The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to simply as Kew Gardens, are extensive gardens and botanical glasshouses between Richmond upon Thames and Kew. They are without doubt some of the best gardens in the whole of the UK and attract over a million visitors a year.
Ticket prices for adults are £16 but children under 17 can enter the gardens for free.
Kew Gardens originated in the exotic garden at Kew Park formed by Lord Capel of Tewkesbury. In 1840 the gardens were adopted as a national botanical garden and increased to 270 acres. It is now 300 acres.
Kew Gardens is located just a 5-10 minute walk from Kew Gardens underground and train station, on the District Line. Kew Bridge Station is about the same distance, but on the North side of the River. Everyone in the area will be able to point you in the right direction.
Kew Gardens has just one car park, located near the Brentford Gate off Kew Green. It costs £5 per day and sometimes you can get lucky and meet someone on the way out who will give you their valid parking ticket (so i am told).
There is some street parking at off peak times and weekends, but it gets grabbed pretty early - and always check the local signs to make sure that it IS safe to park as London parking rules can vary dramatically.
Kew Palace was built in 1631 and is the smallest of the royal palaces, used by the royal family between 1729 and 1818.
Open to visitors in the summer, costs £5 per adult in addition to the standard Kew Gardens entry fee. There are some great exhibits inside, ranging from the chair that Queen Charlotte died in, to King George III's waistcoat.
The Princess of Wales Conservatory
at Kew Gardens
has ten computer controlled climatic zones, hosting
cacti, ginger, pineapples, giant waterlillies and
And the pools contain freshwater stingrays, water dragons and poison-dart tree frogs!
The Wollemi Pine was
thought to be extinct for 2 million years, until it was
re-found in a gorge near Sydney, Australia. Less
than 100 mature trees exist in the world, so this
growing specimen in Kew Gardens is being well protected.
It's also a lot bigger now - we took this photo in 2006!
Kew Gardens is a
leading centre of botanical research, a training ground
for professional gardeners and a popular visitor
In 2005 Kew Gardens attracted 1.48 million visitors, which was the most since 1949 and is the largest number for any paid entry garden in the United Kingdom.
Kew Gardens' Treetop walkway is 18m above the
ground, giving a close-up view of treetop canopy.
There is a lift for those who are unable to climb the
Kew Gardens is important as a repository of seeds; it has one of the most important seedbanks. With the Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium, they co-operate in the IPNI database to produce an authoritative source of information on the nomenclature of plants.
Kew Gardens is located in Kew,
in the borough of Richmond upon Thames.
Kew Gardens underground station is about 5 minutes walk from Kew
Gardens main entrance.
Visit our other pages on local attractions for Kew Gardens, the River Thames, Richmond Park, Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, Historic Houses and the Richmond upon Thames museums.
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Don't forget Mother's Day is on the horizon. If you don't book that table for lunch soon you'll have to explain why you're taking your mum to KFC.