Our visit to Kew Gardens started with walking the short distance from the Underground across a lovely part of the River Thames and Kew Common. Entering Kew Botanic Gardens is a revelation as behind you is London with all its bustle, noise and activity and as you step through the gates you enter a world of 300 acres (121 hectares) of beautiful, tranquil parkland full of specimen trees and lovely walks.
As there is a lot to choose from we stayed together some of the time, combined with some independent exploring. The Victorian glasshouses are amazing and the Palm House contains rare example of palms that reach right up to the roof. There is a walkway at the top of the glasshouses so you can see these enormous trees from a different angle. We also looked at the outside of the Royal Palace where George III used to stay, the Chinese Pagoda, the aerial walkway and finished up for a drink & snack at the Orangery (built in 1761). A very impressive way to finish our visit.
The reaction from our group was that it was great place to visit that they wouldn’t normally know to include. Also, that it was hard to believe that just a few stops on the Underground from EC London you can reach a rural setting that is so accessible and so impressive.