Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

Kew Gardens are the world-renowned botanical gardens based in South West London. It is a bit of a journey from the city centre out towards Kew, but the gardens are well worth a visit.

The commonly used image of Kew is its gigantic Palm House overlooking a large freshwater lake. This Victorian glass palace recreates a rainforest climate for some unusual species of palms (some growing as high as the glass house).

Top Tip: it is hot and humid, so protect your camera!

Kew prides itself on conservation and education, and one of its recent installations in a giant hive. Bumblebee numbers are in decline in the UK, and without these little workers, many species of plant would be in trouble. The installation mimics the sounds and activity of a real hive, and it changes throughout the day.

The Princess of Wales Conservatory is my favourite place in Kew, with 10 different zones within the conservatory. There are dry climates replicating deserts, wet rainforest climates, orchid and fern rooms and most interestingly two rooms on carnivorous plants, including the unique Amorphophallus titanum produces a stench of rotting flesh to attract insects in the tropical rainforest.

There is so much to this green space, with water lily ponds and giant redwood trees, to a Japanese pagoda and a treetop walkway.

Spend a few hours, stop off at some of the restaurants or cafes and enjoy learning about some of the most fascinating flora.

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