One of the must-see sights of London, the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew is a World Heritage site. Originating in two Royal Gardens in the 18C, the 300 acres site is primarily a world-renowned scientific centre, a botanical garden which contains specimens of 90% of the world’s known plant species.
Here we have the famous Palm House, the Lily House, bluebell woods and spring gardens.
On this walk, we learn about the history of Kew, the great plant collectors and how the gardens have developed. We will go into the Palm House and look at the collection of plants from different tropical climates and learn how bark, seeds, fruits and leaves are used in food, clothing, industry and housing.
We will see some of Kew’s great collection of trees – the Old Lions – going back over 200 years. Kew’s great attraction is not only its beauty at all times of the year but the way the immensely serious scientific work is made accessible and enjoyable to the public.
We are there for the morning, but you can stay on and visit Kew Palace – a dinky little affair compared with some other palaces but all the more enjoyable for that. Perhaps try the little train journey around the gardens with commentary. Climb up to the walkway through the canopy of the Sweet Chestnuts.
And afterwards, lunch in the Orangery, or if it’s afternoon, indulge yourself in the world famous Maids of Honour restaurant just outside the Gardens where we came in.
This walk is not part of my winter 2016/17 schedule.