There is so much to do and see at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London that you will need a day to explore – and put on comfy shoes because believe me you will do a lot of walking!
I will talk about the logistics of how to get there, opening times and fees at the end of my post but for a quick link check out Kew’s page on-line too!
The glasshouses were something I remembered very clearly from my last visit which was over 20 year ago. As well as these iconic structures the formal gardens, water features, art works as well as the Hive and the TreeTop Walkway are all there waiting to be explored.
So lets take a visual tour of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew!
THE PALM HOUSE
The beautiful Palm House has a rainforest climate (and was lovely and warm compared to outside!!) and houses palms (obviously) and other tropical species! Check out the bamboo!
A short stroll with the geese and you get to the waterlily house – pretty!
PRINCESS OF WALES CONSERVATORY
This glasshouse was not named after Diana, Princess of Wales as I mistakenly thought but for a Princess who founded the gardens – Princess Augusta. Princess Diana did open the conservayory though in 1987.
This glasshouse has ten different environments!
Lots of cactii and some beautiful exotic plants as well as the coffee plant (no I had no idea what it looked like either!)
This new installation (since 2016) is a multi-sensory experience to highlight the amazing life of bees. It is 17 metres tall and was designed by Wolfgang Buttress. The hive is surrounded by a meadow. Definitely somewhere to visit – and kids will enjoy it too!
The Hive is at Kew until November 2017 so if you want to see and experience this amazing structure get down to Kew!
Who doesn’t love rhododendrons?? And the beautiful azalea? Head to this section and be knocked out by colour! I took about 3,000 photographs but don’t worry I have only chosen a few to share!
I just turned 50 and they are even older than me. Wow
KING WILLIAM’S TEMPLE
Built for Queen Victoria in 1837 (1837!!!!) it is surrounded by a Mediterranean garden.
We added about 13000 steps to our fitbits getting the treetop walkway (signposting is not great at Kew I found) and to be honest it was really disappointing! The views weren’t great and I wouldn’t hurry back.
There were other areas of Kew we didn’t get to but our feet were sore and we had a train to catch. Next time I will head for the Great Broad Walk Borders and hopefully the beautiful Temperate House will be open (closed for restoration at the moment). Check out “Everything you need to know for a visit to Kew Gardens” for more information about visiting Kew!
We had a wonderful day and I would highly recommend a visit if you love botanical gardens (I make no secret of that fact and you can read some of my others posts – Botanical Gardens around the World Part 1 – Butchart Gardens in Canada and Edinburgh Gardens in Scotland and Botanical Gardens around the World Part 2 – Kirstenbosch in South Africa and the wonderful Singapore Botanical Gardens.
A VISIT TO ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS KEW – THE LOGISTICS
1. HOW DO I GET TO KEW?
The Royal Botanic Gardens are in Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AE. We went via public transport which I would recommend as as parking is limited.
By tube: Kew Gardens (500m to Victoria Gate)
On the train: Kew Bridge (800m to Elizabeth Gate)
By bus: 65 stops at Victoria and Lion Gates, 391 stops nearby
2. WHAT ARE THE ENTRY COSTS?
TIP – We had a voucher from the BBC Gardening magazine for May which gives 2 for 1 entry on loads of great places in the UK!
Entry fees are as follows:
Adults £15.50* / £14
Children (4–16) £2.50
Children under 4 free
Concessions £14.50* / £13
* Ticket prices include a voluntary donation
3.WHAT ARE THE OPENING TIMES?
Opens daily at 10 am but I would check their website for up to date information HERE!
4. CAN I BUY FOOD AND DRINK THERE?
We took a picnic but stopped off for a cuppa and a slice of cake at the Orangery (not cheap!) There are a number of other restaurants you can stop off at for a bite to eat or a toilet break.
A visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew London
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Tracy is your expert expat!
She has lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to over 50 more. A qualified school teacher with an interest in history, reading, photography, nature and wildlife she is always planning her next trip (preferably by train)
Through down-to-earth stories, tips and advice (based on her own extensive knowledge and experience of life as an expat) she aims to support new and prospective expats to survive and thrive in Australia.
With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, she is also able to share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help you travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.