Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Few attractions offer the variety and spectacle of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew where 326 acres, four of them under glass, contain the world’s largest and most diverse collection of living plants, with over 30,000 types of plants represented.
The famous glasshouses ensure a fascinating visit even in winter: the world’s oldest living pot plant in the Palm House, ten climatic zones - from steamy rain forest to arid desert - in the Princess of Wales Conservatory and exquisite mountain terrain plants in the Davies Alpine House. In February the Princess of Wales Conservatory is transformed for Kew’s annual Tropical Extravaganza with spectacular displays of orchids and other exotic flowering plants.
Heritage trees dating back to the 18th century can be seen in Kew’s arboretum while the Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop Walkway gives a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding tree canopy.
Kew Palace (open April to September) offers visitors a rare insight into the domestic life of George III and his family. A tour on the Kew Explorer land train allows visitors to hop on and off throughout the tour at any of its seven stops or to relax during the full 40 minute tour to the furthest corners of the Gardens. There are three art galleries to enjoy including the country’s only gallery devoted to botanical art.
Kew has four catering outlets providing a range of freshly prepared food to suit all tastes. Discounted meal vouchers available to groups to buy in advance. There are two shops stocking a range of quality products, many exclusive to Kew.
WINTER AT KEW GARDENS
Whether in the run up to Christmas, or in the frosty first month of the New Year, a walk through Kew Gardens offers so much in the way of nature’s winter beauty. And with entry costing £9.50 until 31st January, now’s the perfect time to reinvigorate your senses and emerge from hibernation...
A different scene emerges at this time of year, when woody plants and ornamental grasses take centre stage. For Tony Kirkham, Head of the Arboretum, colder months reveal some of the Gardens’ secrets: “winter is one of my favourite times in the Arboretum at Kew. The trees have lost their leafy summer disguise and can show off their natural structural beauty. I often head to the Pinetum to enjoy the conifers suddenly standing out and coming to life with a myriad of blue foliage and cones”
Take a wander on the frosty lawns as tall conifers loom large and broadleaf evergreens populate the arboretum; Climb the Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop Walkway to enjoy winter’s open perspectives and 18 metre high views across the crowns of leafless lime, sweet chestnut and oak trees.
Enjoy seasonal highlights such as the winter bulbs in the Alpine House, including the early iris and crocus; snowdrops in the Rock Garden, and coloured tree bark throughout the Arboretum.
If the heavens open, why not visit our art galleries or our glasshouses for a taste of the tropics in winter; there you’ll see palms and other plants from across the continents, and get an injection of colour from stunning orchids and bromeliads in tropical temperatures.
After a few hours of walking nothing warms the soul like tea and cake or a hot bowl of soup with some crusty bread. So make a day of it with a visit to the Orangery Restaurant or Victoria Plaza Café for a delicious selection of food from Peyton & Byrne.
Gate prices: Adults £15.00 Concessions £14.00 (60+, full time students and disabled visitors), Children aged 16 years and under free, Kew members free.
Pay on the day group price (10 or more people) Adults £13.50 Concessions £12.60
Late entry: 45 minutes before Glasshouses close - £14.00. Registered blind/partially-sighted visitors free. Essential carers for disabled visitors admitted free.
TQ 187773 51.48254 -0.29120
Public transport is very convenient and there is limited parking. Victoria Gate, the principal gate, is on Kew Road (A307) and is a 7 minute walk from Kew Gardens Station.
Tube : Kew Gardens
Train : Kew Gardens and Kew Bridge
Bus: 65, 237, 267, 391
Car:Coming from the south or west on the A316 or M3 motorway (which becomes the A316) turn left at the Richmond roundabout onto Kew Road (A307). You will see the Pagoda to your left - park in a permitted place, alongside the Gardens, on Kew Road.
For further information visit www.tfl.gov.uk
- Coach parties accepted
- Disabled access
- Disabled toilets
- Facilities for groups
- Facilities for educational visits
- Gift shop
- On-site catering
- On-site light refreshments
- Public toilets
- Wheelchairs available
- Children welcome
- Disabled access
- Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)
- Guided tours for groups