Last week I visited the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, another bit of sightseeing I needed to check off my London List before I leave!
The entrance fee to Kew Gardens is pretty steep, considering that gardens aren’t really my thing, but my friend from school had purchased a yearly membership which allowed her to get guests in for free. We met up and headed to Kew together on a sunny day to explore the gardens.
One of the coolest things about Kew was the art installation called The Hive. It’s a giant metal structure inspired by a bee hive, and intends to offer visitors a glimpse into the life of a bee colony.
You could stand in the bottom and look up at the hexagonal structure, and you could also stand on the top level and look down.
My favorite part was the stations where you could experience how bees communicate – through vibrations! You took a wooden coffee stirrer stick and bit down on one end, and touched the other end to a metal square. You covered your ears and the vibrations went through your body, amplifying them and allowing you to hear them clearly. It was fascinating.
While they weren’t quite as impressive as the endless rows of rosebushes at Hampton Court Palace, the roses were in full bloom at Kew and they were lovely.
When my friend had to leave, I hopped on the trolley that takes visitors around the entirety of Kew Gardens. I didn’t have time to wander the whole grounds since I had to get back to London in the afternoon, but I wanted to see the Redwood Grove and some of the other areas. I felt a bit lazy but it was an efficient way to see everything! It was a 40-minute ride – the grounds are huge!
The Redwood Grove
A class of school children eating lunch at a huge table in the woods
Unless you really love botanical gardens, I wouldn’t put Kew Gardens at the very top of your list when visiting London, but if you have a free morning or afternoon, it’s a nice half-day trip to get out of Central London. Especially in lovely weather!
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