The first signs of spring are pretty exciting, but that first day or two when the sun shines and it actually feels warm on your skin are something else. Combine it with a bank holiday weekend and London is truly beaming. Everyone is happy and it suddenly feels like there’s a million and one things open to explore. After spending much of the Easter weekend indoors, James and I decided to spend bank holiday Monday celebrating the spring sunshine at Kew Gardens.
Kew is one of those places I could go to again and again, not only due to the fact that it covers 300 acres and takes a long time to meander around, but also thanks to the changing seasons that make you want to experience it all over again when the flowers have bloomed or the leaves have turned. I wrote about my first visit a couple of years ago, it was spring then too but as it was much less in bloom then I thought you’d like an update.
We arrived just before midday and, after a 15 minute or so queue and being told by the ticket office that we *must* see the magnolias, we were in and doing exactly what the lady told us to do first.
If you can’t get enough of spring blossom like me you will definitely get pretty excited when you spot clouds of pink and white petals gathered together to inspect and admire.
You’ll want to get up close. Touch a petal or two and photograph away to your heart’s content.
The blossom here is like none I’ve seen elsewhere in London and there’s so much variety. Not surprising I guess given its royal heritage and the expertise that goes into cultivating the gardens’ beauty.
I probably could have sat on a bench with a book here for most of the day.
But keen to explore and show James why we need to come back again, we made our way around the gardens in the beautiful spring sunshine.
From the Minka House surrounded by tropical plants and colourful bamboo.
To the lake filled with wildlife.
Up the Treetop Walkway.
Over to Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, built for the purpose of serving afternoon tea to the royal family and guests.
I would happily live here, let alone enjoy afternoon tea!
We tried to find the bluebells but they’re not quite ready to show their colour just yet (according to the map, late April is a good time). So I settled for a little woodland peace instead.
We took the Cedar Vista back to the Japanese Pagoda.
Before finally finding ourselves back at the entrance where I told James we had to visit the Palm House.
You have to see one of the grand pavilions when you’re there. Sadly its grandest, the Temperate House, is under restoration until 2018 so the Palm House is the main option (I think!).
Take a few layers off first as it gets steamy all year round. But it’s worth sweating it out to experience the tropics right here in the UK and admire its beautiful structure.
Satisfied we’d seen and explored enough of the gardens for one day, we vowed to go back with a picnic and friends, then made our way happily back home.
A celebration of summer at Kew Gardens is must don’t you think?
Kew Gardens is currently open Monday to Friday – 9.30am to 6.30pm and at weekends and bank holidays – 9.30am to 7.30pm. It’s £15 entry for adults, children under 16 are free.