There are some splendid gardens dotted all over the United Kingdom, each with their own personal touches that set them apart from each other. It’s sometimes hard to say things are a persons favourite, especially myself as I often try to find unique things about all the places I visit leading to them all being on my favourite list. I was surprised to find this 132 Ha botanical garden was just outside central London and founded in 1840.  

Kew gardens highlights were the pond and rock garden. The pond I would have naturally been drawn to, as it is often a host to many wildlife species and in this case the bird life did not disappoint. Canadian geese stole the show, feeding and socialising actively made them great fun to watch and photograph. More familiar and common birds were seen too such as coots, moorhen, mallards and swans and a few more unusual, I had my first sighting of some tufted ducks, strikingly beautiful ducks with a strong black and white contrast and a golden eye. 

However, this is a garden and not all about the birds and on that note, the stone garden was very unusual. In South Africa, this can be relatively common due to an abundance of rocks, succulent plants and lack of water, seeing it done in the UK made it a little different, greener and more based around water giving a sense of beauty but also giving me a few goose bumps reminding me of home. 

Other marveling areas included the greenhouses also known as the temperate house, the largest Victorian glass house. When you stand before it you can’t help to think it’s a very large dolls house, looking extremely delicate once you step inside you fully grasp the size and enormity of the greenhouse, housing over 1500 species of plants, mainly from warmer regions that need slightly warmer temperatures than the UK has to offer to survive. 

The gardens have a lot to offer, with many different cultural angles such as a Chinese inspired garden, orchids, fruits and vegetables to open parks and more natural areas to walk in nature. It is very friendly towards families and the disabled to be able to enjoy with plenty of facilities, including curio shops, food stalls, bathrooms and places to put up your own picnic. 

These gardens are very inspirational, and would seem unlikely someone wouldn’t enjoy it as there is so many different things to be of interest from history, art, nature and pure leisure just to name a few. I had the pleasure of visiting late February and even then it was breathtaking. I can’t imagine what it must be like in spring when everything starts to blossom with the bursts of colours it has to show off. 

Clothing: Walking shoes

Cost: Entry fee: Online: £16.50, Gate: £18

Curios and food

Cash: GBP, cash and card 

Pets allowed: No

Disabled: Yes 

Address: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond TW9 3AB. England 

Parking: Pay at site

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