If you catch the tube/train to Kew you will find yourself in Kew Village. This is basically just the small group of shops by the station, but there is such a lovely villagey feel here, hence the name.
On your way to/from Kew Gardens you may well stop off at some of the Kew Village shops. If you need a meal there are a few cafes and some restaurants depending on your mood. Visit Ma Cuisine for a good priced French meal, or go upmarket (if you can get a table) at the Glasshouse. Or if you are just after a coffee there is even a Starbucks - which does seem rather out of place!
Also in the 'village' there is a great book shop, nice healthy food store, excellent butcher, garden centre and some other interesting shops to browse in.
Kew Bridge is an attractive stone bridge that spans the Thames River, joining Brentford/Chiswick with Kew.
The current bridge was built in 1903. It replaced a wooden bridge that was built back in 1759.
It is a beautiful bridge, and can be admired from the Thames footpath, which is a great place for a stroll along the River.
Kew Gardens are beautiful botanical gardens located in Kew, southwest London. The vast garden complex consists of formal gardens, manicured lawns, botanical greenhouses, fabulous old buildings and much much more. One of the main attractions is the Palm House, a metal and glass greenhouse filled with tropical plants. It is sooooo humid in there!
There are different events throughout the year, depending on the season. In spring there is a stunning orchid festival, which is well worth a look. In summer make sure you check out the giant waterlillies, and how about those gorgeous autumn colours once the warmer days have passed. Even winter has something to offer, with flowering trees and shrubs and those magical Snowdrops.
The gardens are home to an ice rink for around 6 weeks each winter (check website for this year's dates) and during the summer they stage some musical events.
The perfect day/half day out for all the family.
There is a great area for children to play & learn in. This enclosure does not actually have live badgers in it but there is a cave where badgers like to hide. There are badger models hiding in the bushes and information boards. It makes it an educational & exciting stop for the kiddies.
This small thatched cottage give to Queen Charlotte after marrying King GeorgeIII in 1761 has been used by the royals as a shelter for picnics. Inside there is a display of 18th century botanical art by Franz and Ferdinand Bauer. Franz Bauer was tutor to Queen Charlotte
It is a very small display so do not expect too much - just a pretty place to get some shade
This conservatory is named in honour of Augusta, Princess of Wales who founded the Gardens & was opened by Princess Diana in July 1987.
There are 10 climate zones under this glass roof mainly the Dry Tropics & the Wet Tropics
It is quite hot & arrid in here so be advised on a hot day you may think you are in Africa
All the plants are displayed as much as possible in their natural state with ferns clinging to rocks & climbers on columns. Some plants found here are orchids, ginger, pineapples, carnivorous plants & ferns. There is a rock garden set up with a pond
From the outside, the buildings may not look more than fancy greenhouses, which they are, but inside the atmosphere is amazing. Wanter from hot and humid tropical forest, to hot and dry arid zone, and to the more pleasant temperate zone.
Or wander outside and see the pagoda, or the Japanese rock garden. Take a snack and relax on the grass or by the lake.
Kew Gardens are a great place for a day out for all the family.
There are so many exotic or strange looking plants to see at Kew. Some only flower once in a life time and when they do produce a horrible smell. Others are enormous, whereas others are delicate.
The various houses can be humid, hot or temperate.
Outside there are beautiful grounds with trees, places to have picnics, a lake and birds wandering around.
Nice little aquatic display about marine plant life - and there are new developments afoot to complete a British marine plant life exhibit. Gosh the excitement never stops here does it??
Anyway I found Nemo. He's in a big ol' tank at the bottom of Kew Gardens living with a couple of other clown fish. A kind of Aussie fishy equivalent to Earls Court - just a posher bit of town. I haven't included Nemo in the pic cos he's outstayed his visa and doesn't want to get deported back to the dentist's tank in Sydney.
19th Century glass house which holds Kew's largest indoor palm - the Chilean Wine-palm. So far it has grown to 16m!!!
Take a walk up the beautiful wrought iron spiral staircase and you will feel as though you are amongst the tree tops in a tropical rain forest... DON'T wear too much - it is bloody hot up there!!!
If you are lost in Madagascar and gagging for a drink - find one of these trees, chop off a branch and you can drink the water it stores inside. Hence it's name. But I wouldn't recommend doing that here, it would probably be frowned upon. There's a very nice cafe nearby for that sort of thing if you require it!
Visit the Princess of Wales Conservatory (or the Waterlily House) - You will gasp in amazement as you enter the glass house with the biggest waterlillies you will ever see this side of the SA rainforest! (over 2m diameter!)
Although not currently open to the public, you can take a walk around the building to the Queen's garden.
Kew Palace was built in 1631 as a private house and used by the royals, notably George III (the one who went crazy and lost the American colonies) and his family, from 1729-1818
It's currently closed for restoration work so someday you may be able to go inside, the sign outside says 2006.
The newest glasshouse at Kew honors both Princess Diana and Princess Augusta, the mother of George III, who founded the botanic gardens at Kew.
This glasshouse has 10 climatic zones, ranging from arid to moist tropical. Some of the highlights in this conservatory are the collection of orchids and several fruit bearing species such as the pineapple and banana.
This bell tower is actually a disguised chimney for the Palm House boilers. A tunnel for both the flue and a railway to carry coal linked the two buildings. Today, it carries hot water piped to the Palm House heaters from modern boilers near the Victoria Gate Centre.