Kew Gardens and

London Travel Blog

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I woke up to a sunny and warm day. Didn´t feel like walking the streets of London, so what better place to visit than Kew Gardens. I took the District Line direction Richmond. Kew Gardens is the second last stop. From central London it took about 45 minutes. It´s only a short walk from the tube station down to Victoria Gate.

The gardens are absolutely beautiful. I guess because of its size it did not feel crowded at all. From Victoria Gate I started my visit at the Palm House, then continued to the Waterlily House. It´s a small, but wonderful little house with a pond filled with all kinds of waterlilies. It was extremely hot and humid in there. The Temperate House was my next stop.

Kew Gardens, Victoria Gate
In this green house they have vegetation from Asia, the Americas, Australasia and South Africa. There were a couple of plants that caught my interest. The Angel´s Trumpet being one of them. This tall, deciduous shrub is actually from the same plant family as the potato! It grows wild on the forested mountain slopes of Colombia. The flower´s sweet scent is strongest at dusk and it was once believed their perfume could induce sleep. The second plant I found interesting was the Rice-paper plant. The paper is made from pith inside the stem. It is used in China for making toys and flowers, paintings and even surgical dressings. This large evergreen shrub can grow to between 5 and 10 meters. It is native to Taiwan and South China, but now also grows in many tropical and sub-tropical regions.

As I continued down to the Pagoda I stopped for a while and watched all the planes that were on their final approach to Heathrow airport.
Victoria Gate Café
That was actually the only annoying thing about Kew Gardens. It is such a wonderful place, you just want to enjoy its beauty in tranquility. Next to the Pagoda is the Chokushi Mon (gateway of Imperial Messenger). This is a replica of the Karamon of Nishi Hongan-ji Temple in Kyoto. It is made of hinoki wood (Japanese cypress) and have magnificent carvings on the panels and transoms and the metal ornamentation over the whole gateway.

My next stop was the The Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop Walkway. When you have climbed the 118 stairs to the walkway, watch out for low branches when you have reached the top. From the walkway there is a fantastic view of the whole garden. This walk is also educational. Along the walkway there are signs teaching you about how the trees live, how they grow, how they reproduce etc.
Temple of Arethusa
The signs are specially interesting for children, as they are well made and easy to understand. When I walk down again I realized that I had lost my jacket. What to do? Should I just forget about it or should I look for it. It would be like looking for the needle in the haystack. I decided to walk back the same way I had come and half the way back, on a bench, I found my jacket. Glad I went back.

It was now time to head for the other end of the gardens, to the Princess of Wales Conservatory. A walk through the conservatory takes you through ten climatic zones. The two zones with carnivorous plants were the most interesting. Next door is the Davies Alpine House with its unusual alpine plants and the Rock Garden resembling a Pyrenean mountain valley.

By now my feet were hurting, I was tired of walking and I had had a wonderful day, so I decided to end my visit to this fantastic Botanical Garden.
There is no doubt that I will come back for more visits. I spent about 4 hours there and probably saw half of the gardens.

At the end of the 80´s I went to the Bramah Tea and Coffee Museum. I remembered that they had a small coffee shop where you could have afternoon tea, so I decided to pay them new visit. When I finally got there I could not find neither the street number nor the museum. I walked up and down the street, but no luck. I stopped by the hotel in the next street and the receptionist could tell me that they had closed down 2 years ago, but no one knew wether it was final or if they had relocated. I guess I was not having afternoon tea after all. Instead I walked down to the Thames, crossed London Bridge and walked down to Tower of London and The Tower Bridge, before I went to Covent Garden for something to eat.


My final "activity" today was a play at the Novello Theatre. Grumpy Old Women had already been successful on television, so when it was no live in the theatre I just had to see it. "Grumpy Old Women Live 2: Chin Up Britain" is a show packed full of handy hints on getting through these hard times the grumpy way. The audience was delighted to see the Grumpy Old Women tackle such pertinent issues as: grumping through the ages, why the recession is good for our kids, celebrity culling, plus The Grumpy Guide to Safe Grumpy Rumpy Pumpy! The testy trio offer tips about coping with Excessive Cleaning Disorder, overcoming menu masochism and combining household chores with safe sex. The play was an absolute delight. Can´t remember last time I laughed so hard. It also made it very funny when the actresses lost it and burst out laughing themselves.



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Kew Gardens, Victoria Gate
Kew Gardens, Victoria Gate
Victoria Gate Café
Victoria Gate Café
Temple of Arethusa
Temple of Arethusa
Plants + People Exhibition
Plants + People Exhibition
Palm House
Palm House
Palm House
Palm House
Palm House
Palm House
Palm House
Palm House
Inside the Palm House
Inside the Palm House
Inside the Palm House
Inside the Palm House
Waterlily House
Waterlily House
Victoria longwood hybrid
Victoria "longwood hybrid"
Victoria longwood hybrid
Victoria "longwood hybrid"
Victoria longwood hybrid
Victoria "longwood hybrid"
Victoria longwood hybrid
Victoria "longwood hybrid"
Acalypha hispida
Acalypha hispida
Nyphaea carpentariae Julia Leu (…
Nyphaea carpentariae "Julia Leu" …
Nymphaea immutabilis Blue Form (…
Nymphaea immutabilis "Blue Form" …
Nymphaea immutabilis Blue Form (…
Nymphaea immutabilis "Blue Form" …
Nymphaea Kew´s Kabuki
Nymphaea "Kew´s Kabuki"
Nymphaea Kew´s Stowaway Blues
Nymphaea "Kew´s Stowaway Blues"
Nymphaea Kew´s Stowaway Blues
Nymphaea "Kew´s Stowaway Blues"
Nymphaea carpentariae X violecea
Nymphaea carpentariae X violecea
Nymphaea carpentariae X violecea
Nymphaea carpentariae X violecea
Nymphaea Kew´s Electric Indigo
Nymphaea "Kew´s Electric Indigo"
Nymphaea violacea X colorata
Nymphaea violacea X colorata
Nymphaea violacea X colorata
Nymphaea violacea X colorata
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Temperate House
Angel´s Trumpet (Colombia)
Angel´s Trumpet (Colombia)
South Africa Cape Flora
South Africa Cape Flora
Rhododendron D. B. Stanton
Rhododendron "D. B. Stanton"
Rhododendron macgregoriae (New Gui…
Rhododendron macgregoriae (New Gu…
The Rice-paper Plant, Tetrapanax p…
The Rice-paper Plant, Tetrapanax …
Pavilion Restaurant
Pavilion Restaurant
Pavilion Restaurant
Pavilion Restaurant
Peacock
Peacock
Peacock
Peacock
The Pagoda
The Pagoda
The Pagoda
The Pagoda
The Pagoda
The Pagoda
British Midland
British Midland
Busy airspace
Busy airspace
Air Lingus
Air Lingus
El Al
El Al
Scandinavian Airlines
Scandinavian Airlines
Lufthansa
Lufthansa
Chokushi Mon
Chokushi Mon
Chokushi Mon
Chokushi Mon
The Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop …
The Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop…
The Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop …
The Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop…
The Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop …
The Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop…
The Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop …
The Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop…
The Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop …
The Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop…
Temperate House seen from the Rhiz…
Temperate House seen from the Rhi…
Temperate House seen from the Rhiz…
Temperate House seen from the Rhi…
Temperate House seen from the Rhiz…
Temperate House seen from the Rhi…
Temperate House seen from the Rhiz…
Temperate House seen from the Rhi…
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Rhododendron
Iris bulleyana
Iris bulleyana
Iris bulleyana
Iris bulleyana
My lost jacket
My lost jacket
Princess of Wales Conservatory
Princess of Wales Conservatory
Princess of Wales Conservatory
Princess of Wales Conservatory
Princess of Wales Conservatory
Princess of Wales Conservatory
Cacti, Princess of Wales Conservat…
Cacti, Princess of Wales Conserva…
Cacti, Princess of Wales Conservat…
Cacti, Princess of Wales Conserva…
Echeveria setosa
Echeveria setosa
Veiled Nun Orchid, Phaius tanker…
"Veiled Nun Orchid", Phaius tanke…
Achimenes arecta
Achimenes arecta
Thunbergia mysorensis (Indian subc…
Thunbergia mysorensis (Indian sub…
Heliamphora nutans (Venezuela, Bra…
Heliamphora nutans (Venezuela, Br…
The Cape Sundew Drosera capensis…
"The Cape Sundew" Drosera capensi…
Sarracenia x catesbaei
Sarracenia x catesbaei
Sarracenia x catesbaei
Sarracenia x catesbaei
Sarracenia oreophila (USA)
Sarracenia oreophila (USA)
Sarracenia flava (S.E USA)
Sarracenia flava (S.E USA)
Nymphaea Dangthamanoon
Nymphaea Dangthamanoon
Rock Gardens
Rock Gardens
Davies Alpine House
Davies Alpine House
Davies Alpine House
Davies Alpine House
Saxifraga cochlearis Minor
Saxifraga cochlearis "Minor"
Tecophilaea cyanocrocus (Chile)
Tecophilaea cyanocrocus (Chile)
Tower Bridge seen form London Brid…
Tower Bridge seen form London Bri…
Under London Bridge
Under London Bridge
City Hall
City Hall
City Hall
City Hall
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
London Sights & Attractions review
A delight of a botanical garden
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. Fro… read entire review
London
photo by: ulysses