Kew Gardens is located in Richmond, Surrey. Not quite Dorset, we know, but sometimes we do like to venture a little further afield! Charlotte and I first visited Kew back in 2017 and I enjoyed it so much I’ve been back every years since; so definitely worth a post in my eyes.
If you weren’t already aware, Kew Gardens (formally known as Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) is a botanic garden in southwest London and, according to the internet, is home to "largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world.”
I was lucky enough to receive an annual membership for my birthday, which allows entry for myself and a plus one, which is pretty handy! Membership costs £71 annually. It also includes discounted bookings for certain events such as Christmas at Kew, but more on that later. If you don’t think you’ll get the use out of a membership, then general admission starts from £16.50 for an adult ticket.
If you’re travelling from Dorset, then we’d recommend getting the train, as there’s no car park and limited parking around the area. If you’re travelling with South Western Railway, you can catch the train into Clapham Junction and change there for a train to Richmond (approx 10 minutes.) It’s then a short 15 / 20 minute walk from Richmond station.
Kew Gardens station is on the Richmond brand of the District Line and the London Overground. It’s probably best to head over the the Kew site to work out the best way of getting there, depending on your location.
Things to see…
There’s so much to see at Kew, whether you simply want to take stroll around the gardens stopping to smell the flowers, or transport yourself to another continent with their indoor rainforest, there’s enough to keep us coming back time and time again! An extensivel list of what to see can be found over on the Kew website, but here’s just a few of our favourite picks.
The Palm House is probably the most recognisable location at Kew. Essentially an indoor rainforest, it’s hot and humid, but filled with a vast variety of tropical plants. Many of the plants are endangered, some even extinct in the wild! If you can stand the humidity for long enough, you can climb the spiral staircase to the balcony for an overheard view.
One for the flower fans, the Rose Garden is home to 170 different species of roses. You can’t miss it, as it’s situated right in front (or behind, depending on which way you look at it) the Palm House. The roses smell absolutely wonderful and, if you’re thinking of your Instagram feed, make for a pretty beautiful photo opportunity.
Get up-close to Kew’s trees with a stroll across the treetop walkway. It’s 18 metres above ground, so not ridiculously high, but maybe not one for those who don’t like heights! From up here, you can even see a glimpse of various London buildings – which is an interesting contrast between the greenery of Kew Gardens (and one I love!)
The world’s largest Victorian glasshouse, Temperate House, re-opened in 2018 after a five-year renovation process! Temperate House is filled with 1,500 species of plants from around the world (mainly Africa, Australia, Asia etc.) all of which need to be kept over a temperature of 10 degrees to survive.
Christmas at Kew
Whilst we’ve only ever visited Kew during the warmer months, it is open all year round; although opening hours vary throughout the year. Throughout November – January you can enjoy Christmas at Kew. Bookings are actually open already, which may sound ridiculous but it does sell out quickly! We still need to pick a date for our trip this year, so will report back once we’ve been.
Where to eat
Whether you’re after a full on meal or just fancy some tea and cake, there’s a good variety of places to grab a bite to eat. The Orangery (not to be confused with an actual orangery) is a personal favourite, offering plenty of choice from hot lunches to delicious cakes. You can find the full list of places to eat here.
Of course, if you don’t fancy paying full prices you’re more than welcome to take your own picnic with you and enjoy it on one of the many grassy areas. There are also various stations around the gardens to re-fill your water bottles – a godsend on a hot day!
Visited Kew Gardens? We'd love to see your photos, so make sure to tag us @deardorset and use #deardorset!
Good to know…
- Nearest stations are Kew Gardens (District Line), Richmond (National Rail and District Line)
- No car park but limited on-street parking on surrounding roads
- Adult tickets from £16.50
- Various food and dining options