royal botanic gardens at kew

Kew Gardens - All About the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew

We have a responsibility to the earth that we live in. This is the motto of The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, one of the most extensive botanical gardens in the world. It provides a haven to the largest and the most diverse mycological and botanical collections in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site provides sanctuary to more than 50,000 different plants and over 7 million preserved species. Kew Gardens aims to inspire people to protect the natural world and take steps to influence international policies in favour of the environment. Here, you get to explore the vast collection of 14,000 trees and walk across the lake in the middle of the wilderness. The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is the perfect place for you to breathe in the lush environment while also contributing to it, simply by learning about its intricacies.

History of Royal Botanic Gardens 

The origins of Kew Gardens can be traced back to as early as the 16th century when it was a privately owned garden. The site was acquired by the prince and princess of Wales in 1731, and both of them established it as a garden for exotic plants in 1759. The garden expanded over the years to accommodate specimens from all over the world as it was passed down to Sir Joseph Banks in 1772, a British naturalist. Finally, under William Hooker and his son in 1841, the Kew Gardens became a centre for scientific research and the international exchange of plant specimens. Under them, in 1840, the gardens were conveyed to the nation and expanded to the present size of 300 acres by the early 19th century.

In July 2003 the Kew Gardens was officially inscribed as a UNESCO world heritage site, making it one of the most famous tourist spots in London. Today it continues on its pledge to build a world where nature is protected, valued, and managed sustainably. In March 2021 it will launch a 10-year strategy to carry out this pledge and to protect plants and fungi for the future of life on Earth.

Explore Royal Botanic Gardens

Find out all about Kew Gardens opening times before visiting the venue.

1. Plant Houses

2. Ornamental Buildings & Palace

3. Galleries and Museums

Royal Botanic Gardens: Art, Science & Entertainment

In an effort to work on their aim of giving back to the environment, Kew Gardens strives to engage and educate the visitors on how essential it is to protect nature. There are events and education drives that are held to do exactly that. Here are some of the things you can expect from Kew Gardens.

Royal Botanic Gardens Facts 

  • Kew Gardens is plural because King George III inherited and joined the estate with his royal estate in Richmond. Thus, these two gardens became one.
  • Queen Charlotte’s cottage harbored exotic animals such as Kangaroos and Tartarian pheasants in the 1790s.
  • The Tea Pavillion suffered a literal blow when suffragettes attacked the glasshouse in protest!
  • The Kew Gardens have been plane-crash sites not once, but twice. The first in 1928 and second in 1938; neither resulted in casualties.
  • Kew Gardens had its own police force called The Royal Botanic Gardens Constabulary, formed in 1845. It also had its own fire service.
  • The Great Pagoda doubled as a secret place for testing the aerodynamics of bombs during the Second World War!
  • There is a time capsule buried in the Gardens with the seeds of important food crops and several endangered species. Sir David Attenborough had buried this and it will open in 2085 when these species are rare or extinct.

Learn all about how to reach Kew before visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Royal Botanic Gardens: FAQs

Q. What is the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew?

A. Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is one of the oldest and most extensive botanical gardens in the world.

Q. Is the Royal Botanic Gardens open now?

A. Yes, Royal Botanic Gardens is open now with COVID-19 precautions in place.

Q. Are there any activities for children to do inside Royal Botanic Gardens?

A. Yes, there are activities for children to enjoy here. A few of them are Children’s Quiet Garden Sessions, Little Explorers, and The Little Gardener.

Q. How long does it take to cover Royal Botanic Gardens?

A. With so many things to explore in the Royal Botanic Gardens, you need at least a day chalked out.

Q. What are some of the top things to see at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew?

A. Some of the top things to see here include, The Hive, Japanese Landscape, Lake and Slacker Crossing, Rose Garden, and Kew Garden Cinema.

Q. Are there any Kew Garden parking facilities available?

A. Parking costs £7 per day in Kew Garden and is on a first come first serve basis. Know more about Kew Gardens parking facilities.

Q. Are there any dining options at Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew?

A. Yes, there are five cafes and restaurants here at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Q. Can I carry outside food or beverage to Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew?

A. Yes, you can carry your own picnic and have designated spots inside the garden.

Q. Where are the Kew Gardens shops located?

A. Kew Gardens shops are located near Victoria Plaza, Children’s Garden, New Pavilion Building, and Victoria Gate. There is an online portal for the shops as well.