Photo Essay: Kew Gardens

by Carmen Allan-Petale

On the weekend, Dave and I went to Kew Gardens in south-west London. As one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world (it was first created in the 1700s) it feels as though you’re stepping into Victorian times when you visit.

The conservatories in the garden are very much from that era and are somewhat glamorous. It’s a UNESCO heritage-listed site and it’s massive. But there aren’t just the cacti, tropical and Japanese gardens to look at, there’s also aquariums, a treetop walk and many restaurants and cafes.

It’s an oasis in the heart of London. But the photos tell the story a lot better than I can.

A robin dances about in the prehistoric exhibit

A robin dances about in the prehistoric exhibit

A waterfall cascades inside the prehistoric exhibit

A waterfall cascades inside the prehistoric exhibit

Yet another beautiful flower in the topical gardens

Yet another beautiful flower in the topical gardens

A red flower in the small secluded garden conservatory

A red flower in the small secluded garden conservatory

Some beautiful flowers in the Princess of Wales conservatory which was opened by Diana in 1987

Some beautiful flowers in the Princess of Wales conservatory which was opened by Diana in 1987

A colourful crabs in one of the many tanks in the aquarium underneath one of the large conservatories

A colourful crabs in one of the many tanks in the aquarium underneath one of the large conservatories

The giant garden of cacti - Dave's favourite part of the park and my least favourite!

The giant garden of cacti – Dave’s favourite part of the park and my least favourite!

The beautiful spiral staircase which leads to a viewing platform alongside the top walls of the conservatories

The beautiful spiral staircase which leads to a viewing platform alongside the top walls of the conservatories

Overlooking the conservatory from the top of the viewing platform at the top of the spiral staircase (see below)

Overlooking the conservatory from the top of the viewing platform at the top of the spiral staircase

The treetop walk which sways gently in the wind - a little frightening!

The treetop walk which sways gently in the wind – a little frightening!

What you need to know

Admission: It costs £16 for an adult ticket into the gardens but we went between Christmas and New Year when it was free entry. I’m not sure whether the gardens do this for visitors every year though.

When to go: The gardens are open every day from 9:30am, except for on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I think they’d be beautiful to visit at any time of year, and the conservatories will keep you warm in winter. But I can imagine spring would be extra special, with the flowers in full bloom.

How to get there: The gardens are in south-west London and the nearest tube station is Kew Gardens and train station is Kew Bridge.

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