Things to do | Leisure & entertainment | Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

World Heritage Site

The Royal Botanic Gardens are a historic London landscape garden set in a beautiful landscape beside the River Thames between Richmond and Kew South West London.

Today, the gardens cover more than 300 acres, and house botanic collections (conserved plants, living plants and documents) that have been enriched over 2 and half centuries.

There has been a garden at Kew since the 17th century, but the Royal Botanic Gardens were officially founded in 1759. The gardens have since made a significant contribution to the study of plant diversity and economic botany.

Today there are 26 gardens at Kew, ranging from the Aquatic Garden to the Winter Garden, each containing up to 100 species of plants. The gardens are also home to 6 stunning glasshouses, each containing a different example of plant life around the world.

The Palm House is the centrepiece of the gardens. Built between 1844 and 1848, it houses tropical trees, shrubs and palms, including coconuts palms, banana plants and mango trees. The Temperate House is the world's largest ornamental glasshouse, and holds a collection of subtropical plants, including jojoba and the world's largest indoor plant, the Chilean wine-palm.

Kew Palace is the oldest surviving building within the Royal Botanic Gardens. The 17th-century building was the family home of King George III and Queen Charlotte. It's well known as the sanctuary for King George during his bouts of illness, presumed as 'madness' but now believed to have been the neurological disorder porphyria. A series of Royal Family items such as the waistcoat worn by King George in his final years and the chair in which Queen Charlotte died, are on display at the palace.

Must see & do:

Hampton Court Palace - Visit the oldest Tudor palace in England, which was also home to Henry VIII. Explore his state apartments where history is brought to life with costumed guides.

Richmond Park - Enjoy a great day out at the largest open space in London. Used as a hunting park by King Charles I, the park is home to herds of fallow and red deer that roam the grassland and woodland.