Things to See and Do at The Royal Botanical Gardens

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Kew Gardens botanical garden
Kew Gardens Founded in 1840, is a botanical garden in southwest London that houses the "largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world.

The Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew are one of London’s most impressive and popular tourist destinations, conveniently located just 30 minutes from the centre of London and filled with wonderful things to see and do all year round. Here is our quick guide to making the most of your trip!

Great Pagoda

Kew garden Pagoda, London, United Kingdom

First constructed in 1762, this structure stands tall at 50m high or a remarkable ten storeys, and represents one of Kew’s major landmarks. Following closure for repairs and restoration, it reopens to the public in Summer 2018 – but it can be seen throughout the gardens, towering over the landscape. Designed by Sir William Chambers, the pagoda was designed as a gift for Princess Augusta, who founded the botanic gardens. Long before there was the London Eye, the pagoda offered a bird’s eye view of the London skyline which is still breathtaking to this day.

Princess of Wales Conservatory

Princess of Wales Conservatory
Princess of Wales Conservatory (architect Gordon Wilson) in Kew Gardens. Richmond, London, UK

Containing plants from ten different climates, this conservatory includes everything from cacti to orchids and carnivorous plant-life. Dry tropical plants, ferns and much more besides all reside within this glass domed building, including the Titan arum, a giant plant which arrived in 1889 from it’s native location of Sumatra. Ideal for some exotic plant spotting while staying at one of our spa hotels in London.

Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens

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Kew Palace in the grounds of Kew Gardens. Richmond, London, England.

Kew Palace is one of London’s lesser-known royal residences, but it was the summer home of King George III. Constructed in 1631, the palace was acquired in 1898 and promptly opened to the public within the care of Historic Royal Palaces. For a glimpse of a royal past within stunning surroundings, this is unmatched when visiting the Montcalm Hotel.

Kitchen Garden

Kew’s kitchen garden will be sure to inspire anyone who has ever even considered trying their hand at home-grown produce, and it was voted the ‘most inspirational vegetable garden’ in 2016.  It’s not hard to see why; the Kew kitchen garden includes a vast selection of different fruit and vegetables which maximise flavour throughout the year. In the Georgian-era, the garden was used to supply fruit and vegetables for the Royal Household; but today it represents a fascinating look at how to get real results from home-grown produce during all four seasons.

Palm House

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This iconic glasshouse was built during the Victorian era – and contains some of the most biodiverse species of plant in the entire park. Many of the plants are endangered, and this space has even proven influential in the study of medicine. The building is one of the park’s most widely recognised structures and history fans visiting the Montcalm Hotel will be interested to discover it is considered the most important Victorian glass and iron structure still standing today.

Queen’s Garden

Featuring plants which have been grown throughout Britain predating the 17th century, this garden also hosts the oldest Kew Gardens sculpture – and was officially opened to the public by Queen Elizabeth II in 1969. Today it represents a wonderful melding of the old and new – and a beautiful relaxing space.