Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Kew Gardens is recognized as the largest botanic garden: it occupies 120 hectares in the western part of Greater London and is located between London suburbs Richmond and Kew. The glorious history of this reserve started in 1759 and its reputation was established thanks to the works of a famous natural scientist D. Banks. Since then the garden has turned into a park space of historical meaning that is now open for tourists giving them a chance to see more than 40,000 plants, the greatest collection in the world. The visitors should see the beautiful species of rhododendrons, orchids, cacti and other rare plants. In spring the gardens blossom with cherries and crocuses, in the summertime you will be amazed by elegant and colorful alpine gardens and odorous roses. In winter the Princess of Wales Conservatory is free for visiting.

Kew Gardens is also home for a lot of scholars and gardeners; the facility possesses a unique herbarium comprising some seven million plants. Moreover, that the royal garden is also famous for its sights, such as the Kew Palace, Pagoda, Waterlily House, Sacker Crossing Bridge, Palm House, Queen Charlotte's Cottage and the Alpine House. For leisure with kids there are a lot of amusing playgrounds and attractions. As for the photo lovers, for their artworks the garden has several unusual statues, neat flowerbeds and a picturesque pond.

One of the royal residences, the Kew Palace is a brickwork Dutch-style building distinguished by its restraint beauty and interiors – members of the royal family even joked that this is the place where they can have a rest from pompousness. Apart from the royal chambers the visitors are shown into the Royal Kitchens. The greenhouse of the Palm House (in the southern part of the park) presents an oasis of lush tropical vegetation in blossom. A little to the west of it you will notice an unusual 15-meter-high tower called the Great Pagoda that will attract your attention with its Chinese architectural style and recently renovated interiors. The Temperate House is a giant greenhouse with heat-loving bushes and trees.

A ticket to Kew Gardens allows visits to all buildings and sights at the venue. The price depends on the season and can be consulted on its website. There is also Kew’s botanic garden in Sussex, Wakehurst. In the summertime you can get here by a river boat from the Westminster Pier. If you take commuter train to Kew Bridge station, you will be able to visit a couple of unusual museums, namely the Kew Bridge Steam Museum dedicated to water and steam and established in the building of a former water-tower, and the Musical Museum offering a collection of unique instruments.

Address: Kew, Richmond
Opening hours: January Mon-Sun 10 am – 4.15 pm, Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens are closed; February – March Mon-Sun 10 am – 5.30 pm, Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens are closed; April – August Mon-Fri 10 am – 4.30 pm, Sat-Sun 10 am – 7.30 pm, Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens 10.30 am – 5.30 pm; September – October Mon-Sun 10 am – 6 pm, Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens September 10.30 am – 5.30 pm, closed in October; November – December Mon-Sun 10 am – 4.15 pm, Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens are closed.
How to reach: Kew Gardens metro station; buses 65, 237, 267, 391.
Coordinates: 51.47753, -0.29697