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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 13 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Sarah Barrell

Although founded officially in 1840, these renowned, UNESCO-listed botanical gardens have been around since the 1750s. They now showcase 30,000 species of plant over around 300 acres – and paired with Wakehurst in Sussex forms the largest botanical garden in the world.

It’s not just for visual enjoyment, there’s a strong conservation purpose here too. The gardens are a world leader in plant science and conservation. The Herbarium and Fungarium contain over 8 million preserved plant and fungal specimens from all over the world.

The Victorian Palm House is a centrepiece, alongside energy-efficient modern hothouses, an aquarium in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, and a raised treetop walkway (200m long and 18m high) through a woodland glade. Also look out for ‘The Hive’, a 17m-high, multi-sensory experience to highlight the extraordinary life of bees.

The gardens offer a year-round programme of tours and talks plus stunning site-specific art exhibitions – all adding up to a memorable, nature-inspired day out for anyone.

Especially for under 12s

It’s a brilliant day out for kids – highly educational, with plenty of space for running around and secret tunnels for exploring. They’ll love The Hive and the raised walkway, but there’s also now a special children’s garden, an interactive space the size of 40 tennis courts. Next door is the ‘family kitchen’ serving kid-friendly meals.

Logistics

Price from: £13
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Kew Gardens is 10 miles south of central London, an easy 20-minute journey by tube (District Line) or overground train. It’s a five-minute walk from Kew Gardens Station to the gardens’ Victoria Gate. The gardens have an excellent app guide for Android/iPhone (free).

For a tasty treat before or after your visit, try Maids of Honour, a bakery with a pie-making heritage stretching back to Henry VIII’s era, located just outside the Kew Gate.

When to do it

The gardens are open all year, seven days a week. Opening hours usually run later at the weekend between April and August.

With 14,000 trees, Kew is perennially pretty, but spring (April-May) brings gorgeous displays of prunus blossom and flowering bulbs; autumn (September-October) blazed with a riot of maple, red oak and sweet gum.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Kew Gardens Entrance Ticket

London

Kew Gardens Entrance Ticket
See floral splendor and scenery without leaving London on a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew! Commonly known as Kew Gardens, the UNESCO World Heritage Site comprises 326 acres (121 hectares) of beautiful scenery with rare plants from around the world. Head inside with your Kew Gardens ticket and explore at leisure.

Price: £22

Min age: 0

Rating 4.20 / 5 [869 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Kew Gardens, Richmond - Self-Guided Audio Tour

London

Kew Gardens, Richmond - Self-Guided Audio Tour
Enjoy a city break from London to visit Kew Gardens and explore the world's largest collection of living plants with this self-guided audio guide! On this tour, we’ll discover the beautiful Princess of Wales Conservatory and scenic Mediterranean Garden. We’ll also explore the architecture of Kew's most popular follies and otherworldly passages as well as other secret gems.          Listen to an expert botanist guide to get an in-depth insight into the remarkable Marianne North, head inside the astonishing Temperate House, and enjoy family fun activities at The Hive. Transport yourselves in this adventure of botanical collections and natural beauty. NOTE: Entry tickets are not included

Price: £5

Min age: 15

Rating 4.84 / 5 [25 ratings]

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Amazing Kew Gardens & London Landmarks Tour

London

Amazing Kew Gardens & London Landmarks Tour
Our tour guides will guide you on an exploration of London’s major 30+ landmarks. Buckingham Palace. Westminster Abbey & The Tower of London to name a few ! After the walking tour you will then head to Kew Gardens. World-leading botanic gardens and discover the amazing science and conservation work. We will head through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, where we'll watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard ceremony. After witnessing this impressive, traditional ritual, where the New Guard exchanges duties with the Old Guard, we'll head to Westminster. Sights we'll see along the way include Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben (covered up at the moment as undergoing a facelift), and the Houses of Parliament. Then we'll go to the London Bridge area, where we'll see Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Shard, HMS Belfast, and Tower Bridge Then jump in a taxi or use the London Underground to visit Kew Gardens

Price: £69

Min age: 0

Rating 4 / 5 [8 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

London

Greater London, United Kingdom (UK)

view of houses of parliament at night

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