Visiting Kew Gardens
If you haven't checked my instagram in the last couple of months, you'll have missed the fact that I'm utterly head over heels for Kew Gardens. How it's taken me four years of living in London to finally pay it a visit is beyond me, but I've more than made up for it since my discovery.
The first time I visited Kew Gardens was on my birthday back in August with mum. I'd booked last minute tickets as I just wanted to see the tropical plants in the Palm House. Little did I know the grounds were bigger than a theme park and within them, had more sights to see then was physically possible in the time-frame that we'd given ourselves. So I vowed to come back and do Kew properly. Which I did, and came armed with my camera to capture the magic.
Feeling a little run down recently I decided to give myself the afternoon off (when you're your own boss and working any hour that goes, it's allowed!) and took myself to the Gardens. It was so peaceful and just what I needed to chill for a few hours.
You can easily spend the day at Kew, there's so much to do. They give you a map when you walk through, which believe me, is a lot of help! I didn't even make it all the way round the last time. I recommend going on a beautiful day as it really makes a difference. I thought I had done that, then by the time I got to Kew it was pouring down with rain so headed for cover in the Palm House until it passed and left glorious blue skies in its way. Other things to do include the Water Lily House for being simply beautiful and The Princess of Wales Conservatory for more than your fair share of cacti! Also at the edge of Kew Gardens is Kew Palace, a beautiful orange-brick building which was bought by George III originally as an extension to the White House which no longer exists but where he was eventually shut away during his periods of 'madness'. Whilst it's less of a palace inside, it's certainly still worth a visit and it's free to wander around so why not schedule a visit into your wander?
Another on your to do list is The Hive exhibition currently at the gardens. It's a multi-sensory structure which responds to the real-time activity of bees in a beehive behind the scenes at Kew. The sound and light intensity within the Hive changes as the energy levels in the real beehive surge, giving you an insight into life inside a bee colony. Lastly, once you've exhausted the grounds, sights and cafes, do not bypass the gift shop without going in. I have a thing for a garden centre gift shop and this one might just have been my favourite. Pick something up for family members and be merrily on your way.
There you have it: my very quick and short guide to Kew Gardens. I think I'll let the pictures below speak for themselves now. GO to Kew Gardens and if you don't feel endlessly happy upon leaving you've not done it right!
So turn around and do it all again, immediately.
Book tickets in advance and save yourselves a few pennies - link here.