Flowers are in bloom, weather is (a bit) warmer and children have now gone out of their winter cocoon – yes, it’s now spring in London! I have now officially witnessed the four seasons of this city since I’ve moved here last August and I can’t say I have a favorite season as of yet. I’m still embracing the change of weather (and scenery) from the desert life of the Middle East.
Spring, I think is probably the prettiest season in London and possibly the best time to visit as well. With all the gardens and parks dotted in and around the city, this is paradise for me as I haven’t seen so much greenery and burst of colors until we moved here. Living in South West London, our apartment is a few minutes away from one of the most beautiful gardens of England – the Kew Gardens.
Kew is London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site which holds the largest and most diverse collection of living plants in the world. I don’t know about you but that is the kind of world record I’m more interested in as opposed to.. say the tallest building in the world. (Lol!)
Walking through Kew Gardens is both scenic and educational, you’ll find different collections of trees, plants and flowers from tropical, temperate, arid and alpine climates. There were a lot of children in school trips when I went there and I was jealous that these are the places they see on a school trip here in London. Growing up in the Philippines, I’ve never seen anything like it as a kid. Suffice to say, I was like a kid myself when I explored Kew Gardens for the first time a few weeks ago.
It’s a great day out for families as you’ll be able to find a lot of outdoor activities which kids will enjoy. The treetop walkway allows you to walk through a canopy 18 meters above the ground and gives you a commanding view of the whole garden and beyond. My fear of heights took over me though so I wasn’t able to go up. I need someone to hold my hands as I walk through this, maybe next time. 🙂
The 121-hectare Kew Gardens also offers a lot of cafes and restaurants and also small stores which may trigger the gardener in you. I can’t, for the life of me, take care of plants but if I could – I’d probably grow my own vegetables and flowers and buy the seeds and everything else I need from one of the shops inside Kew Gardens.
Inside Kew Gardens, you can also find Kew Palace. Unlike any other palaces that I’ve visited, Kew Palace is probably the most modest of them all. Small, comfortable and very subdued. It was here where King George III stayed while he was being treated for his “madness”. As it wasn’t built to entertain guests, the palace doesn’t give out the royal “wow” factor which one would normally expect from a royal residence.
Queen Charlotte’s Cottage is also inside Kew Gardens but I wasn’t able to see it as I ran out of time. The garden is so big that you’d need to spend a full day here if you plan on discovering everything it has to offer. Entrance fee to Kew Gardens isn’t cheap but it’s absolutely and totally worth it.
Plan Your Visit To Kew Gardens and Kew Palace:
Adults £15.50* / £14
Children (4–16) £2.50
Children under 4 free
Concessions £14.50* / £13
* Ticket prices include a voluntary donation
* Ticket costs also gives you an access to Kew Palace and Queen Charlotte’s Cottage.
* As I’m a member of Historic Royal Palaces, I received a 10% off the entrance fee.
Nearest tube: Kew Gardens District Line
Open daily at 10am
6.30pm (last entry 6pm) Monday to Thursday
8.30pm (last entry 8pm) Friday to Sunday and bank holidays
Note: Kew Palace is open only from 1 April – 1 October.