Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Top Tourist Attractions

Kew Gardens is a botanic garden in southwest London that houses the "largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world". It was founded in 1759 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. It is home to over 50,000 species of plants.

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Kew is London's largest UNESCO World Heritage site offering unique landscapes, vistas, and iconic architecture from every stage of the Gardens' history. Our collection of living plants is the largest and most diverse in the world, growing out in the landscape and within our glasshouses and nurseries.

Highlights:

  • Temperate House

Travel the world in this glittering cathedral – home to 1,500 species of plants from Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

Filled with 10,000 individual plants, this vast collection may help us find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues, from climate change to loss of biodiversity or food security. 

Enriched by over 250 years of plant expertise, the freshly restored Temperate House has once again become the beating heart of Kew – an iconic landmark and a beacon of the future for plant science. 

  • Mediterranean Garden and King William's Temple

Planted in 2007 to depict a typical Mediterranean natural habitat, this area of the Gardens transports you to the sun-kissed landscape of Southern Europe. Stone pines (Pinus pinea), Tuscan olive trees (Olea europaea), and the green spires of Italian cypress (Cypress sempervivums) grow above shrubs such as Cistus and lavender (Lavandula lanata). 

In the centre of the Mediterranean Garden stands King William's Temple, built-in 1837 for Queen Victoria, in memory of William IV.

  • Japanese Landscape

Take a mindful moment in our tranquil Japanese gardens, a delicately manicured landscape designed to complement the Chokushi-Mon (Japanese Gateway).

Combining a Garden of Peace, a Garden of Activity, and a Garden of Harmony, the Japanese Landscape is the ideal spot for quiet reflection.

Chokushi-Mon (Gateway of the Imperial Messenger) is a near replica of the Gate of Nishi Hongan-Ji (Western Temple of the Original Vow) in Kyoto, Japan.

  • Great Broad Walk Borders

Believed to be the longest herbaceous borders in the country – and possibly in the world – our Great Broad Walk Borders stretch out in a rainbow of colour. 

At more than 320 meters, the borders offer an adventure for the senses – with fresh fragrances, dazzling flower beds, and feathery grasses in a joyful display that evolves with the seasons. 

  • Grass Garden

With around 550 species, Grass Garden offers a chance to encounter the full beauty and variety of grass.   The Grass Garden looks its best from late summer through to winter, with feathery seedheads catching the light of the low sun and leaves turning shades of yellow and bronze.

  • Carnivorous Plants

From Venus fly traps to pouting pitchers, carnivorous plants have developed remarkable adaptations to help them master the art of eating other living things.  Sometimes seen as ‘beautiful murderers,’ they hail from many different parts of the world – whether that’s Australia, Brazil, or even as close to Kew as Dorset.

  • Bamboo Garden and Minka House

The fastest-growing woody plants in the world, bamboos create a dense and vibrant landscape wherever they grow. 

The Bamboo Garden contains 130 bamboo species from China, Japan, the Himalayas, and the Americas, making it one of the largest collections in the UK. The grasses are arranged by appearance to maximize their variety of forms and leaf shapes, from wispy variegated species to fountain-like cascades. 

As you wander between the fronds, the Minka house will come into view.  Meaning ‘houses of the people’, ‘Minka’ describes the simple homes of country-dwellers common in Japan until the mid-20th century. 

A treasured feature of Japanese heritage, many of these farmhouses have been preserved as historic landmarks. 

  • Arboretum

A journey inside this unique collection is a chance to experience the beauty and diversity of forests around the globe.

Stretching across two-thirds of the Gardens, the Arboretum surrounds the glasshouses in a leafy enclave for you to walk, wander and discover. 

The 14,000 trees rooted here represent more than 2,000 species, including rare and ancient varieties. This great collection contains trees as old as the Gardens themselves, many that cannot be found anywhere else in Britain.

  • Princess of Wales Conservatory

With ten computer-controlled climate zones, the Princess of Wales Conservatory is a glassy labyrinth leading you through a series of fascinating ecosystems.   There’s a new surprise at every corner of this winding glasshouse. Take in spiky cacti and succulents as you travel through the dry tropics and emerge into the dense, steamy zones where tropical orchids and bright bromeliads come alive. 

  • Rose Garden

Wander through our stunning Rose Garden and inhale the scent of hundreds of roses. Home to 170 different species and cultivars of rose, the Rose Garden is designed to be a floral feast for the eye with bold plantings of mixed shrub roses.

  • Children's Garden

A fun, interactive space to climb, run, jump and explore everything that a plant needs to grow. Our exciting new garden is specially designed for children from 2 to 12 years old.  Based in a natural setting the size of 40 tennis courts, children can explore all the things plants need to grow; earth, air, sun, and water. 

Over 100 mature trees are spread over this beautiful landscape, with hidden treasures and adventures around every corner, leading to a 4m high canopy walk wrapped around a 200-year-old oak in the heart of the Children's Garden.

  • Natural Area

On the border where Kew meets the River Thames, a wilder landscape offers space for a forest adventure or a tranquil wander.   Tall grasses, wildflowers, and whispering trees surround the shaded path, while butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies dance through the undergrowth.  

  • Woodland Adventures

Dive into the Natural Area with fun, games, and discovery for all the family.

  • Davies Alpine House

Alpines are some of the world’s most resilient plants – able to grow above the altitude at which trees can survive.  The flowers you’ll find in this glasshouse are nurtured in our Alpine Nursery and only displayed in the Alpine House when they come into bloom. The glasshouse is home to a wide range of bright purple campanulas, bold pink dianthus, small ferns, fragrant lavenders, thymes, tulips, and Verbascum, along with other unique species.

  • Great Pagoda

Following a major restoration project, you can now reach the heights of the Great Pagoda and marvel at spectacular views across London.

  • Lake and Crossing

The Lake covers five acres of water, studded with four islands that provide vibrant colours, enhanced by their reflection in the lake.

Particularly stunning in autumn, Chinese tupelo trees (Nyssa Sinensis) turn deep red, while black tupelo trees (N. sylvatica) glow red, orange, and yellow. 

  • Palm House

Explore this remarkable indoor rainforest and discover tropical plants from some of the most threatened environments in the world. Travel to the depths of the rainforest inside the Palm House, where the air is heavy and dense with lush vegetation.

Eating and drinking

  • Family Kitchen & Shop

With stone-baked pizza, a salad bar, and an ice cream servery, our new multi-sensory Family Kitchen & Shop is the perfect pitstop for a family day out; conveniently located right next to our Children's Garden.

  • Orangery

This favourite spot to eat is open for indoor and outdoor dining, with outdoor pop-up stalls available too. Why not warm yourself with one of our amazing toasties, burgers or new Lebanese Barbeque served on the terrace.

  • Pavilion Bar and Grill

Enjoy our al fresco dining surrounded by vines with views of the Pagoda and Temperate House.

  • The Botanical Brasserie

Enjoy delicious afternoon tea, breakfast, and lunch dishes in our restaurant.

  • Victoria Plaza Café

Pick up the perfect picnic grub, sausage rolls, and barista coffee to take away or eat -.

Shopping:

  • New Family Kitchen & Shop

The brand-new shop sells books, toys, and planting kits for children.

 

  • Galleries gift shop

Based in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, find prints, books, and gifts inspired by the art collections at Kew.

 

  • Pavilion shop

Located in the new Pavilion building, with a range of the most popular gift items and books.

 

  • Victoria Plaza shop

Our biggest shop has a fabulous selection of outdoor items, delicious food, and beautiful books.

Kew Gardens is an excellent way to get closer to nature and uncover the science behind the plants and glasshouses with a handy list of must-see features.

https://www.kew.org/