Kew Gardens is a botanic garden in southwest London that houses the "largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world". Founded in 1840, from the exotic garden at Kew Park, its living collections includes some of the 27,000 taxa curated by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, while the herbarium, which is one of the largest in the world, has over 8.5 million preserved plant and fungal specimens. The library contains more than 750,000 volumes, and the illustrations collection contains more than 175,000 prints and drawings of plants. It is one of London's top tourist attractions and is a World Heritage Site.
The Kew site, has been dated as formally starting in 1759, though it can be traced back to the exotic garden at Kew Park, formed by Henry, Lord Capell of Tewkesbury. It consists of 132 hectares (330 acres) of gardens and botanical glasshouses, four Grade I listed buildings, and 36 Grade II listed structures, all set in an internationally significant landscape. It is listed Grade I on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
Discover beautiful glasshouses including the iconic Palm House and its exotic rainforest; the Princess of Wales Conservatory which invites you to explore 10 of the world's climatic zones; and the Waterlily House with its amazing, giant lily pads.
Visitors of all ages love the 59ft (18m) high Treetop Walkway, which soars into the tree canopy offering a bird's-eye view of the gardens.
Enjoy a stroll along the Great Broad Walk Borders, home to more than 60,000 plants, and step into history at Kew Palace, the former summer residence of King George III. Believed to be the longest herbaceous borders in the country – and possibly in the world – our Great Broad Walk Borders stretch out in a rainbow of colour.
We will arrive at the Elizabeth Gate, which is 200 yards from the Orangery which has a café and toilets. It is near Kew Palace and the Rose walk. Walk down the Cherry Walk as our visit in April should coincide with prime Cherry Blossom time.
Plan your own itinerary using the map of the gardens.
Outside the gardens but a short walk from the Elizabeth Gate is the National Archives building which houses a free exhibition: 1920s: beyond the roar. More details here.
The cost of the trip is £37. This includes the return coach journey from Hayling Island, the entrance to Kew, and the driver’s gratuity.
We expect to return to Hayling Island between 6 and 6.30pm, depending on weather and traffic conditions.
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