Kew gardens is an easy train ride away from central London. I actually opted to drive and parked by the river in what was a surprisingly large car park that actually had spaces! (Something I’m not used to in London).
First stop was coffee, and a trip to The Orangery a gorgeous cafe in the north of the park.
After a nice coffee and vegan apple cake, we headed to the nearest attraction – the gorgeous red brick Kew Palace.
Kew Palace is actually operated by the Historic Royal Palaces group, rather than Kew gardens. This charity operate most of the UK’s main royal palaces open to the public. There were lots of staff dressed in Georgian style clothing (all volunteers I believe!) who had lots to tell anyone who was interested about the history of Kew Palace. It turns out that Kew Palace was home to George III often called ‘the mad-king’ due to his mental illness in older age. However, it sounds like for most of his reign he was actually a kind and considerate King, happy to live in this relatively modest palace with his family.
After touring Kew Palace and it’s garden it was time for a spot of lunch. The Botanical is a newly refurbished restaurant, near the central entrance of the gardens. Gorgeous marble tables and reasonably priced, well presented food. After wandering around the garden all morning it was the perfect rest-bite for a relaxed lunch.
The newly reopened Temperate House is a huge Victorian green house, one of the biggest of it’s kind in the world. After years of renovation, the end result is polished and pleasant. With much more space for visitors than in other green houses, perhaps because the plants are newer, it feels light and airy. The views from the entrances are absolutely stunning, most direct your eye down the long walkways of the park.
Palm House is another large green house, a bit smaller than Temperate House, but filled with lots of tropical plants.
Outside of the exhibits there are plenty of gorgeous plants and wildlife to see!