The Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, southwest London, is one of the world’s most famous gardens and home to plants from around the globe. There are glasshouses with tropical flowers, herb gardens and spring flowers, treetop walks and regular events from study days to concerts.
Visitors to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew can admire the world’s largest collection of living plants, climb to treetops, have a picnic by the famous Chinese pagoda in the middle of the gardens or be amazed by the variety of tropical plants in the Victorian glasshouse.
There are gardens in Kew from different parts of the world, from the stunning collection of orchids in the Princess of Wales Conservatory to the mountain flowers from the Himalayas that blossom in the Himalayan Glade. In the spring the gardens bloom with over five million bulbs from daffodils and crocuses to snowdrops and rhododendrons. The summer is the most popular time to visit Kew but the garden is alive in winter too: the plants in the Winter Garden stay green and blossom even in the rainy English winter weather.
Free guided tours are offered daily at 11 am and at 2 pm. The tours last an hour and start from the Guide’s desk at the Victoria Plaza by the Victoria Gate entrance. The guides take their tour groups through the park following different routes, introducing seasonal attractions and permanent exhibitions. The guided tours can be a great way to learn more about Kew’s plants and its conservation and research work.
Plant conservation and botanical research are the essence of the Royal Botanical Gardens and Kew also offers study days, courses and workshops in an interesting variety of topics from Introduction to Botany to Orchids for Beginners to Photographing Trees. Special events in Kew Gardens include concerts, exhibitions, guided tours, seasonal walks and special activities for kids. One of the newest activities in Kew Gardens is the Xstrata Treetop Walkway that takes visitors to 18 metres high treetops.
The closest London Underground station to the gardens is Kew Gardens on the District Line. The station is just a five-minute walk away to the Victoria Gate entrance to Kew Gardens. Well worth the trip from Central London, Kew Gardens is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Adults pay £13 for entry but get free entrance.
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Photo of crocuses and the Temple of Aeolus in the background in Kew Gardens, London, by Anguskirk.