Today was a perfect day to be outdoors in the autumn sunshine and to take in the beautiful changing colors of the leaves. With 14,000 trees from around the world and plenty of unique attractions, Kew Gardens is a fantastic place to visit year round and particularly lovely for enjoying the autumn foliage.
Little T rarely uses the stroller these days – and scooters aren’t allowed in the gardens – so for today’s visit to Kew Gardens, I picked one attraction for us to see, the Xstrata Treetop Walkway, and we had a great walk along the way, kicking up leaves, looking out for squirrels, enjoying the fresh autumn air and being outdoors on a gorgeous day.
After stopping at a park bench for lunch, we made our way over to the Treetop Walkway. The 18-meter high, 200 meter long walkway stands in the Arboretum, offering a bird’s eye view of the gardens from the tree canopy. It was designed by Marks Barfield Architects, who also designed the London Eye, and it is supported by rusted steel columns that blend in with the natural environment. There is a spot halfway down the walkway with a large bench where you can take a break or sit back and enjoy the surroundings. The view is amazing and we both enjoyed it! Little T even more so when he made friends with two other toddlers and they all started chasing each other, shrieking with laughter.
Little T did well walking around all this time and going up and down the stairs of the Treetop Walkway, but as we were approaching nap-time and he was starting to lose steam, we headed back to the car park, pausing along the way to watch the ducks, swans and geese at the Sackler Crossing.
A wonderful day out as always at Kew Gardens and a great place to enjoy and photograph the autumn foliage. The Treetop Walkway was fun to visit and offers a unique view of the gardens. Kew Gardens has become one of my favorite places to visit since moving to West London and I’m looking forward to heading back in the winter for the Christmas at Kew event.
Kew Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW8 3AB
Opening Hours: Until 5 February 2016: Monday to Friday – 1000 to 1615 (last entry 1545). Have a look at current opening times here.
Tickets: Adult tickets are £15.00, children 3+ are £3.50 and children under 3 years go free. [Tickets purchased online are slightly cheaper – Adult £14.00, Children 3+ £2.50.] *You can pay an optional 10% donation which goes towards Kew Gardens’ conservation work. By agreeing to pay the donation, Kew Gardens can claim Gift Aid on the full ticket price if you are UK tax payer. Details on other options here, such as family tickets and special local resident discounts on Tuesdays.
Closest Tube Station: Kew Gardens [District – Richmond brand and Overground services]
Parking: Parking costs £7.00 for the day at the Kew Gardens car park (TW8 3AF) which is accessed by Ferry Lane, a narrow turning off Kew Green. From here, you’ll enter the gardens via Brentford Gate. More details about getting to Kew Gardens here.
Good to Know
Kew Gardens are currently running a half term activity, which is included with day entry to Kew, until Sunday, 1 November 2015, called “The Great Spice Heist”. Little adventurers can pick up a map from the Spice Exchange (located on the lawn at the northern end of the Princess of Wales Conservatory) to follow a treasure hunt and solve puzzles around the Gardens before heading to the Princess of Wales Conservatory film room for a final performance that runs several times during the afternoon. More details and finale times here here.
You can plan your visit to Kew Gardens with the comprehensive map on their website, which includes tick-boxes for selecting which attractions you would like to view on the map, such as “for kids”, “facilities” and “eat and drink”.
Kew Gardens offer plenty of interactive activities for children to get involved, learn and enjoy the outdoors. There’s a lot to explore, from the bee gardens, to the log trail, to the marine aquarium located in the Palm House. On our next trip, we’re going to check out the badget setts they have set up around the Gardens.
In addition to Creepers and Crawlers, there’s an outdoor tree-themed play area – Treehouse Towers – suitable for kids aged three to eleven. Bathroom and baby changing facilities are located in the Creepers and Crawlers building.
Right next to the two play areas, you’ll find the White Peaks Café and Shop which has a salad bar and serves kid’s boxes, gourmet sandwiches, ice cream.