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Kew Gardens

Swans Kew Gardens Pink flowers kew gardens Kew Gardens Map Under the palms kew gardens orange flowers kew gardens The Secluded Garden Sculpture Kew GardensWe are big fans of The Botanical Gardens at Kew; it’s one of our favourite places to go when we feel like a change of scenery. Kew is located near Richmond in South London but just an easy 30-minute overground train ride from our neighbourhood in North London (a real bonus for our kids who love travelling anywhere by train). We have visited on many occasions, at varying times throughout the year (even in chilly January) and have found it to be a great day out every time. Each season brings with it different sights, colours and activities so you’ll find that no visit is ever the same.

In spring/summer you can while away an entire day strolling around the vast grounds, soaking up the sunshine and taking in the beautiful blossoms and flowers. Take the Kew explorer land train for a guided tour of the impressive flora and fauna or pack a picnic and find your own quiet secluded corner – there are plenty.

Winter at Kew has less to offer in the way of colour outdoors but nonetheless triumphs with it’s collection of iconic old trees, atmospheric lakes and art in the gardens and galleries. Enjoy a frosty, walk through the giant trees of Redwood grove and across the Sackler crossing,  add in steaming mugs of hot chocolate from one of the many cafes and you have the recipe for a perfect winter’s walk. On a chilly day you can also retreat to one of the many plant houses and be transported straight into a hot and humid tropical rainforest, what better way to escape the winter blues! In the shade Kew Gardens lake kew gardens Purple Flowers Kew Gardens Running through Kew GardensOn our last visit to Kew we were excited to check out the new Hive installation that opened in June. Designed by acclaimed artist Wolfgang Buttress, the Hive is a multi sensory, aluminium structure, designed to give an insight into the inner workings of a bee colony. Inspired by scientific research into the health of bees, the structure is brought to life by a unique soundtrack of buzzing and humming sounds and a sequence of LED lights that twinkle and fade, seemingly at random. In fact each of the multi sensory elements within the structure are responding to changes in vibrations and energy levels within a real bee hive, housed just behind the installation. Although the wider concept might have been slightly lost on our children, they still really enjoyed the experience and some of the fun interactive elements. I recommend  trying to pin down one of the bee rangers, they are more than happy to explain and answer questions  – our kids came away with so many interesting facts about bees.  The Hive is set to remain at Kew until November 2017, after which I advise that you check the website for further details.

The Hive Kew Gardens Sophie in the hive kew gardens The Hive roof Kew Gardens Flowers Kew GardensThe Hive was the highlight of our trip this time round but listed below are some of our other favourite things to see and do at Kew:

  • Treetop Walkway  – At 18 meters high and 200 meters long this colossal metal walkway takes visitors right through the tree canopy. With stunning views over the treetops and across the grounds, this is one attraction that our kids really love – especially when the entire structure starts to sway in the wind. Just don’t look down!

Treetop Walkway Kew Gardens Kids on Treetop Walkway Kew Gardens treetop walk kew gardens

  • The Palm House – a beautiful victorian structure boasting 16,000 panes of glass. Inside you can experience the full exotic wonder of a tropical rainforest, with enormous palms and plants including banana, rubber and cocoa. There is also a marine aquarium in the basement.

Kew Gardens Palm House

  • Climbers and creepers – a unique indoor play area designed to engage and delight children whilst teaching them about plants. Children can clamber over roots, swing from vines, climb inside a plant and learn all about pollination, or simulate the deadly mechanism of the Venus Fly trap. It is a great educational fun zone for kids of 3-9 years. Located just outside is also the fantastic Treetop Towers, a tree based adventure playground. Our kids would happily spend all day playing here.

Do you love Kew? What are you favourite things do do and see in this pretty corner of South London, we’d love to hear your suggestions?

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AE

Opening Times: 10am – 5:30

Kate x


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