Kew (Botanical) Gardens Surrey
Kew is situated on the banks of the river Thames in south-west London, near Richmond.This is a place I love. I am bound to, as I lived there for 20 years through most of my childhood and a few adult years. I can remember visiting the botanical gardens on quite a few occasions as a child with my parents, but most of the time was spent with friends playing hide 'n' seek and war games as a 8,9 and 10 year old, advancing to climbing, camping out and ball games. All of which were strictly forbidden. Then the usual activities that involved drink and girls and having to climb 12 foot walls to avoid the entrance fee or because it had closed for the night. This was in the mid to late 1980's and it cost 1 penny admission fee. Even back then you wondered how on earth they could afford to run the place, (or why we needed to jump the wall) or whether it was worth collecting such a princely sum. Nowadays it costs 13 pounds, which is still a bargain, considering how much more you can do and experience in the gardens nowadays.
These days, they open at night in the summer months, as they host outdoor events, such as Jazz concerts. With this years Summer Swing being the main show piece, called Party for the Planet. A new attraction has opened, where you can climb 18 metres into the tree canopy, called the Xstrata Treetop Walkway. Alternatively you could go under ground on the Rhizotron. They also do daily walk tours which are free. Due to the size of the gardens this may suit some people as finding things, although not hard, can be time consuming. Kew Gardens covers over 300 acres and as its name suggests it is a garden of beauty, not a theme park. So if you have the time, once in get lost amongst the trees and plants and see what you can discover.
It is celebrating it's 250th anniversary this year (2009), with a specially commissioned Royal Mint coin to mark the occasion.
On 3 July 2003 the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was officially inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO
The gardens are open every day except Christmas eve and Christmas day from 9-30 am until 5-30pm. Later in the summer months and weekends.
Kew Gardens Regulations
The following are not permitted in the Gardens:
dogs - except guide dogs;
bicycles/tricycles, roller skates, skateboards, scooters;
vehicles other than powered wheelchairs;
ball games/sports (including jogging);
pruning or touching plants.
children under 17 must be supervised by an adult at all times
a maximum of 10 school children are permitted in the shops at any one time
Picnics are permitted
No picnics in the Glass-houses or on planted areas
No barbeques or picnic furniture
Permission is required for:
photography or painting for commercial purposes;
any painting requiring an easel in the glasshouses.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Surrey TW9 3AB
Tel: +44 (0)20 8332 5655