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Kew Gardens: Royal Botanical Gardens in London, England

Updated on December 10, 2014

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.

show route and directions
A markerKew, London -
Kew, London
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B markerRichmond upon thames, England -
Richmond upon thames, England
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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

View from the Pagoda
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.

The Temperate House

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    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 5 years ago

      Bravo!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      blog rolling my historical fiction novels about england with your travel info - blessings by squid angel ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      blog rolling my historical fiction novels about england with your travel info - blessings by squid angel ;)

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 6 years ago

      I'll visit one day.

    • GoPoochYourself profile image

      GoPoochYourself 6 years ago

      So pretty! Makes me wish I could go back to London soon. I didn't see Kew Gardens last time I was there, but I'd like to see it next time.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I've naturally heard about Kew Gardens often over the years, but have never had the opportunity to visit. It looks like such a lovely place, and the history behind it's origin is fascinating. ~~Blessed by a SquidAngel~~

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Lovely, I want to see it!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 6 years ago

      Have always loved botanical gardens but sadly, have never been to Kew. Blessed by an Angel.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Beautiful photos, as always! This just makes me want to run to London. I have been to London several times and sadly, I have never visited the Kew Gardens. That will be first on my list for my next visit.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Great lens Andy. I haven't been to Kew for a few years, but it is a great place for a day out. A relative who was a painter used to live close by and painted a lot in the gardens. I have a few of his prints.

    • NanLT profile image

      Nan 7 years ago from London, UK

      I would really like to visit Kew Gardens one day.

      Added to "Another 100 Lenses for my 200th Lens"

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This lens is awesome. I love it. I am going to tell my editors on my Thai News website to write something about this lens and probably feature it.

      I will comment here again once we do.

      Great Work

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for letting me use this as our first location in the game. Finally, a winner. This lens is now featured at http://www.squidoo.com/where-in-the-world

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for letting me use this as our first location in the game. Finally, a winner. This lens is now featured at http://www.squidoo.com/where-in-the-world

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      I love a pretty garden.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Once again it has been my privilege to view this garden space. It must be most delightful to live the UK. I would love to see this place personally and enjoy it's beauty!

      Susie

    • profile image

      ulla_hennig 8 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for sharing!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Beautiful lens and beautiful pictures.

      Thanks for sharing

      Lizzy

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Andy -- looks like a cool place to visit! Have you shared this with Tony and Deb? Wonder if they been there?

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      This looks like an interesting place. I haven't visited Europe yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

    • profile image

      Floraluniverses 8 years ago

      I confess I never heard about this gardens, but they seem wonderful! Beautiful lens!

      Thank you so much for stopping by my lens :)

    • profile image

      greenthumb1984 8 years ago

      Great informative lenses 5 stars

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Andy, you just keep introducing me to wonderful places I never knew existed! Your pictues, as always, are outstanding. I love the view that you chose for us inside the lily house. We are so lucky to have you to share all these wonders with us--thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This is beautiful lens Andy. Would love to visit this garden!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Since I am big into architecture, those glass houses are amazing. Great pictures.