Where can you walk in the tree tops, go underground, visit a royal palace and see a Chinese Pagoda? It may seem a somewhat unusual mix, but that is exactly what you can do when you take a trip out to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Only 30 minutes by London Underground from central London, it is one of the most spectacular destinations for visitors. So, book in early to a place in central London like Regency House Hotel London would be beneficial. The Royal Botanic Gardens are one of the oldest and largest collections of plants in the world, possessing seed banks of international importance.
The setting is stunning. Kew occupies over 130 hectares of land in south west London. Over the centuries it has created some of the most incredible landscaped gardens to be seen anywhere. There are wonderful vistas of flowerbeds, extensive lawns and massive trees. A pretty lake complete with water lily pools delights the eye. Even on the hottest day, there is plenty of shade to be found, as well as restaurants and cafes scattered around the grounds to provide sustenance.
Stroll down to the far end of the gardens to see the lovely Chinese Pagoda, which was built in 1762. Alternatively visit Kew Palace, a royal residence used by King George III in the late seventeenth & early eighteenth century. Now it is permanently open to the public, along with the fabulous Georgian Royal kitchens which give you a glimpse into the sheer hard work involved in creating the sumptuous meals enjoyed by Georgian royalty.
Art lovers, on the other hand, will love exploring Kew’s art galleries, or tracking down the extensive range of sculptures scattered around the grounds. Among the sculptures is Henry Moore’s ‘Reclining Mother and Child’.
If you have a head for heights, then it is worth considering taking a trip on the Tree Top Walkway. Sited 18 metres above the ground, this is where you can discover a very different image of trees and their inhabitants. Walking high amid the tops of trees, you can get a birds eye view of your surroundings and possibly glimpse some of the wildlife which inhabit these ancient trees. Any mathematicians in your group might like to consider the styling of the walk way as it is inspired by the Fibonacci number sequence.
Even once you come back to earth, the experience has not ended. A short stroll through an area of sculptures dealing with the way trees grow, leads into the Rhizotron. This is an underground lab focusing on the composition of soil and the creatures that live within it.
To complete your visit, you and book a stay at bed and breakfast in gower street and head for The Hive and discover the world of bees. Designed to replicate the nature of a bee hive, it has translucent walls and once inside, the intensity of light and sound constantly change so that you really get the impression of being within a bee hive.
So, pick a well located hotel, like hotels near Oxford Street to make your trip more relaxing and enjoyable.