Kew Gardens Overview

The Kew Gardens, formerly known as the Royal Botanic gardens, is London's largest UNESCO World Heritage Site. The magnificent botanic gardens are a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It is home to the world's most diversified collection of living plants as well as an internationally renowned scientific research institute. The Kew Gardens also feature appealing cafes where tourists may relax and enjoy traditional British delicacies.

Popular as one of the unique UNESCO World Heritage sites in London, Kew Gardens is one of the pleasant getaways in the city to enjoy with your family and friends. Explore this captivating destination as part of our curated Europe tour, home to a fascinating collection of living plants and an internationally recognized scientific research center. With over 14,000 trees, Kew Gardens' exquisite natural landscape spanning 300 acres is truly spellbinding, making it a leading center of research, complete with a library, museums, and beautiful gardens.

It invites people of all ages to discover a day of serenity in the city of London. The visitors here can enjoy a number of activities whether it is taking a stroll along the colourful canopies of trees or exploring the beautiful glasshouses. Some of the popular attractions of Kew Gardens include the Palm House, Princess of Wales Conservatory and the Waterlily House.

There are activities which the visitors can enjoy at Kew Gardens like the 59 ft high Treetop Walkway, catching the views of the city by climbing the Great Pagoda and getting to know about its history at the Kew Palace. Kew Gardens is also a paradise for photographers who wish to capture the natural beauty of London at its best.


• Explore the collections of cacti to carnivorous plants, ornamental grasses to orchids, and roses to rhododendrons in Kew's several magnificent gardens.
• Small ferns and lavenders, thymes and tulips, as well as some lesser-known species like the uncommon Chilean Blue Crocus, can be found in the ultra-modern Davies Alpine House.
• Walk on the elevated walkway to get a bird's eye view of the trees and explore the Palm House, which has over 16,000 panes of glass with numerous unique species of plants like the double coconut palm.
• Discover the Princess of Wales Conservatory, which was established by Princess Diana in 1987 and contains 1,500 types of tropical orchids and water lilies, including massive Asian varieties.
• Visit the Waterlily House, which is the hottest and possibly the most humid house in Kew, and home to some of the world's largest species of water lilies.
• Explore some popular attractions like The Orangery, the Marianne North Gallery of Botanic Art, Museum No. 1, The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, and the Nash Observatory.

How To Reach

One can take the different entrance gates while coming from different parts of London. These different ways to reach Kew Gardens are as follows:

Elizabeth Gate: This is one of the fastest routes from central London and close to Kew Bridge station. It is also near to Children’s Garden, Orangery Restaurant, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens and The Hive.

Brentford Gate: This one is located near New Kew’s Ferry Lane car park and near to places like White Peaks Café and Climbers and Creepers.

Lion Gate: This gate is the nearest to Richmond Station and near to Japanese Gateway.

Victoria Gate: This gate is closest to Kew Gardens station and located close to places like Palm House, The Botanical and Broad Walk Borders.

By Tube: When coming via tube, Kew Gardens lies in Zone 3 and one can use the District Line and London Overground to reach here. Since there is no level access from the westbound platform, one can take a tube back from Richmond and then use the eastbound platform to gain level access.

By Train: If you are taking training the nearest station is Kew Bridge which is located 800 metres from the gardens. However, there is no level access at Kew Bridge to reach the gardens. One can take the Richmond Station to reach Kew Gardens which also has lift and level access. From Richmond, one can take the 65 bus and reach the Lion or Victoria Gate of Kew Gardens.

By Bus: When coming via bus to Kew Gardens, one can use Route 65, Route 391, Routes 237 and 267. They all stop at different locations near the various gates of Kew Gardens.

By Bike: One can reach Kew Gardens by a bike and lock them at the bicycle racks which are available at the four gates. Taking the bikes inside the garden is not allowed.

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Other Essential Information

History of Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens has its history tracing back to the 1730s, when the estates that now comprise Kew Gardens were owned by the members of the royal family. In the year 1751, Augusta, widow of Prince Frederick began with creating a botanical garden at this land with the assistance of Lord Bute and architect William Chambers. During the year 1802, King George III united the estates of Richmond and Kew. During this time, Kew Gardens saw the construction of many buildings like Great Pagosa, Ruined Arch etc. King George III took the help of William Aiton and Sir Joseph Banks to enhance the landscape of Kew Gardens.

In the year 1840, the ownership of Kew Gardens was transferred from the Crown to the Government after being neglected for several years and it was adopted as national botanical gardens. This was when Kew Gardens witnessed its expansion under its director William Hooker and its first curator John Smith. Between 1844 and 1863, Kew Gardens got the Palm House designed by architect Decimus Burton and iron-maker Richard Turner. While the Palm House is considered to be "the world's most important surviving Victorian glass and iron structure", the Temperate House is now the largest Victorian glasshouse in existence.

Kew Gardens had to see some of the upsetting events like arson attacks in London in February 1913 and the Great Storm of 1987 when hundreds of trees were uprooted there. During the year 2003, Kew Gardens were officially recognised among the World Heritage Sites.

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Places to Eat in Kew Gardens

1. Pavilion Bar and Grill: This eatery is located at Arboretum which has a collection of more than 14000 trees. This is a comfortable place where you can bask in the exquisite views of Kew Gardens and then have a good meal with your loved ones. It's usually quite and a nice place to grab a bite to eat when you are at Kew Gardens.

2. Victoria Gate Café: This is one of the popular places for a refreshment stop when you are at Kew Gardens and choosing the Victoria Gate as your point of entrance. The café remains open throughout the day and closes only 30 minutes before the gardens close.

3. The Botanical: This is a place where you can enjoy a fine dining experience with your friends and family at Kew Gardens. It offers a wonderful view of the Palm House and a nice stop to grab a meal like a breakfast, lunch or just an afternoon tea.

4. Orangery: This is one of the popular places for eating at Kew Gardens. It is known for its bustling atmosphere and located centrally in the Kew Gardens. It has numerous eating options for everyone and remains open from 10 am to 3:30 pm.

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Places to Stay near Kew Gardens

1. Clayton Hotel Chiswick: Located just a 5-minute drive away from Kew Gardens, Clayton Hotel Chiswick is one of the prominent places in central London. The hotel offers multiple amenities where you can have a comfortable stay. Some of the comforts which you can look forward to during your stay at Clayton include restaurant, bar, balcony terrace, conference room etc.

2. Novotel London Brentford: Located in one of the finest localities of London, Novotel London Breakfast is a wonderful option to stay near Kew Gardens. It has numerous comforts to boast of like there is a restaurant and bar, free WiFi, fitness centre and an indoor pool. The rooms here are well equipped and one can enjoy a memorable stay at Novotel London Brentford.

3. The Coach and Horses: This is an inn which dates back to the 17th century and is located close to Kew Gardens. It has a wonderful location to visit the places in London and is famous for its traditional bar and restaurant, a vast garden and having well-appointed air-conditioned bedrooms for the guests. They also have modern amenities like wireless internet, fireplace, daily housekeeping etc.

4. Kew Gardens Hotel: Located in Richmond, Kew Gardens Hotel is just a 5-minute drive away from Kew Gardens. It is a nice respite for the guests with its 20 rooms which are well furnished with all the modern amenities. Kew Gardens Hotel also delights you with a nice dining experience at its restaurant and bar/lounge.

5. Premier Inn London Kew Bridge Hotel: This is a comfortable residence which is located just across the river from Kew Gardens. It boasts of having a terrace and restaurant and offers multiple rooms where you can enjoy all the modern amenities. Some of the other facilities at Premier Inn London Kew Bridge Hotel include conference room, bar and banquet.

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Travellers' Tip before Visiting Kew Gardens

1. Children under the age of 16 are not permitted to enter Kew Gardens unless they are accompanied by an adult.

2. To enter the Children’s Garden, only adults with children are allowed along with a valid ticket.

3. One should be careful not to put the plants any harm by climbing, picking or pruning them.

4. The visitors should take caution while walking and avoid going over the planted areas. Bicycles, tricycles, roller skates etc aren’t allowed inside the gardens.

5. The visitors should avoid bringing radios, music players and other musical instruments to the gardens.

6. When you are planning a picnic, try to avoid bringing barbeques and picnic furniture and only picnic in the areas covered with grass.

7. One must mind that ball games and sports are prohibited in Kew Gardens.

8. While entering the galleries, food and drinks should not be taken inside.

9. One is not allowed mobility scooters in the galleries and only manual wheelchairs are allowed. It is advised to leave the buggies in the buggy park. Mobility scooters and pushchairs are not allowed in the Treetop Walkway as well.

10. Any commercial activity is not permitted to be undertaken at the Gardens except the events authorised at Kew Gardens.

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Day Wise Timings
Open Today
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 08:00 PM
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 08:00 PM
Point of Interest for Kew Gardens
Treetop Walkway

Treetop Walkway

One of the most popular activities in Kew Gardens, treetop walkway is a 60 ft high circular pathway which takes you to the top of the landscaped gardens. An activity not for the faint hearted, treetop walkway is an exciting way to add an adventure on your visit to Kew Gardens. One can walk over the metal pathway and can appreciate the surroundings filled with trees at Kew Gardens.

Palm House

Palm House

Palm House is a popular glasshouse which boasts of surviving through the Victorian age. It is a storehouse for palms and tropical plants that were brought from Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Pacific Islands to Kew Gardens.The glasshouse also has a marine aquarium where you can see the recreated version of four marine habitats and a 30 ft walkway to get a closer sneak peek at the trees.

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Sackler Crossing

Sackler Crossing

This is a pristine lake which is located in the complex of Kew Gardens and offers a great respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a good spot to see wildlife and appreciate the beauty of nature. People come here to enjoy a good afternoon picnic and indulge in photography besides the lake.

Marvel at the Hive

Marvel at the Hive

One of the most fascinating honeycomb sculptures which is shaped like a bee hive at Kew is The Hive. It is a wonderful experience where you can hear the sounds of many different instruments along with the flashing of lights.

Climb the Great Pagoda

Climb the Great Pagoda

For a thrilling adventure, one can climb the Pagoda and enjoy a good view of the Kew Gardens. Some of the best views can be enjoyed from the 9th floors of the Pagoda as the windows are small and it usually gets very crowded on the top floors of the Pagoda.

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Kew Palace

Kew Palace

Giving a glimpse of the domestic life of the royal family of Britain, Kew Palace is a 16th century building located at Kew Gardens. It is famous for being a weekend retreat for erstwhile King George III and Queen Caroline. One of the main buildings that has survived now till date from the entire complex is the Dutch House.

Queen Charlotte's Cottage

Queen Charlotte's Cottage

This is a 17th century cottage which was used for family picnics when the royal family stayed at the Kew Palace. It is famous for being a rustic retreat and one of its most fascinating attractions is that it is set in the countryside. One can also find many exotic animals in the paddock at Queen Charlotte’s Cottage.

Shirley Sherwood Gallery

Shirley Sherwood Gallery

Musical Museum

Musical Museum

If you are a music lover and want to know the history of sound being recorded, then a visit to Musical Museum can be combined along with a visit to Kew Gardens. It has a wonderful display of distinct musical instruments with a collection that includes organs, street pianos, fotoplayer and small music boxes.

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London Museum of Water And Steam

London Museum of Water And Steam

Built in 1838, London Museum of Water and Steam is a place where you can see a great collection of working steam engines from the time of Roman era to the current day.The independent museum is known to house the largest collection of Cornish cycle beam engines and runs a narrow-gauge railway which operates on weekends and special holidays.

The National Archives

The National Archives

For a hardcore history lover, a visit to National Archives along with Kew Gardens is a wonderful way to enjoy the day. One can take a behind the scenes tour at National Archives and know more about the way important historical documents are kept, recorded and how they are conserved in the repositories.

Syon Park

Syon Park

Built in the 16th century, Syon Park is known as the home of the Duke of Northumberland. The historic attraction marvels at the visitors with its exquisite interiors and its serene gardens. When visiting here, one can look at the State and Private apartments and the Great Conservatory.

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Hogarth’s House

Hogarth’s House

Hogarth House is known to be the former residence of William Hogarth who was a popular artist of the 18th century in England. This place now serves as a historic house museum and is managed by the London Borough of Hounslow.

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Kew Gardens FAQs

Is it free to enter Kew Gardens?

No. There is an entry fee and you have to take a ticket for entering Kew Gardens. The tickets can be taken either online or offline at the entry gates of Kew Gardens.

How do I get to Kew Gardens by train?

One can reach Kew Gardens by train by taking the District Line and go towards Richmond. The average travelling time is 15 minutes from Earl’s Court and 30 minutes from Westminster on the District Line towards Kew Gardens. One can also opt for train services from Waterloo via, Vauxhall and Clapham Junction and stopping at Kew Bridge station.

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How long does it take to walk around Kew Gardens?

Generally, it takes about three hours to see the entire Kew Gardens. However, it is advised you reserve a whole day to see the Kew Gardens if you have time if you don’t want to miss anything.

Which Tube line is Kew Gardens on?

Kew Gardens is in the Zone and while coming via tube, it can be reached by London Underground and District Line.

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What else is near Kew Gardens?

There are many popular attractions near Kew Gardens like:

- Kew Palace

- Queen Charlotte’s Cottage

- Pagoda at Kew

- Shirley Sherwood Gallery

- Musical Museum

- London Museum of Water and Steam

- The National Archives

- Temperate House at Kew

- Syon Park

How many entrances are there to Kew Gardens?

There are four entrance gates for the visitors to gain an entry at Kew Gardens. These gates are:

- Elizabeth Gate

- Brentford Gate

- Lion Gate

- Victoria Gate

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What is the best time of year to visit Kew Gardens?

One can plan a visit to Kew Gardens anytime of the year as it is great to be visited throughout all seasons. They have a number of exhibitions and events which keep on happening over the year. It is recommended you visit Kew Gardens during winters to see some fabulous light shows that happen there.

What does Kew mean?

Kew means a park of Richmond which is a locality in Greater London in England. It got it's origins from the establishment of Kew Gardens which is now a world heritage site. Kew is also home of the Domesday Book and Kew Palace

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Do I need to book Kew Gardens?

There is no need to pre book your tickets. However, there is an option to get the tickets online before you are visiting. The tickets can also be obtained at the entrance of the gates of Kew Gardens.

Who owns Kew Gardens?

Kew Gardens is currently under the jurisdiction of the government of England. In the year 1731, it was acquired from the Capel family and taken in the royal household by Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales. Since then it continued to be a property of the royal family until the year 1840.

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Is Kew Palace free?

One can see the Kew Palace for free if you are visiting the gardens.

Can you smoke in Kew Gardens?

It is advised that you should abstain from smoking at Kew Gardens since it’s a place where efforts are taken to preserve nature.

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How far is Kew Gardens from London?

Kew Gardens is located about 30 minutes away from Central London.

Can you ride bikes in Kew Gardens?

Riding bikes is not allowed in Kew Gardens as utmost care is taken to protect the plants and trees in Kew Gardens. One should try to conserve the plants here and avoid any activities like driving bikes at Kew Gardens.

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What is Kew Gardens famous for?

Kew Gardens is famous as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and known to have the most fascinating and diverse botanical collection in London. It has an internationally renowned scientific research centre and offers a splendid getaway for anyone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of the city of London.

Is Kew Gardens free to National Trust members?

For the members of the National Trust in the UK, there is no entrance fees for visiting Kew Gardens. However, they have to pay the car parking charges.

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Is Kew Gardens safe?

Yes, it is totally safe to visit Kew Gardens. It is one of the world heritage sites and protected from all entrances. Therefore, one can freely roam around without any fear while visiting Kew Gardens.

Who lives in Kew Palace?

Kew Gardens is a former residence of King George III who used to live here during the royal summer retreats. Currently, Kew Palace is taken care of by an independent charity called Historic Royal Palaces.

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Is there a maze at Kew Gardens?

There is a Maze garden at Kew Gardens which is like an actual maze comprised of trees which are designed in the shape of a labyrinth on the landscape of Kew Gardens.

What is the oldest tree in Kew Gardens?

There are two trees at Kew Gardens which are known to be the oldest trees in the Gardens. One of them is the locust tree or false acacia and the other is maidenhair or ginkgo which were planted in 1762 as an initiative by Princess Augusta.

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Can you take food to Kew Gardens?

One can bring along food and enjoy a picnic with your family and loved ones. However, one should not picnic on the two grass lawns which are located towards the front entrance of the mansion. Also, the gardens prohibit the bringing of barbeques or public furniture into the gardens.

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Kew Gardens Reviews

Rahul Sharma
Reviewed: 08 Apr 2022
I loved my visit to the Kew Gardens. It took up a great deal of time, but was well worth it. The gardens are really beautifully landscaped, but I especially enjoyed the trek through the wilder sections. There’s a great many photostops as well, although I’d imagine they look much prettier in spring.
Ashok Iyer
Reviewed: 22 Jan 2020
A perfect retreat for nature and peace lovers. I'm glad that I booked Kew Gardens ticket from Thrillophilia.
Jitendra Khatri
Reviewed: 20 Jan 2020
The freshness of green plants in the glasshouse simply held me refreshed and relaxed. Cannot experience anything better than this if peace and nature are concerned.
Sharmila Malik
Reviewed: 16 Nov 2019
The Kew Gardens was the perfect addition to my overall London trip. Upon reaching I visited the place towards the evening and I must tell you what a relaxing feeling it was. It was great sitting amidst the raw nature and enjoying some time in peace. We also took a lot of pictures and overall, we enj... Read More
Geeta Malik
Reviewed: 08 Dec 2019
I got a chance to relax and me and my parents just sat in the garden and admired it's beauty. We spent around 30 minutes there walking around. Overall, it was nice experience but nothing special.

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