This is another one of those well known places that you should make an effort to visit - it is not located in the heart of the tourist trap of central London and is in fact fairly close to London Heathrow Airport.
There is an admission charge - but you can spend the whole day in the gardens and hot houses.
This is an interesting Government Department to visit; and it is open to the public for the purposes of research, teaching and visiting. This is the official Government depository for official Records of England and Wales and some relating to the entire United Kingdom.
There is a coffee shop, a gift shop and lots of people researching their family histories.
It is free to enter.
I was very pleased to find there was no queueing! There were several ticket booths open and the staff were very friendly and helpful.
Adult tickets cost 10GBP, wheelchair users 7GBP, their essential carers go free.
Children are free too - but under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information about Kew Gardens and what's on check out their website.
These lillies are huge I can almost picture a huge frog jumping from one to the other
The best time to see as many flowers open is early morning or evening, although these lillypads look like something out of a fairytale you will see no frogs here!
There was a display of various kinds of chilli and pepper plants for the medditarranean festival they must thrive in the hot humid conditions inside.
This house closes before the gates close so its advisable to get here early afternoon,
in summer the house closes at 5.30pm
This beautiful piece of artwork is a replica of the Karamon in Nishi Hongan-ji in Kyoto, it is 4/5ths the size though. The intricate carvings depict flowers, animals & shows the devotion of pupil to their master.
This replica was created for an exhibition in London in 1910 so its taken a long time of restoration work & landed up at Kew.
The Zen gardens is beautifully landscaped.
In Kew you will find many unusual plants you've never seen before.
Monkey knew straight away that this was a monkey puzzle tree and again hopped out the bag for a photo moment.
Kew also has various themed plants for festivals they have on these change with the seasons
It is with awe that I sat in this area surrounded by really tall trees, you can almost sense the wisdom of these ancient trees - it is a calm area.
Also in this area is a walk called the Cedar vista which takes you up to the lilly pond. The Lilly pond was not as spectacular as I expected but then you are spoilt for choice after seeing the amazing water lilly house.
This little cottage style garden has small pockets of places to sit and relax. There are poems about sight, scent, hearing and touch with corresponding plants to stimulate these senses.
The unusual water feature has been seen on the 2007 Apprentice series when they were searching for unusual shapes for a building. It is a very pretty part of the garden with a little stream running under a wooden bridge.
Kew Gardens is about 300acres of pure garden heaven,
There are various glasshouses to visit & often artistict displays. Kew is always putting on some or other event so best check the website out before you go. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the grounds although there are restauants inside. You can go in & out of the gardens with your ticket so you can visit restaurants outside.
Ok it is not cheap but you can sometimes find entry 2 for 1 or buy 1 entry pay half price on second, on the web www.daysoutguide.co.uk which offer discounts with your train travel
Adults GBP11.75 children under 17yrs free accomponied by paying adult
Wheelchair users GBP8.75 carer free
Blind / Partially sighted free & carers free
Update prices July 2007 Adults GBP12.25 wheelchair users GBP10.25 local to the area why not buy a season pass
Glasshouses close earlier then the grounds. Grounds close 6.30 / 7pm during summer
Tickets to the pagoda can be purchased with your ticket £3 in a timed slot opening again 2009
The Kew explorer tickets are Adults GBP3.50 & children GBP1
Depending on the season the gardens close at different times so it is best to check the website before. You can easily spend a whole day here & still not see everything.
The outside of this conservatory is stunning & is a feature building at Kew,
The rose garden to the back & the pond in front its in a prime viewing spot as you enter into Kew from Victoria Gate
Palm house is very humid & I suspect some people can feel faint & perhaps those with asthma may wish to avoid this house.
The house simulatea a climate of the tropical rainforests & you can even find fruit growing in the palms. Monkey jumped out of the bag and headed up the banana palms but we managed to rescue him.
Downstairs in the Palm house is a small aquarium where like Mariajoy we spotted NEMO as well as this ugly looking fish although the pic quality is not great. We did not spend too much time here as it was hot & filled with children.
It is one of the smallest of the Royal palaces designed by a Dutchman in a style known as Flemish bond. Another dutch feature is the gabled dutch entrance. Queen Charlotte died here in 1818, there is a cottage in Kew called Charlotte's cottage where you can see some of her artwork.
Here they tell the life story of George III (The madness of King George)
We did not go into the Palace but we did enjoy the spendid royal gardens behind the palace a lovely place to eat your sandwich.
As the palace is administered separately to Kew Gardens there is an additional entry cost of
Adults GBP5 & Children GBP2.50
Don't be fooled like we were that this is where you will find climbers & creeping plants!! Oh no quite to the contrary you will find creepy kids climbing.
The children learn about plants here, they can climb into a plant & pollinate it, get eaten by a plant & many other fun things. It is free entry as well so you can take a load off.
It is here that they hold sleepovers for children, where they can hunt for badgers & experience the gardens at night. This needs to be pre-booked & the cost is GBP40
This is Kew gardens botanical playarea for children & it looks fun although we decided to press onto the secluded gardens where there were no children.
One warm and sunny spring day we decided to walk from Richmond to Kew, along the river. We headed down to the river via Richmond Green and Old Palace Lane, spotting a new pub to try hidden in the back streets on the way ; )
The walk took us around 1.5-2 hours, and we started by passing under Twickenham Bridge, followed the river past Kew Gardens and continued till we got all the way round to Kew Bridge. Not long after we started walking we passed by Richmond lock and its fancy looking footbridge that spans the river.
Further along the towpath we came across the old Meridian Line. The line, that these days is located in Greenwich, was originally located here! It ran from the Kings Observatory in Old Deer Park by the river, and you can still see the line marked on the towpath today. There are also a couple of obelisks in the area to help mark the spot. Very cool.
As we walked we enjoyed spotting Syon House across the river, and also having a closer look at the back of Kew Gardens, though there is no access to the gardens from the towpath.
By the end of the walk it was conveniently lunch time and we popped into one of the friendly pubs at Kew for a pint and a feed.
If you wander around London and its surrounding areas, Kew being one of them, you will see a blue plaque attached to the front of a building somewhere, as there are over 800 in London.
They were started in 1867, with the thought to commemorate someone famous who had lived/worked/died in that building.
These are the 5 most famous plaques:
Sherlock Holmes ~ Fictional British consulting detective @ 221b Baker Street
Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870) ~ Novelist @ 48 Doughty Street
Karl Marx (1818 - 1883) ~ German social, economic and political theorist @ 28 Dean Street
John Logie Baird (1888 - 1946) ~ British (Scottish) engineer who invented television (TV) @ 22 Frith Street
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917 - 1963) ~ 35th American president @ 14 Princes Gate
UPDATE April 2006: I was at Kew Gardens this weekend (Easter Sunday), and saw a blue plaque! It was for Camille Pissarro, the French Impressionist artist, who lived at this address in 1892. This plaque is found in Gloucester Street, Kew.
There are various entrances into Kew Gardens. We went in through the ornate gates on the Kew side.
The queues were long (It was Easter Sunday, apparently the BUSIEST day of the year for them) We queued outside for 40 minutes, then went in.
First stop, Kew Palace!
Kew Palace is absolutely beautiful. Stunning. Three floors have been opened to the public again after 10 years, after extensive renovation work.
It was built in 1631 and is where Queen Charlotte and their family lived. She loved it. She died in the house, in a chair.
This gives you an intimate glimpse into the Royal lives that once lived and loved here.
Entrance is £5 for adults and £3 for kids.