United Kingdom

Escaping the City at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens, London’s botanic gardens, were first on radar last holiday season during Christmas at Kew. On a Sunday afternoon in late November, I ventured out to Chiswick with a few friends for brunch, cocktails and then a night enjoying Christmas lights and cheer at Kew.

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I’ll share more about that experience when I post my favourite things to do in London over the holidays later this year, but let’s just say I was hooked on Kew- it was beautiful.

So, in early March, when I was in West London and someone close to me suggested I head over to Kew for a few hours to check out the orchid festival, I knew it’d be good.

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Kew Gardens used to be the private playground of the royal family, but was transformed into a botanical garden in the 1840s. Now, Kew is home to over 30,000 plants spread across lawns, greenhouses and flower beds- it’s the largest and most diverse collection of living plants anywhere in the world.

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Each year, Kew puts on an orchid festival. For this year’s festival, the Princess of Wales Conservatory was taken over by 1,100 species of orchids representative of Thailand.

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The festival was incredible, a vibrant celebration of Thailand’s culture and plant life.

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And, a terrific way to beat the winter blues.

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Sadly, the orchid festival is over for the year but knowing Kew, they’ll be back with some more great events soon. The best part: Kew is easy to get to from central London- a short tube ride takes you a ~10 minute walk from the entrance. 

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If you’ve visited London, what are your favourite things to do, outside of the touristy norms? 

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