The advice about bringing a lunch is really good – the snacks you can buy there cost a fortune…
Gipsy Lane, Barnes, London SW15 5RG
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141 reviews of Kew Gardens in English
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I love the Japanese garden, so serene. Sitting there within my own mind, letting the world go by.
Bit of advice, get there early and just wander. Have a lunch in the various eating areas and then enjoy a few more hours.
I never have been disappointed.
Comment 1 comment on this review
Biscuitty13465, 2 May 2013:
I have wanted to visit this place for as long as I remember,so I set off at the start of Spring to hopefully see the blossoms emerging on the trees and see the start of the bluebells and lily of the valley. I was not disappointed, this is truly a beautiful magnificent garden to visit. From the Japanese garden, the pagoda and the fabulous palm house it is a feast for the eyes. There is a lake to watch the ducks on and many exotic birds such as peacocks and pheasants that grace the gardens. I also enjoyed the cafe (check out the array of delicious cakes and cookies!)and the souvenir shop was really the best I have ever seen. the only downside (as with all parks) is the lack of toilets-quite a walk from one side to the other..especially for those with children or elderly companions. I will be back in the Summer to see the park in its full glory.
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It’s almost too big to fit in one day, so I would recommend going early, then breaking up the day with lunch or something then finishing it off.
The must-see’s for me were the tree top walk and the huge green house. Be warned though, the tree top walk does sway slightly, but it’s fine. The giant green house, just gives you a wonderful insight into British history – you almost feel that you could be transported back a hundred years.
One Star for the entrance price. Family of 4 price is very costly. It is a lovely park and always has been a great park. The price is the same as a Theme Park like Chessington World of Adventures. Cannot understand the escalating price of this park as it has gone up 300% and huge donations by us Tax payers. Surely, they could be reasonable about the costs considering they make huge profits through business and private ventures now.
If you can afford this and have no commitments or work on a good salary, good luck if price is alright for you.
Sadly, I, like many others, shall give it a miss.
Comment 1 comment on this review
HedgeKnights, 22 April 2012:
I can see your point. Same price as Chessington World of Adventures does make the price seem unreasonable. As I am not a parent I can’t say whether I would think it more economically sound to put my child on a spinny ride or teach them about evolution.
Indulgently I took an extra week off work after New Year and decided to fill it, to the chagrin of my friends, with touristy things: one of which was a visit to Kew Gardens. Now, as my foreword suggests, I went on a week day so you may need an alternative source for a weekend review. My experience was PEACEFUL. The entry fee is £13.90 which feels reasonable for what you get (I went early). It’s really accessible – I went by tube but I think there is also an overground line. You are handed a cute map so, if you like structure-induced fun like me, you can plan your trip with horticulturally-excited precision (free spirits – you may toss your maps away with guilt-free abandon, I won’t be offended). I’ve never been much of a plant person. I like the RHS Chelsea flower show for reasons that continue to escape me but that’s about it. So not sure why I went, apart from an overwhelming desire for greenery that only long serving city-types may empathise with. I wasn’t disappointed. Loads of green. I went to the Palm House (which houses an underground aquarium bit), the Japanese Gardens (where I met a peacock), the Treetop walkway (where I met a fresh-air-sedated school trip), the Evolution exhibition with dinosaur sounds (weird. All I’m saying) and the Temperate House. The two ‘houses’ have high walkways, up spiral staircases, which are lovely unexpected treasures. DO spend time reading the info around you because it can be fascinating: there are cancer-curing plants, the type of tree Buddha sat under when he attained enlightenment, the largest indoor plant ever, a plant that is flowering itself to death and an interesting plant the Queen Mum planted (can’t remember for the life of me what it was though). I also saved parts of Kew Gardens unexplored (it’s huge) so that I have a reason to go back. Top tip: DON’T follow the meagre care instructions you get with the plants you can buy there – I bought a Livistona and the label said water once a month. I adhered religiously to said instructions. She didn’t make it the full month. She died. (Please do not write to me to tell me what the psychological condition is for someone who gives plants a gender). Top fact: Household pepper comes from its own plant and are nothing to do with the red, green or yellow things you get. Who knew.
Hours & hours I have spent drawing in the
tropical palmhouse & the lily house …. heaven!
But this is only one of 6 magnificent glass-
houses set in 300 acres of lovely landscape.
You can see more from the new tree-top walkway
I so wanted to enjoy my first visit, having heard so much about it. However for me, there wasn’t that wow factor. It is expensive to enter, what is basically a Royal Park with five or six large greenhouses two of which have ferns and plants that look like each other. Actually found it boring. Not helped by the expensive cafe there and lack of service. My small wine was offered with a boiling hot glass, and asking for another or one which had not just come out of a hot dishwasher was a real problem it seemed for the catering assistant. Also paid exta to visit Kew House – not worth the £5 or so as 80% of the rooms look the same – and level three is basically a building site.
If all the greenhouses where in one location, would take 30 mins to look around, it is that they are all over the park, which makes it a whole day event. Parking at £6 is expensive also.
I should start my review of the Kew Gardens saying that I’m not interested at all in gardening, plants, wildlife or botany. I don’t visit gardens and parks often, and let alone paying almost £14. I’d never come here if so many people wouldn’t have recommended it to me. Surprisingly, I spent here almost 6 hours today, and even enjoyed a lot some parts. That’s something, right?
Kew Gardens must be paradise for nature lovers, it’s amazing the diversity and variety of plants, displays and exhibitions on offer here. I couldn’t appreciate all of them, specially not the glasshouses because of the hateful humidity, but I liked the People & Plants exhibitions and the Australia gardens, and in general walking for hours with nice landscapes in background. The best parts in my visit were the Marianne North Gallery and the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, absolutely incredible. Don’t miss them if you come, if they were standalone galleries they would be among my favourites in London.
As a tip, try to use the 2×1 offer on tickets when you travel by train. Be aware that Oyster is not accepted (not even travelcards on the Oyster), you have to present one of those orange tickets with the National Rail logo. We just took the First Capital Connect, one stop, from Essex Road to Highbury & Islington (purchasing two single tickets at £2.30 each, and then came back to Islington using Oyster) and that saved us £13.90.
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