How to spend a morning at Kew Gardens with children | Kew gardens review
Somewhere that’s been on my bucket list for a while is Kew Gardens. We avoided going as we didn’t feel that Daisy would particularly enjoy it. After researching more into it and then being invited to come along and visit, we couldn’t wait to spend the morning at Kew Gardens! Kew gardens is London’s largest world heritage site and offers gorgeous landscapes and architecture along with a huge collection of living plants (most diverse in the world). I’m a bit of a plant geek – in the sense that I have a lot of plants, love plants and love flowers. I currently work as a social media manager for a florist so I find that interesting too.
We managed to get there as soon as it opened (10am) and park in Kew Gardens car park on Ferry Lane. We may sound crazy, driving in London on a Saturday, and we quite possibly are – but I hate tubes and trains and will do anything to avoid getting on one! The car park was empty but it’s recommended to get there before 11am to ensure a parking space.
We really didn’t pick the best day to go. Unfortunately, 30 minutes after we arrived, it started to rain. We held off in the hope that it would stop but it only got heavier. We had to cut the morning short and head somewhere with more indoor facilities in the end. It would have been absolutely fine if we’d remembered umbrellas or raincoats, but we stupidly forgot them.
So note to self: be more prepared. English weather is completely unpredictable. Prepare for rain, prepare for sun! So before we started our morning I had a few places in mind that I really wanted to see/do and we managed to do several. Here’s how to spend a morning in Kew gardens with children.
I’ve seen photos of this gorgeous Palm House and just knew it was one stop we really wanted to visit. The gardens are so open with plenty of hidden treasures. Daisy thoroughly enjoyed being able to run around to her heart’s content. The Palm House is “an iconic Victorian glasshouse, the rainforest climate inside supports a unique collection of tropical plants from some of the most threatened environments on Earth.” The Palm House recreates a rainforest climate and so if you’re feeling a bit chilly, it’s absolutely amazing to walk into. As soon as we opened the door, the heat hit us and we took off all hats and gloves. There’s stairs that lead to the top if you want to get a better view, too. We definitely recommend doing so. The Palm House is beautiful and I could have spent hours in there wandering around and spotting the different tropical plants.
The Waterlily House
Nearby to the Palm House is the Waterlily House. “The Waterlily House is the hottest and most humid environment at Kew. In summer the pond is home to giant waterlilies, lotus and other exotic plants.” It was designed specifically for showcasing the giant Amazon waterlily. These are amazing – they grow so big that often babies and toddlers have been photographed sitting on top of them. (Obviously don’t do this on your visit!)
The Princess of Wales Conservatory
“Explore plants from ten different climate zones including cacti, orchids, carnivorous plants and the remarkable Titan arum, which produces one of the largest flowering structures and foulest odours in the plant kingdom.” One big conservatory full of Cacti – er… what is better than that?! Granted, children may not find this the most fun part of your trip BUT it’s definitely a must see.
“The Hive is a unique, multi-sensory experience designed to highlight the extraordinary life of bees. A feat of British engineering, it stands 17 metres tall, set in a wildflower meadow.” I’m a little gutted because we didn’t manage to make our way to the Hive! The rain started getting much heavier and so we had to give it a miss. We will 100% be heading back at some point because we want to see more of what the garden’s have to offer. The Hive is something children will enjoy. The lights you see and the sounds you hear inside are triggered by bee activity in a real beehive.
This is exactly what it sounds like. A treetop walkway – so much fun for little ones. “Walk 18 metres above the woodland floor through the tops of trees, and take in the breathaking views across the Gardens and beyond.” We didn’t manage to get many photos of this due to the rain, but it’s definitely something that has to be done when visiting the botanical gardens.
It’s definitely somewhere great to spend a morning or afternoon. Even if it’s raining, as long as you come prepared! If you purchase tickets online then an adult’s ticket is £11.50 and a child aged 4-16 is £2.50. It’s well worth a visit!
*We received free entry to Kew Gardens. All words and opinions are 100% honest*