Since I’ve been living in London for a year and a half now, one of the places I wanted to visit for a while was the royal botanical gardens: Kew Gardens (the fact that I used to commute through Kew probably helped sticking this idea to my mind).
In February I took the opportunity of having friends visiting me to discover this place. Winter might not be the best moment to explore the gardens (which are huge! I think in one day we saw maybe 1/4 of the site) however, the highlight of the month was the “orchids parad” so we decided it was worth going.
The good thing about visiting Kew Gardens during the winter is that you can always warm up in the greenhouses, which are designed and heated to reproduce the specific climate conditions where the species can flourish. For the orchids, the environment needs to be quite warm and humid at the same time (which gave us a break from the freezing wind blowing this day!)
The other greenhouse we visited was the home of the palm trees – so prepare for the heat wave! You can climb to a balcony to admire the plants from above. There is also an underground section dedicated to the life under the sea.
Visiting greenhouses was very nice, however the humid/warm atmosphere can be a little “suffocating” at some point…
Outside the greenhouses, I couldn’t miss the Great Pagoda – the tallest Chinese reconstructed building in the Europe.
Here is a short video of introduction if you want to know more about it:
As we were freezing outside, we were looking forward to have a bite in the restaurant – unfortunately it is closed during the winter (only the cafeteria nearby the main entrance is opened) If you choose to visit this place right now, bring your warmest clothes/gloves/hats as the wind can be quite strong in the gardens. If you are cold, you can always grab some coffees or have a look at the nice selection of accessories of the shop.