Last Monday was the girls last day off school and we decided to make the most of it with a trip to Kew Gardens. We’s wanted to go for ages and hadn’t been since Jess was very little so it was long overdue.
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew were founded in 1840 and house the worlds largest collection of plants as well as many historical buildings and structures many of which are grade 1 and 2 listed. It is also a World Heritage Site. The site has been a Royal residence for centuries and the first garden construction on the area began in 1299. Kew is absolutely steeped in history, but it is also perfect for a long walk and a big explore.
The girls had an absolutely lovely day looking at everything, having little adventures and a apart from a few complaints of tired legs and achy feet from all the walking we had a really lovely time.
As usual I took absolutely loads of pictures and here are a few of my favourites things to see at Kew…
Kew Palace has always been one of my favourite buildings and I’ve visited it many times. The building was built in 1631 and is well-known for being the intimate family home of George III and his family later on. The house is closed during the winter months but is still amazing from the outside.
The Orangery was completed in 1761 and was once used to display plants as well as later being used as a timber museum used to display wood from Britain’s Colonies. It is now used as a restaurant.
King Williams Temple is somewhere I remember exploring as a child, every time I’ve come to Kew as an adult I can remember running around here. The pretty neo classical temple was built in 1837 in memory of William IV her uncle and predecessor to the throne. The temple is surrounded by a Mediterranean garden.
The Treetop Walkway is definitely not one for me, I have an absolutely terrible fear of heights which I would one day like to overcome. I do however have the bravest daughter ever who loves tall places, so Jessica went up alone and enjoyed the view above the trees and across Kew Gardens while Lila and I kept our feet firmly on the ground!
The Japanese Gateway was created for a Japenese exhibition in London in 1910 before being moved to Kew the following year. It is surrounded by a beautiful Japanese style garden and sits perfectly in situ with the Pagaoda.
The Pagoda is one of the most famous structures at Kew. It was completed in 1762, the girls had a fantastic time running around the base of the pagoda which is nearly 50 metres high.
Queen Charlotte’s Cottage is another Kew highlight for me. I am a huge fan of Georgian history particularly relating to George III and his family. The cottage is quite hidden away in a quiet corner of the garden and is only open to the public in the summer months. The cottage was used as a retreat by Queen Charlotte and her daughters.
Trees: Kew is absolutely packed with thousands of different types of beautiful trees. It so relaxing walking around and taking in all the beautiful sights. We especially enjoyed looking at the different types of evergreen trees which give a welcome dose of greenery in the winter.
Redwood Grove features some beautiful examples of these huge American trees. The Redwoods at Kew were introduced in the 1840s and 60s and give a sense of how big these trees can become. They are known to live for thousands of years and both the tallest and largest trees in the world are both Redwoods.
Another wonderful experience at Kew is George the Peacock, he walked straight over to us with two female peacocks and showed off his wonderful feathers to us. He was so tame and I got so many gorgeous pictures. The girls absolutely loved him and he stayed with us for about 20 minutes.
Although the female peacocks weren’t quite as pretty as their male counterpart they were still absolutely lovely to look at. The male peacocks feathers look just as lovely when closed as they do opened up.
The area around the lake is a really pretty spot to walk around and is near the main entrance to the garden. There are fantastic views of the palm house and the Temple of Aeolus.
We spotted some cute goslings walking around the lake, also pictured above is the Museum building and nearby Temple of Bellona.
The Palm House is the most iconic building at Kew, the building is absolutely beautiful building which was completed in 1840 it is a beautiful example of Victorian engineering. The giant greenhouse houses thousands of beautiful plants from around the world as well as an aquarium in the basement.
There is plenty more to see at Kew and we will definitely be back soon to take in even more of what this wonderful garden has to offer. If you find yourself in London and have the opportunity to visit Kew make sure you do, as it is one of our most beautiful and fascinating attractions.
Find out more about Kew gardens on their website.