The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, were added to the list because of their role in the history of botany and their landscape gardens. They are located in the London suburb of Richmond
The Botanic Gardens at Kew were formally established in 1759. The sponsor of the project was Princess Augusta. It aimed to create a garden which would "..contain all the plants known on Earth".
William Aiton was hired as gardener, and he devoted the gardens mainly to medicinal plants. International fame was brought upon Kew by Joseph Banks (1743-1820), who changed its direction to serious scientific and economic botanical purposes.
The architect William Chambers constructed a number of (oriental) decorative buildings at the site.
Visit May 1987, January 2004
First visited it on the same schooltrip as Westminster. Some 17 years later I went back, mainly to add some better pictures to this site.
My second visit was cold and very slippery, and I was almost the only tourist around. From my previous visit I remembered the palm trees and cactuses. Probably that was the dry area in the Princess of Wales Conservatory: still interesting, but when you've just been to Northern Ethiopia like I have, you prefer the real thing.
After an hour or so I began to notice something else than nature: the neverending stream of planes that fly over Kew Gardens from or to Heathrow Airport.
More photos can be found in the Picture Gallery
|Frederik Dawson (Netherlands):|
I have to say that I am extremely skeptical with historic botanical garden, after I have a very disappointing experience with the UNESCO’s listed Orto Botanico of Padua in Italy; as a result, before I decided to include Kew in my plan I had to ask many people who had been to this place to confirm my misrepresentation toward the site. At the end Kew turned out to be one of the top sites in my England Tour with many surprisingly reasons. When I entered the garden the first thing I saw was not a tree or flower but a peacock! This creature welcomed me at the gate, my mind was in great curiosity that “Am I entering Maharaja’s Garden?”
Liked a spell I followed that lovely peacock until I saw the landmark of this garden, the conservatory building, a masterpiece of Victorian Age. When I entered the building while I was wandered with many beautiful plants, I was upset with the moist that covered my camera lens and my glasses. Then I walked around the garden to see other attractions, I was surprised with the quality of landscape garden, in my opinion, Kew was equally impressive with many royal parks in Europe. There were Chinese pagoda, Chinese lions, Roman temple, bridges and even modern structure to bring me to the tree top observation. It was a great sight to see the sea of violet crocus in almost every corners of the forest garden in early spring with modern art sculptures by David Nash that located in the garden as an exhibition.
Another surprised for me was the souvenir shop; Kew had many unique types of merchandise that were perfect for gifts from toiletries like soap, lotion, balm made from lavender, rose and other flower from the garden to kitchenware and stationary. I really enjoyed browsing these products and end up with many gifts to my family and friend. At the end Kew turn out to change my idea on visiting botanical garden. I really enjoyed the visit and after discovered the high quality of the product I bought, I really want to visit Kew to see that peacock and souvenir shop again.
| Date posted: May 2013|
|Hubert Scharnagl (Austria):|
The highlights at Kew Gardens are the two greenhouses from the Victorian period, the Temperate House and the Palm House. Both are marvellous examples of glass and iron structures. The sheer size of the Temperate House is impressive and the diversity of plants is incredible. I liked best to climb the spiral stairs and to walk around the galleries (photo). I visited Kew Gardens together with a biologist, which was a double-edged experience. She knew almost all the plants and it was interesting to hear a lot of details about all these exotic species, their habitats and characteristics. On the other hand, it was often exhausting to go just a few steps forwards to the next plant. And now I have hundreds of photos of plants and details of plants on my computer, in addition to the many pictures of the buildings themselves, which I took.
Also worth visiting is the modern Princess of Wales Conservatory, which houses plants from ten different climatic zones. It was opened in the 1980s, and it is interesting to compare its modern architecture with the Victorian greenhouses. Not to be missed are the beautiful Waterlily House and the small Alpine House. And I was very impressed by the old giant trees that are everywhere throughout the park. There is also a Royal Palace, the Kew Palace, but we decided not to visit - plants were clearly the topic of the day. For the way back, we took a boat to Westminster. That was very relaxing and a wonderful end of an exhausting day trip.
| Date posted: March 2012|
|Fiona (St Paul, MN):|
Kew Gardens is one my favourite places in the whole, wide world. I love the plethora of plants, the fabulous flowers, the walks through the different houses that give me different views of different places. I love the Rhodedendron Walk and the huge trees, the panoramas, the bamboo groves, the swaths of daffodils in spring, the Alpine House with all those miniature plants and flowers, including Edelweiss, if you like "The Sound Of Music" and ever wondered, like me, what the edelweiss actually looks like. The Palm House is an extraordinary piece of architecture. I was lucky enough to go to Kew when they had just finished renovating the House but before they put all the plants back, and was able to sneak in there and take some pictures of those lovely spiral stairs. The Princess of Wales House has 10 different ecosystems in it, and I think it is fascinating...I don't know that I will ever get to the high desert in the Andes, but I know what some of the plants there look like! And of course, the tropical rainforest is lush and magical - what a great place to go to when London is grey and dank and cold! Kew Gardens is a magical place, and PBS recently showed an intriguing series: A Year At Kew, that showed some of the things that go on in the background, what it takes to maintain Kew and have it stay viable as a resource. I think well worth going to, and I always visit at least once when I go to London.
| Date posted: August 2009|
|Tony H. (Finland):|
I visited this site back in June 2005 and I didn't know then that it is WHS. I wanted visit this site because it's the best place to spot wild parrots in London. The garden was beautiful and peaceful place (after you get used to noises from planes), tube station is located near it and I spotted parrots (and many other bird species)! I spent the whole day walking around the park. My favourite part was the pagoda. I felt like I was in China or Japan.
| Date posted: July 2009|
A longtime dream turning true: visiting Kew gardens. One day is not enough for an amateur botanist but what can a tourist do? Memories in a couple of words: the royal home is worth a visit, well shows what life was like for the elite way back in time, the exhibition area has always something new to offer, the palm house which is incredibly huge with all the plants you will never see in the wild. The most surprising feature? The airplanes flying low (with the noise which accompanies such a sight) to reach Heathrow.
| Date posted: May 2009|
|Kevin Verboven (Belgium):|
I visited the Kew Gardens in septembre 2009. I particularly liked the glass houses. I loved walking through these old Victorian creations. The temperate house even contained plants from the Lord Howe Island world heritage site. I expected more flowers in the park itself but nonetheless I enjoyed seeing this site. It's a very nice place to walk through and to enjoy the scenery.
| Date posted: September 2008|
|Assif Am-David (Israel):|
I have been to Kew Gardens twice, once in summertime and once in wintertime. As I come from a coutry which enjoys exceptionally mild winters I couldn't have really imagined that seasonal differences would be so extreme. But they were indeed. Behold - Do not visit Kew Gardens in the winter! It is a relatively long ride from central London, costly tickets and in the winter, a dreary atmosphere and a vacant expression. Not very rewarding, to say the least. Conversly, a summer visit is a lovely experience! For the merits of the gardens do read other comments.
|Ian Cade (England):|
In 2003 Kew became London’s 4th!! UNESCO site. It is set next to the river Thames upriver from central London. The grounds themselves are actually quite expansive and could easily fill a whole day if you wanted to really get into them. The main site is the large Palm House and the plants are quite interesting (and hot especially up on the raised walkway!), I must admit I am not really into horticulture but there was enough to satisfy me.
The main point of interest for me though was the building itself, I am a big fan of wrought Iron and glass and this is perhaps the best example I have seen of it, the spiral stair cases are brilliant.
The other glass houses house some great exhibits, carnivorous plants and the largest flower in the world being two examples and there is plenty here to keep you entertained. Then there are other small little things around, such as a Japanese Garden and a large Pagoda all set in well kept gardens.
Kew is pretty easy to get to it has a tube station and if you are travelling by car it has the holiest of holies in London free parking (if you are lucky that is)!!!
It is well worth a visit if you have some spare time and have seen the important parts of Central London.
|Amy Driver (England):|
When i went to kew garden, me and my friends enjoyed it so much now were all doing a project on it. i have all ready told so many people to go. so anybody who reads this go because it is realy exciting love ya Amy D from Robert Mays School
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