We have been Kew members for a few years now and Kew Gardens is a firm favourite in our family. I recently discovered that we could visit Wakehurst in Sussex for free (as it’s part of Kew) so, on a wet, windy Sunday, we pulled on our wellies and drove down from London.
Wakehurst is no Kew Gardens but it does have a lot to offer and is geared up for families. The Explorer Backpacks went down well and we hired the red backpack for 6-8 year olds for £4 for the day. Inside was everything you need to go on a mini beast adventure: bug collecting pot (and brush to scoop it in so you don’t have to touch it!), a scavenger hunt, crayons and worksheets for bark rubbing and the equipment to make a bug hotel to take home. They have backpacks for three different age brackets (with different equipment) so little ones and bigger ones can get involved too.
We had a lovely (muddy) walk around the (sort of) horseshoe shaped grounds. A couple of miles was good for the kids -as it was very steep at points- but they loved running off, finding narrow paths and hidden corners.
We love Kew Gardens because there is just so much to do; every time we go we discover something new. Wakehurst doesn’t have the same pull – as in it doesn’t have all the different attractions, play spaces and things to look at- but it is a lovely being immersed in nature and feeling like you are the only ones there.
I would imagine that Wakehurst is stunning in the spring and summer; we’ll definitely be back- probably at Easter when they have a Gruffalo Trail running.
One last tip- National Trust members enter for free but pay for car parking. Kew members enter and park for free.
Enjoy! Amy x