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Kew Gardens, London

Kew Gardens is a botanical garden located about 13 km (8 miles) west from the centre of the city. Covering 121 hectares (300 acres), this world famous botanical garden is a splendid mix of beautiful landscapes, formal gardens and greenhouses. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Kew Garden has become another popular attraction in London receiving over a million visitors each year.

Kew Gardens sits in a quiet corner of London and offers a welcomed break from the hustle of Central London. The best time to visit is from March to August when the flowers bloom and come to life in spring and the reach the peak of their beauty in summer. If your visit is long here, there are a couple of cafes and restaurants here offering choices from light snacks to full meals. You can also have a picnic anywhere in Kew Gardens except the glasshouses and in the planted areas.

 Kew Gardens by Cristian Bortes

About

The history of Kew Gardens formally dates back to 1759 and established as a national botanical garden in 1840. The botanical garden is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003. Today, Kew Gardens is home to one of the world’s largest and most diverse plant collections with more than 30,000 species of live plants collected from various corners of the globe. Furthermore, the herbarium has over seven million preserved specimens from around the world.

Kew Lake by Root66

See & Do

The Palm House is a huge greenhouse and home to hundreds of tropical plants. Not far is the Waterlily House, the hottest and most humid greenhouse and its main attraction are the water lilies floating on the pond. The Princes of Wales Conservatory houses 10 climate zones and home to orchids, water lilies, cacti, lithops, bromeliads and even carnivorous plants. The Alpine House provides cool and dry conditions for alpine plants while the Temperate House houses plants and trees from the temperate climate.

The Palm House by David Iliff

The Treetop Walkway spans 200 metres (660 feet) at 18 metres (59 feet) above the ground, offering breathtaking views of Kew Gardens. The Arboretum is home to over 14,000 trees from over 2,000 species including some dating back to the 18th century. The Great Broad Walk Borders is a promenade to the Palm House and planted on the sides with over 30,000 ornamental plants. The Natural Area covers 15 hectares (37 acres) of woodland and left to its natural state as a habitat for various species of wildlife.

Erected in 1762, the Great Pagoda is a Chinese tower comprising of 10 floors and 253 steps. The pagoda reaches 50 metres (164 feet) in height and is a visible landmark at the botanical garden. The Japanese Landscape comprises of three manicured garden areas created to complement the Chokushi-Mon (Japanese Gateway). The Bamboo Garden is home to a Japanese Minka House (traditional farmhouse) as well as the largest collection of bamboo in the UK with over 1,200 species.

The Japanese Gateway by Prl42

Visiting Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens opens daily throughout the year except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The opening time is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can purchase tickets at the gate or online at the official Royal Botanical Gardens website. You get a discount purchasing online and fast track entry into Kew Gardens through the Victoria Gate. Another advantage is online tickets are valid for 30 days.

There are four entrance gates to Kew Gardens. The Victoria Gate is the closest from Kew Gardens Station serving the London Underground District Line and London Overground North London Line. The Elizabeth Gate is the closest from Kew Bridge railway station and those arriving on boats under the London River Services. The Lion Gate is the closest from Richmond Station serving the District Line and the Waterloo to Reading Line operated by South Western Railway. The Brentford Gate is across from Kew's Ferry Lane car park.

Kew Gardens on the Map

Kew Road, Richmond, London TW9 3AB, UK

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