As soon as the warmer weather arrived and the sun is shining, the hubby and I wheeled out our picnic rug and set off on a day trip to the beautiful Kew Gardens also known as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. We didn’t pack any picnic supplies this time as there are plenty of food options inside. We can always take food away from the many restaurants and cafes and bring them to our rug.
The Kew Gardens is located in the Richmond area of London which you can get to via the District line on the Tube and the London Overground. The garden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses 50,000 species of plants stretched across 300 acres of land. It was a day of pure botanical indulgences, beautifully scented rose bushes, cream teas and picnics are amongst the many wonderful things you can do on your day trip to Kew Gardens. Whether you enjoy walking along perfectly manicured botanical gardens admiring the plants, wining and dining in some of the top restaurants in London or just simply finding a quiet spot to sit down to watch the world go by, whilst enjoying views of the world’s most beautiful greenhouses in the world, Kew Gardens has it all.
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Must-see things to do in London Kew Gardens
I should also mention that, unlike all the other gardens and parks in London that offers free entry, Kew Gardens is ticketed. It’s £17 per person if you book in advance during peak season or £12 off-peak, which is a small price to pay for tranquillity and low-density London attraction in my opinion.
The Palm House
Apart from the hundreds and thousands of exotic plants and flowers, Kew Gardens is also home to the most aesthetically beautiful glasshouses I’ve ever seen! The first place we hit after we got in was the Palm House. I’ve seen so many photos of it, so I had to go and see it with my own eyes.
Does it look like a ship? Apparently, the architect used some of the techniques from the shipbuilding industry. They originally built it with green glass as they thought it would provide some shield from the sun. However, the plants didn’t like it. So it was changed to clear glass. Did you know that the staff who work here gets to eat the fruits bear by the plants? How awesome is that?!
These are just some interesting facts about this Victorian glasshouse… and you can find out more here.
Inside the Palm House is as close as you’re gonna get to a tropical rainforest in the UK. It houses many many rainforest treasures. Many are endangered or even extinct in the wild. This is the first time I saw a real-life Bodhi tree!! The next time my parents come to visit, I will bring them here to show them.
It was such a unique experience. And the bonus was that the humidity actually made my skin feel amazing!
Enjoy an afternoon tea at the Botanical Restaurant
After a big sweat in the glasshouse, we desperately needed some cold drinks and air conditioning! So we ventured across the Botanical Restaurant on the other side of the lake.
We got an iced coffee and some scones. They were a little small but it was one of the best scones I’ve had in a long time!
The Great Pagoda
After we cooled down and rested our feet, we made our way to the Great Pagoda. This is not covered by the entry fee. So to go up, you’d need to purchase another ticket for £7.
Tip: If you have tickets to go in, make sure you go there first. As the last admission is at 4 pm. Sadly we got there just after 4 so we didn’t get to go in!
Take a walk around the rose garden and breathe in the perfume
After we missed out on the pagoda, we went around the rose gardens, smelled the roses. My favourite scent in the world! When I have a house with a garden, I’ll plant myself an English rose garden!
We then found a quiet spot under a shady tree to lay down our picnic rug and watched the world go by.
Before we knew it, the sun started to set. It was time to pack up and call it a day.
I thoroughly enjoyed our day trip to Kew Gardens
We’ve barely scratched the surface of the gardens. There are still so many things we didn’t do. So I am definitely going back at the next opportunity!
Have you been to Kew Gardens? If so, what was your experience?
And if you are looking to do a day trip somewhere in London this summer, away from crowded tourists, then I highly recommend the Kew Gardens. They also have events and activities throughout the year, so be sure to check out the Kew Gardens website to find out the latest information and help you plan your trip.