Royal Botanic Gardens Kew London Reviews
Around the World in One Garden Aug 10, 2013
There's more to Richmond than housing the largest of London's eight royal parks.
Exploring what I may call the best botanical garden in London is like wandering in different parts of the world. Kew Gardens doesn’t only showcase British flora but that of places such as the Mediterranean and Asia to name some. This is why their idea of making a passport-like flyer is brilliant.
Most of them are categorized as ‘Key Attractions’ in this Royal botanic garden. The Japanese and Chinese plants and architecture are Asia’s representatives. It was unlikely to think that I would be able to see a traditional Japanese house not in the land of the rising sun but in England instead. The Minka House will truly give Asian impression, and once settled, it’s hard to leave. The cute Bamboo garden just adds to that!
The Japanese influence doesn’t stop on that part of the gardens. On the southwest part of Kew lies Chokushi-Mon or the Japanese Gateway, which is a replica of a temple gateway in Tokyo. This is also a landmark of Japan-UK friendship. Near to it is a ten-storey Pagoda (a fascinating Chinese tower, and it was my first time to see a real one, too!) which is truly perfect the way it is. Unfortunately my companions and I weren’t able to go up, and really, we don’t even know if visitors are allowed to enter and climb it.
South America can boast of its rainforest trees and shrubs which are especially housed in a grand glasshouse. It won’t matter if it’s cold outside; you might find yourself complaining once inside this glasshouse filled with tropical plants in a tropical atmosphere! The high temperature may make one want to go out soon but hey, seeing these kinds of plants are once-in-a-lifetime, alright? And oh, statues of the Queen’s Beasts stand guard outside, complete with descriptions. On the other end, at the Princess of Wales Conservatory, you can marvel at the different species of cactus (and I never thought there's a lot!) which abound in the same continent. In this building are also aloes that flourish in Africa. Surely there’s still life in a desert, isn’t it?
The United States of America enters the picture at the Redwood Grove, with the towering Californian redwoods as its contribution. The red giants, which are of the largest and tallest family of trees on earth, are truly remarkable. How they made it here, I don’t know, but one thing’s for sure – they are real, and I’m just so happy to at least have seen these natural wonders without stepping out of the country.
There is a crossroad between Europe and Asia. Kew has the Mediterranean Garden, located near the Xstrata Treetop Walkway and the Temperate House. In these soils you can see stone pines, olive groves and some lavender, which are all prevalent in that central region of the world. It may not be that big, but it’s worth it.
There is also a touch of Australia, only that this time the land down under is at the top of Kew Garden’s map. Probably the highlights of the collection are the Wollemi pine (which is sadly endangered) and the eucalyptus. Remember it’s located at Brentford Gate, opposite of the Victoria Gate (many miles south). And while at it, you can relieve yourselves as there’s a toilet.
There we go, around the world in a big botanical garden! Kew isn’t just for showcase, however, but for research as well. It’s like a sacred sanctuary where man and nature can bond together without much presence of industrialization. It is a perfect place for any crowd – young and old, able and differently-abled, student and teacher, nature-lover and simply casual walker. It tells the importance of plants in our lives, in the world. Come and appreciate the wonder of nature at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Photographer heaven Jul 13, 2012
If you want to do something slightly different and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, if you love nature and photography, Kew Gardens is a great place to go.
These botanical gardens provide huge potential for taking amazing photographs, and is also a nice day out. The site has buildings and structures (greenhouses, sculptures, etc), a huge range of flowers and trees, and some wildlife such as peacocks, butterflies.
Aside from a photographer's heaven, there are aspects of history involved and they have regular exhibits on show. Plenty of open space for picnics, or there is on site cafe/restaurant.
Kew Gardens is easily accessible via the London Underground transport system, about 35mins from central London. They have an admission fee, which is a bit steep, but if the weather is good, it is a great day out.
The summer always comes to Kew. Apr 30, 2011
I am a local to Kew, living just across the bridge. The amazing thing about my part of London is that very few people venture out in the direction, and I thoroughly believe that Kew and the surrounding areas are some of the best places to visit if you just want a more relaxed day trip, and soak up the laid back atmosphere.
Kew Gardens is a short from from the Overground and District Line station, which actually drops you in a very peaceful little enclave of shops and cafes. After a short five minute walk, meandering around one of the many avenues, you reach a huge dark brick wall, and the entrance into the Botanical Gardens.
First thing you need to know is that Kew Gardens is HUGE! So the Adult entry fee of £13.90 is very fair, you can also find 2 for 1 details if traveling by rail and such. I so far have only really ventured into the huge shiny glass and metal Greenhouses, to admire the vast array of flowers, plants, and trees. Im an avid photographer so that keeps me busy for hours, plus its a nice change to the cool London weather.
Other areas of personal interest for me, are some of the lovely walks around the Gardens, taking in some of the artifacts dotted around the Gardens, such as the giant pagoda, and other quaint buildings.
Next time I go back I plan to check out the high walk way thru the trees, and I thoroughly recommend, taking tea across the road at the Maids of Honour Tea room. plus if during the summer, walk up towards Kew Green to have a beer, and watching some old English cricket.
A delight of a botanical garden May 24, 2010
Kew Gardens is beautifully situated by the Thames in the south west of London. To get there take the District Line to Kew Gardens Railway station. From there it is just a 5 minutes walk to Victoria Gate. In the summer you can also reach Kew Gardens by riverboat from Westminster Pier.
The Gardens contain over 25.000 different species and varieties of trees, shrubs and plants from all over the world in 300 acres of landscape.
Special features include:
• The magnificent Palm House where you walk through humid tropical rainforests and can discover how dependent we are on the plants that inhabit these parts of the world.
• The Waterlily House, the hottest and most humid of Kew Gardens glasshouses. It is small, but home to a wonderful host of tropical and ornamental aquatic plants.
• The Temperate House, the biggest public glasshouse. This is the home of the Chilean wine palm, the world´s tallest indoor plant (reaching up to 16 meters).
• The Princess of Wales Conservatory offers a trip through ten climatic zones where you can see a huge variety of plants, including cacti, ferns, orchids and carnivorous plants.
• Kew Palace, which used to be the home of George III, offers a glimpse of royal history. Admission is charged separately.
• Rhizotron and Xztrata Treetop Walkway which offers a fantastic view of the gardens and is educational.
• Rhododendron Walk.
• An art gallery dedicated to botanical art and much more.
This garden is so big, it´s impossible to get through it in one day unless you are there from opening to closing hours. I spent 4 hours there and probably just covered half of the gardens. I was there between the spring and summer flowers, but can just imagine the beauty when the Rose Garden is in full bloom.
Walking through the gardens is a delight. You can either walk on paved roads or on grass covered paths. If you don´t feel like walking you can take the Kew Explorer. This is a train with commentary, which offers a good overview of Kew. You can hop on and off at any of the eight stops around the gardens. Day ticket is £4/£1 adult/child.
Kew also offers a walking tour where you will gain insight into Kew´s history, plants, science and seasonal highlights. Guided tours are FREE, but capacity is limited.
If you get hungry there are 4 restaurants and cafés, which offers cakes and pastries, a salad counter, hot sandwiches, grilled meat and fish from the barbecue and afternoon tea. A lot of people brought their own lunches which they enjoyed among the trees and flowers throughout the gardens.
I can highly recommend Kew Gardens. The only negative thing I can say about it is the noise. Kew Gardens is located directly under the final approach to London Heathrow Airport, which means a plane is bussing over your head every two minutes.
09:30 - 18:30/19:30 weekdays/weekends
Child (under 17) FREE
Season ticket £44/£70 individual/joint
Kid´s guide £3,95
Part of the A weekend in London travel blog
Kew Gardens, total different world inside London Nov 08, 2010
Kew Gardens is a beautiful place to escape busy central London. It has heated green houses with tropical plants, Gallery with photo's of plants, fantastic trees, good learning oppertunity for the children or for yourself, Climbers and Creepers playground for the children to play and learn at the same time. Over al an excelent day out with the family.
Nice and friendly staff and good gift shop. Nature at it's best, make sure you take your camera!
Part of the London 2010 travel blog
Kew Gardens May 24, 2008
One word, beautiful. The Royal Botanic Kew Garden is a great place to visit while in London. Getting there was easy and the shops around Kew Station are quaint and interesting.
The Gardens cost 12 pounds per person but despite that high price ($24 USD currently) there is a lot to see. There are several interesting buildings including a historical wooden house transported from Japan and rebuilt. Inside this building is a great display explaining how silk is made and woven.
Another highlight are the greenhouses with plants from all over the world. None of them were crowded and there seemed to be plenty of room through out the attraction. Many people had brought their lunches and had picnic's on the grass.
Recently they have opened a 6 story treetop walkway. You could almost see the entire park.
Part of the London and England travel blog