- Travel and Places
Kew Gardens: Royal Botanical Gardens in London, England
Kew Gardens, Kew, West London
Kew Gardens are probably the best and most famous botanical gardens in the world and the model on which many others are based. There are several interesting buildings including a royal palace and large glasshouses ranging from a few years old to several hundred years housing tropical plants and even oldest pot-plant, which lives in the Palm-house. Outside there are plants and trees from all over the world. There are indoor and outdoor restaurants including one in the Orangery building. Kew Gardens is also used as a venue for summer concerts.
Kew is located about 10 miles from central London, in the beautiful, historically fascinating London borough of Richmond upon-Thames, formerly in the county of Surrey, just a couple of miles from Richmond town, with it's theatres, restaurants, shops and pubs and the enormous Richmond Park, formerly the royal hunting grounds and still home to hundreds of wild deer. The beautiful Richmond Hill is also just 2 miles away. Wimbledon, the home of British tennis and venue for the most famous tennis tournament for two weeks each year in June is less than 10 miles away and Twickenham, the home of Rugby football is just 2 miles away.
Wildlife in Kew Gardens
The main emphasis of the gardens is of course botany, but it is also a good place to see animals. Wild Indian Ring-Necked Parakeets live in Kew, Richmond Park and the surroundings. These small parrots, according to local folk-law, escaped during the filming of a drama (The area is popular with film-makers due to its proximity to central London, Television and Film Studios) There are also some black swans in one of the lakes and a good variety of other bird-life. There are also some very rare newts living in some of the ponds although you are unlikely to see these.
Inside The Lilly House, Kew - One of the many glass-houses in the park
Map of Kew Gardens, London - Where is Kew Gardens?
The Royal Kew Botanical Gardens are in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (or Richmond, Surrey as it used to be called) near the end of the District Line on the London Underground (i.e. the "Tube") to the west of the city centre. There is a tube station and a railway station at Richmond and at Kew. It can also be accessed by road from the M3 or M4 motorways and the entrances to the park are between the South Circular and North Circular roads.
The Pagoda, Kew Gardens
The Pagoda in Kew was built in 1762 for Princess Augusta, the Princess of Wales, mother of King George III and originator of the first botanical gardens at this site.
It has recently been opened to the public after many years of being closed and gives a fantastic view across Richmond Borough. It is almost 50 metres tall (more than 150 feet) and was the tallest Chinese building in Europe at the time of construction. It is a fairly accurate imitation of a Chinese construction although should have an odd number of storeys.
View from the Pagoda
The Glasshouses in Kew
Kew has more than 10% of all known plant species of the world, but the southern British climate cannot support many of these species, so there are several different glass-houses providing different climates. The Temperate House (built in 1861) and The Palm House (pictured) are perhaps the most impressive, but the newer Princess Diana glasshouse is also extremely impressive.