Nestled between Richmond and Gunnersby on the District line sits the sleepy borough of Kew. Tree lined driveways lay way to gated Mansions. Coffee shops sporadically placed around the train station house tourists and locals just casually sipping the day away, content with how their day has panned out. And almost everyone is on their own timezone – the most chilled out one at that. This was the first impression I got when I stepped out of the station in Kew. What else was there to this sleepy town? But, sitting prettily behind a mammoth bricked wall lay way to an oasis of colour and magic – Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. ‘How can such an expansive beauty lay so close to the centre of London and how come I hadn’t been earlier?’ was the question I asked myself when I first arrived!
Stepping into Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, you automatically feel a weird sense of zen – the smells, expansive rolling emerald rivers of grass and the sporadic burst of colour that stood around every corner. It truly is a sight!
I grew up experiencing the magic of my Grandma’s garden. Every spring, the tulips would sprout and the sea of colour that it projected was magnificent. She was so invested in her garden you would often see her eyeing it off at night, shooing away the Kangaroos if they came within a 20 metre radius of it. It was her prized possession and it was truly glorious. I think this is why I have grown up to be obsessed with colour, have a deep passion for floral decor and always try and have a fresh bunch of flowers in my flat. She inspired me to live a colourful life, so visiting Kew Royal Botanic Gardens was a reminder of this passionate and hilarious woman that I once was blessed to call my Nan. Everything reminded me of her – I only wish I could have shared it with her.
With world-class attractions; from the vistas and trees, to their historic glasshouse and Pagoda; there is so much to see at Kew Gardens. They have guided tours on little buses for those who don’t want to walk too much (it is really big) to interactive elements perfect for entertaining the kids. There is a Treetop walkway that gives you a birds-eye view of Kew, and always has an installation to browse. There is something to tickle every age groups fancy!
The best time to visit Kew Royal Botanical Gardens is definitely in Spring (in my opinion). They have Cherry Blossoms galore (and yes, I creamed myself – Cherry Blossoms are my all time favourite flower), Magnolias are in spring and Bluebells plague the grass like they have been sprayed on. Everyone is full of smiles and the Greenhouse is just the right temperature to lure you in and then suck you out once you are thoroughly re-heated and educated! They even have a cafeteria where you can re-fuel.
Entry costs vary, so check out their price list online. I purchased a yearly membership so I can visit (and bring a friend along) whenever I like – the best investment I made this year.
Go and witness the magnificent colours spread across the seasons at Kew Gardens. With the glass houses, galleries and beautiful grounds, there are plenty of reasons to visit whether you are local to London or a tourist.