West of central London are the spectacular 300-acre Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Beautifully landscaped parkland joins expertly planted gardens, palm houses and more than 50,000 species of native and exotic plants, trees and flowers. Don’t miss a chance to walk in the treetops on the spectacular canopy walkway that affords great views across this World Heritage Site.
Kew Gardens is an opportunity to get closer to nature and to discover an array of world-leading scientific and conservation work. Scientists at the site find new species every year, many that are threatened by extinction and which exist in very few other locations.
You’ll find so much to see and do at Kew Gardens, from walking around the spectacular Rock Garden that mimics the world’s mountainous regions to exploring the Agius Evolution Garden, which reveals the science behind Kew’s exceptional plant collection. Discover the Mediterranean Garden and King William’s Temple, built for Queen Victoria in 1837, which is home to an incredibly diverse collection of southern European plants, or wander the length of the Great Broad Walk Borders – a delightful mix of fragrances and flowers that heighten the senses. The Arboretum houses Kew Gardens’ vast selection of trees. You can climb the Treetop Walkway to take a closer look, and wander through the canopy 18 metres above the ground.
Then there’s the buildings! The Temperate House is the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse and is home to 1,500 incredibly rare species of plants from around the globe. The Princess of Wales Conservatory is a glassy labyrinth with ten computer-controlled climate zones and the iconic Palm House dates back to 1844. Themed tours of Kew Gardens occur daily, showcasing the seasonal highlights of the collection and the site’s rich history.
Getting to Kew Gardens
Key Gardens has four main gates, with Victoria Gate the nearest to the London Underground network. Kew Gardens station is in Zone 3 and is served by the District Line branch to Richmond from central London, as well as by London Overground services. Kew Bridge station is around 800 metres from Elizabeth Gate, via Kew Bridge, and the station is served by South West Trains services from Waterloo, via Vauxhall and Clapham Junction. From Richmond, the number 65 bus destined for Ealing Broadway stops at Lion Gate and Victoria Gate. Routes 391, 237 and 267 also stop near to Kew Gardens.
Central London is just 40 minutes by tube from Kew Gardens, providing access to the theatres, bars and restaurants of the West End, as well as London’s primary tourist attractions including the London Eye and the Tower of London. The capital’s major museums, art galleries and sporting venues can all be reached in an hour or less. Richmond Park and its wild deer herd can be found to the south of Kew and the WWT London Wetland Centre nature reserve is a short bus journey eastward.