaining its role as a medicinal garden over the past 340 years and describing how and why plants matter to our lives today, are our wonderful team of Volunteer Guides.
All visitors can enjoy free tours, included with their entrance fee, either by taking a personal audio guide tour or by joining a volunteer guided tour. Volunteer guided tours, lasting about 45 minutes, are extremely popular yet are always offered subject to the availability of guides. As a result volunteer guides are vital to the success of the Garden in delivering a fully enjoyable and satisfying experience for visitors.
What we are looking for
We are looking for enthusiastic people who can commit a regular amount of time each month during the season from April until the end of October. With over 5,000 species of plants in the Garden, horticultural experience is helpful but not essential. Confidence in speaking in public is a must.
After initial training (6 full week days over 2 months) we ask for a commitment to at least 3 full afternoons a month. Refresher training and background reading is on-going for all guides.
Why do it
There are around 40 Volunteer Guides who work as a team to make a visit to the Physic Garden as satisfying and enjoyable as possible. In return, Guides enjoy beautiful surroundings (including the pleasures of the renowned Tangerine Dream Cafe) shared with like-minded friends, visitors and colleagues, plus the satisfaction of doing what the Garden’s benefactor, Sir Hans Sloane, might have called “a good and useful job”.
If you are interested in applying please complete the VolunteerGuideApplication Form, and return it to Volunteer Coordinator, 66 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HS.
Training takes place in the spring prior to the Garden opening for the season. Applications can be sent in at any time.