Friday, 4 June 2010

Kew Gardens

One of the highlights of my oldest being at school is that during the school holidays there are days when the youngest is at nursery it's just her and me. So we can do big grown up things together, yesterday we went to Kew Gardens for the day.

I've never been to Kew before, it's absolutely beautiful, so huge, well maintained, full of different things to explore. In the palmhouse (shown above) you can go up a windy staircase and walk around the top to get an amazing view of the plants.

Another highlight was the Treetop walkway (not to be confused with Treehouse towers which is a play area). I didn't think I had a problem with heights but on climbing up the stairs (we chose to visit on a day the lift was out of order!) and reaching the top, it was really high giving an incredible view of the treetops.

You can just see the opposite side of the walkway in this photo.

The structure was really cool with these big rusty columns holding up the walkway, very Jurassic Park.

Another highlight for me (but definitely not in any way for my 5 year year old) was the Prince of Wales Conservatory. Certain rooms were full of the most amazing butterflies, some of them huge. Which to the horror of my daughter had a habit of slowly flapping towards your face and looking dangerously like landing on your head. Ok, I had to admit is was a bit freaky, but the beauty of them just outweighed this.

It was a series of interconnecting rooms with different climates and plants in, some with butterflies, some without. We got hopelessly lost trying to find our way out once it had been decided that the whole experience was not going well. At one point (at the same time I realised it!) my daughter said 'we are going round in circles!'. Hilarious, we found our way out eventually, but at every interconnecting door we had a tense discussion over whether or not we were going to enter a 'butterfly room'.

But then we were out, in the first and last room, full of soaring butterflies, exit in site, striding towards it and this huge black butterfly swoops straight towards my daughter's nose. I think it just knew! Anyway, it made me glad I had decided against a trip to a butterfly farm earlier in the week.

I was surprised how much fun Kew was for a child, it helped that we had the most amazing weather. I would definitely come back with or without a child, it would be a lovely grown up day out.


  1. you have inspired me to go back and try out the treetop walkway - it was'nt open the last time i visited -Thanks

  2. Thanks for blogging about your day at Kew Kate. We love to hear about our visitors' experience of the Gardens. I thought you might be interested to know about our 'Your Kew' Flickr Group. We invite visitors to share their pictures of the Gardens with us and each other online - . The latest pics appear on our website -

  3. Kew is lovely. I can remember when you could get in for a penny - how times change!

  4. I love Kew. My membership ran out only a couple of months ago - I think we made it about 4 times in the year so not bad going - I can't say anything bad about the place it is just brilliant. You should look out for their evenings at Kew in the summer. Could be a pretty lovely treat for your girls if there is a good musical thing going on?

  5. I agree Kew is a fab place for kids. We live just 10 minutes away so it's well worth it for us to become family members - it's now like our local park! Let me know next time you're planning a visit, I've got tons of guest passes that we never manage to get through each year. You'd be very welcome to one.

  6. Thanks for all your lovely comments and ideas. Jane, what a kind offer - I will take you up on it next time we visit. So jealous that Kew is your local park, whilst Blakers Park has been re-vamped and now has its own telly-tubby hills, it's not quite the same!!