I am a Kew Gardens member. I don’t remember why. I think I went one day and realised that family membership wasn’t much more expensive than the gate price, so I signed up! As with all these things, I figure that if we visit one more time we’re getting our money’s worth – if not, we’re doing a good thing anyway! To my own surprise – we actually use the Kew membership all the time!
Kew is a fab day out for all the family, there is something for everyone, all year round. One of our favourite things to do is to get up early on a Sunday morning (huh-hum, with a 4 and 6 year old we’re always up early) but get out early, pack a picnic breakfast to eat in the car and park on the street (for free) outside Victoria Gate. Kew opens at 10am; we patiently enjoy our pre-prepared brekky in the car as the queue forms- excited horticulturists waiting for the gates to open like Augustus Gloop outside the chocolate factory. We swan in, bypass the queue and head for the Friends of Kew entrance. If you need tickets you can find prices here.
Even though I have been to Kew Gardens so many times, each time I go I discover something new. It’s astonishing – today we found the tree-top walk and a lake with a beautiful bridge I didn’t know existed!
My faves are Kew Palace, Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, and the Pagoda. OH likes the Hive and the fact that even when it’s super busy you can still find a quite spot to have a picnic or let your kids play so they don’t bother anyone else! The kids love Climbers and Creepers (even though I think it’s a bit tired now and could do with updating) and walking, playing, practising cartwheels…the usual. The land train tour is worth it as you learn a lot from the commentary, my only real criticism is the restaurant – don’t get me wrong, the restaurant is lovely and the choice is good, but it is very expensive – I was a tad shocked today to find a ‘protein pot’ (one boiled egg and a couple of spinach leaves) for £4.50. My advice? Take a picnic (or a wicnic as we call it in the colder months).
Kew do some brilliant events too. Last month we went to the very impressive and beautiful Orchid festival (see pics on instagram) and today we saw Dale Chihuly’s Reflections on Nature, a series of amazing glass sculptures around the gardens. Christmas at Kew has become one of our annual Crimbo traditions and we can’t wait for the new Children’s Garden to open on 18 May 2019 – it looks absolutely wonderful (I dare say better than the Magic Garden at Hampton Court, but I’ll let you know) and we’ll be there in May half-term to try it out.
Enjoy! Amy x