In the next instalment of our ROSL Recommends series, Head of Membership Naomi Taylor tells us about one of her favourite weekend spots, Kew Gardens.
What made you want to visit Kew Gardens?
I was brought up close to the area so can never remember not going to visit Kew Gardens, back when it was just £1 to visit! As an adult it is a quiet and beautiful place away from the hustle and bustle of London with beautiful flora and fauna, cafes, a lake, and interactive children’s activities. Today I visit with my daughter to give her wide open space to run around in, but also try to get to the main exhibitions they have on, such as the orchid exhibition in the Princess of Wales glasshouse in February, and the Christmas lights in December. I always try and see the rhododendrons in May as well – the colours are truly beautiful.
Tell us about the Gardens themselves
Whether you are into roses, vegetable growing, Japanese landscaping, the Victorian glasshouse architecture, or even sculpture (there is a Henry Moore sculpture by the lake), there is something for everyone to enjoy at Kew. You can easily spend the day there and not discover all the gardens have to offer. As well as enjoying it you can have a warm glow knowing you have supported the Kew charity supporting botanists protect rare species of plants. In 2018 the Temperate Glasshouse reopened having been shut for renovation for some years – even the outside of the Victorian glass building is quite a sight. Kew is very children friendly as well, there are always interactive things for them to do around the gardens (the Treetop walkway is great for energetic children) and there is also a nice soft play and children’s playground. More info can be found on their website.
How much does it cost?
Adult tickets are £17.75 with a donation to the Kew foundation. Children age 4-16 are £4 and under 4s and carers go free. I am a Friend of Kew, meaning I pay £65 for a year’s entry for myself, another adult and children under 4, (it also means in summer I can go in before it opens to the public).
Who would you recommend it to?
Kew is one of my favourite places and so would struggle to see who wouldn’t enjoy it. But I would particularly recommend it to someone with an appreciation for nature and fresh air! I also recommend it for parents with young children.