Kew Gardens

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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!

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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The Redwood Grove

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A class of school children eating lunch at a huge table in the woods

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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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