With over 14,000 trees from around the world, Kew Gardens is a wonderful place to enjoy nature year-round and one of the best places in London to see the changing autumn leaves. In this post, I’ll share photos from our autumn visits through the years and several of the best spots to enjoy autumn in Kew Gardens.
Autumn in Kew Gardens Arboretum
The Arboretum stretches across two-thirds of the Gardens, and is home to 14,000 trees representing more than 2,000 species, including rare and ancient varieties.
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Autumn in Kew Gardens is a spectacular display of vibrant reds, yellows and oranges. The vast collection contains trees as old as the Gardens, which date back to the earth 18th century and many of the trees in the Arboretum cannot be found anywhere else in Britain.
I’ll be posting more photos when I visit this autumn 2021. Keep reading for some of the best spots to see autumn colours and where to find the Kew Gardens pumpkin display.
Temple of Bellona
One of the best spots to see autumn leaves in Kew Gardens is by the Temple of Bellona in front of the Victoria gate. The stunning American smoketree frames the temple with vibrant autumn colours.
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The Treetop Walkway is a 18-meter high, 200 meter long walkway that stands in the Arboretum and is one of the best spots to take in the autumn colours, offering a bird’s eye view of the Gardens from the tree canopy.
There are 118 steps up to the walkway, and once you’re at the treetops, you’ll be passing through branches of the sweet chestnut, beech, horse chestnut and different oak species that border the Treetop Walkway.
The Treetop Walkway 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.
Another great spot to visit during autumn in Kew Gardens is the Kitchen Garden, where edible plants are grown to learn more about producing healthy and sustainable food. It’s a pleasure to visit throughout summer and autumn to see the fruits and vegetables growing on the plants and then harvested.
Kew Gardens grow different varieties of common fruits and vegetables, from carrots and apples to pumpkins and chili peppers. They also grow heritage varieties and experiment with more unusual crops. Stop by the Kitchen Gardens during October to see the different varieties of pumpkins and squash in their display.
The Lake and Sackler Crossing
The area by the Lake and Sackler Crossing is another beautiful spot in Kew Gardens to enjoy the autumn colours. The Lake at Kew Gardens covers five acres of water, studded with four islands that provide vibrant colours. This is a beautiful spot to take reflection shots!
Particularly stunning in autumn, Chinese tupelo trees (Nyssa sinensis) turn deep red, while black tupelo trees (N. sylvatica) glow red, orange and yellow.
The Sackler Crossing was installed in 2006 and is a black granite walkway leading you over the water along a curving path that mimics the Lake’s rounded banks.
Kew Gardens October 2021 Events
Explore the fascinating plants, art and culture of Japan this autumn at Kew. Opening on 2 October, the brand-new Japan festival will delight your senses, with an autumnal Momijigari Trail, stunning artistic displays and mesmerising soundscapes by Japanese artists. Chiharu Shiota’s One Thousand Springs will be shown in the Temperate House – an intricate construction of 5,000 haikus suspended in a web of red threads.
On weekends, watch incredible performances by Japanese busker ICHI, with his combination of quirky instruments, and London-based Japanese calligrapher KASHUŪ. There are also after hours events on the 8, 9, 15 and 16 October, featuring dance theatre, live music performances, traditional flower arranging and sake sipping
Gruffalo’s Child Trail
16 to 31 October 2021. Entry included in ticket admission
Join the Gruffalo’s Child this October half-term and follow the enchanting trail around Kew Gardens, with fun surprises that will take you on a magical adventure through the deep dark wood. Along the way you’ll meet familiar beloved characters from author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler’s book, including Fox, Owl, Snake, the Gruffalo, the Gruffalo’s Child and of course, the Big Bad Mouse.
Autumn in Kew Gardens London
Kew Gardens is one of the best places in London to enjoy autumn walks and see the changing of the leaves. With over 14,000 trees spread out over the Gardens, there is plenty to explore when visiting Kew Gardens. I hope you’ve found this guide helpful for finding where to go when visiting Kew Gardens in autumn. I’ll be updating this post soon with more photos for Autumn 2021.
Address: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW8 3AB
Opening Hours: Until 30 September: 10am to 7pm (last entry 6pm); 1 to 30 October: 10am to 6pm (last entry 5pm); 31 October to 16 November: 10am to 4pm (last entry 3pm); 17 November to 9 January: 10am to 3pm (last entry 2pm). Kew Gardens is closed on 24 & 25 December
Tickets: Adult tickets are £17.50, children 4+ are £5 and children under 4 years go free
Closest Tube Station: Kew Gardens [District – Richmond brand and Overground services]
Parking: There is some Pay & Display parking on Kew Green in front of Elizabeth Gate. The Kew Gardens car park at Brentford Gate costs £7.00 for the day (TW8 3AF) and is accessed by Ferry Lane, a narrow turning off Kew Green. You can now pay for parking at this car park through RingGo. More details about getting to Kew Gardens here.
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