- A visit to one of the largest botanical gardens in the world is a perfect break from London's crowds and tubes
- Featuring conservatories with jungle plants, a treetop walkway, art galleries and restaurants, a day at the Kew has something for everyone
- 121 hectares offers plenty of opportunity to stop and smell the roses (and the oranges, and the water lilies, and the chocolate trees...)
London's busy-ness is exhilarating - until it's not. And then you need a break. A visit to Kew Gardens is the perfect way to combine London sightseeing with a literal 'breath of fresh air'. A whopping 121 hectares of space makes it one of the largest botanical gardens in the world! It features an orangery, a 10-story pagoda, a mosque, a unique treetop walkway 18 meters above the ground, and more. Visit, explore and relax - it's a walk in the park!
Founded in 1840, Kew Gardens has over 30,000 different kinds of plants. Making it an open-air museum of herbs, plants, and trees.
A visit here gives you the opportunity to explore the manicured ideal outdoors, and see different periods of landscape architecture and gardening style. From the Great Pagoda to Queen Charlotte's Cottage, the Kew complex is dotted with intriguing buildings nestled among - and filled with - shoots, shrubs, and bulbs.
And not only the buildings and the plants, the Kew has more surprises up its sleeve (or rather: up its trees). The 18-meter high Treetop Walkway puts you up among the branches, and is one of the favorite features of this lush green paradise.
Kew Gardens also features an Orangery (unsurprisingly, filled with citrus trees), and the Classical-style brick Kew Palace. This building, which is also open to the public, hosted Queen Elizabeth II's birthday party(!)
Kew Gardens also has two different art galleries - the Marianne North Gallery hosts art from around the world, while the Shirley Sherwood contains botanical art. No matter how you plan your day, you'll find a visit to the Kew both restorative and invigorating, just as was always the plan.
ALL THE BUZZ
From this summer until the end of 2017, check out The Hive. This award-winning artwork is inspired by research into the health and life of honeybees. The enormous lattice is fitted with LED lights and sounds, that respond in real-time to the energy surges of an actual beehive behind-the-scenes! Follow one of the talks to learn how you can help these vital pollinators survive and thrive.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond TW9 3AB, United Kingdom
- Access to Kew Gardens, including art galleries (Marianne North & Shirley Sherwood), Kew Palace, greenhouses and the Treetop Walkway
- Free guided walking tours at least twice a day. Ask onsite for more information, because times can vary
- Map and guide to the highlights of the season
- Hop-on hop-off land train with driver commentary
How to use your tickets
After arriving at Kew Gardens Station, head through the underpass towards the Victoria Gate entrance. Look for Lichfield Road, and walk to the Kew. Pass the line on the left and head directly to the entrance. Show your smartphone ticket, and you're in!
Good to know
- Kew Palace is open from Easter to late September. It's closed from October on, but the gardens and other attractions are accessible year-round
- The entire garden is accessible to disabled persons, even the Treetop Walkway! However, buggies and strollers are not allowed on the 18m-high walkway
- Summer: 10:00 - 18:30, last admission 18:00
- Winter (30 October - 10 February): 10:00 - 16:15, last admission 15:45.
- Early spring (11 February - 25 March): 10:00 - 17:30, last admission 17:00.
The staff are very friendly and informative.
I will definetly go again because some attractions were closed due to winter plus I didn't have time to see everything anyway.