Kew Gardens was somewhere I discovered fairly recently. Despite living close by, it had taken me five years to visit. Upon realising it does live up to its hype on a springtime walk, I vowed to get the annual pass. Doing so has given me the opportunity to explore the huge expanse of gardens in west London one bit at a time. With my close friend, Gen, over from Singapore, I decided to take her and my youngest, Cheeky, for a stroll to enjoy it’s autumn colours.
We’d come a little late in the season to get the full autumnal effect. Some of the leaves by the Palm House were just about hanging on long enough for me to take a photo on this rather cloudy day.
I had a bit more luck by the lake where you can see the Temple of Arethusa in the distance.
To start with we made a beeline (!) for The Hive – an outdoor installation which aims to educate about bees and their role in pollination as well as the challenges they face.
The lights and sounds made in the Hive are triggered by bee activity in a real beehive at Kew. Isn’t that amazing?
Unfortunately, the interactive space was closed on the day we went! We had to make do with photographs outside the 17 metre high structure.
There’s always something to discover in Kew Gardens’ 300 acre space. I still haven’t made it to the Giant Badger Sett, the Minka House and Bamboo Garden or Queen Charlotte’s cottage. With a 17-month old in tow, those would have to wait for another day.
Instead, we found the Secluded Garden and, of course, no visit to Kew Gardens with children is complete without a stop at the indoor kids play area, Creepers and Climbers.
There’s something wonderfully relaxing about Kew Gardens. Although the occasional aeroplane rumbles overhead it’s an oasis away from the urban noise of London.
A gaggle of geese had set up residence outside Kew Palace. The grand house is the former summer residence of the Royal family. The parents of the future George III started a garden around the palace which gradually grew in size and was the beginning of Kew Gardens as we know today.
The building of the greenhouses The Palm House and Temperate House in the mid-1800s made Kew Gardens a centre for scientific research and supplied seed, crops and advice to the developing British Empire.
It’s no wonder then that parts of the gardens evoke a Victorian feel. As my friend and I are former English literature students, the space brought back visions of Austen’s novels to us.
With no handsome gent to link our arm, take us for a walk and ask for our hand in marriage, we decided to have some photo fun instead and do some jumping shots
I joined in with this effort.
Hilariously, Gen’s dark trousers made it look as though she didn’t have any legs in this one!
Here was a contemplative shot…
And one in the rose garden.
We finally found lots of gorgeous autumn leaves so decided to have a bit of photo fun throwing the leaves up.
We rounded the afternoon off with a wander around the Palm House where Gen felt a bit closer to home with its balmy temperature and tropical plants inside the greenhouse.
We had a lot of fun exploring Kew Gardens in autumn and Cheeky seemed to enjoy herself too. Although we got some beautiful red autumnal colours, next year I’ll get there a little earlier in the season.
Visiting Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens opens at 10am. The nearest tube station is Kew Gardens.
Online ticket prices (until 31 January 2018)
Adults £12.75* / £11.50
Children (4–16) £2.50
Children under 4 free
Concessions £11.25* / £10
* Includes a voluntary donation
An annual pass for a family of four costs £79 or £69 if paying by direct debit.