I’m not the biggest fan of summer in the UK right (yes, yes, I know that I’m strange), but the one thing I love is seeing plants and flowers thrive in warm and sunny weather. Kew Gardens, the royal botanic gardens, is therefore one of my favourite spots to visit when the cold months of winter are over, and we head into spring and summer.
I don’t visit Kew Gardens nearly as much as I’d like to, mostly because it’s just not that easy for me to access, from where I live in London. Every time I go however, I always make a mental note to not wait so long in between trips!
The last time I visited was last month. It was a blazingly hot day to begin with, but cooled down towards the end of the afternoon, culminating in rain which brought some welcome relief to myself and the plants! I took some lovely photos and thought I’d just do a quick post with some information that tourists might find useful.
Tip #1: It’s easy to get to Kew Gardens by the tube, but just double check that the District line doesn’t have any problems before you go. I was pretty unlucky with this and ended up having to grab an Uber from Turnham Green.
Tip #2: Buy your tickets online. It’s cheaper and you don’t have to queue as long to gain entry to the gardens.
Tip #3: Remember to grab a map of Kew Gardens when you’re passing through the entrance. The whole site is massive and you want to make sure that you get to see all that you want to see without tiring yourself out.
Tip #4: Try to avoid weekends and school holidays! There are normally lots of families with kids around this time (which I can fully understand – the Kew Gardens really cater well to children!) and it will mean extra waiting times and longer queues (especially when trying to buy ice-cream 😛 ).
Tip #5: Don’t miss the Palm House. The building itself is iconic but I also found that its rainforest climate housed the most interesting plants. On the other hand, it might just have been because it reminded me of home (Malaysia)!
Tip #6: If you go with kids, check out the Hive. Well to be honest, go even if you don’t have kids. I love bees and particularly enjoyed listening to the Kew Gardens representative talk about the current state of bees in the UK (a sorry and sad situation). Everyone should be aware of this problem.
Tip #6: Another fun attraction was the Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens. It brought a bit of history to life!
Tip #7: Head into shelter when it starts raining – the Princess of Wales Conservatory is a good one to wander around in as it contains ten different environments covering a range of tropical conditions and climatic zones.
Tip #8: Don’t miss the Kew attractions that are further afield, especially if you want a bit of peace and quiet from the crowds. I spent about 30 minutes watching the ducks and geese by Sackler Crossing, before deciding to walk on top of the canopy along the Treetop Walkway. Beware though, it’s slippery when wet!
Do you enjoy summer? What’s your favourite botanical garden?