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Best way to visit Kew?

I love gardens and have always wanted to visit Kew while in London, but couldn't manage the time. My sister and I will be there in May and this time we are going! What would you suggest for the most pleasant and interesting journey there and back? Boat one way and train back? Lunch options? Nice walks in the area? We can devote most of a day (5-6 hours) to this. Thanks.

Posted by
4684 posts

The easiest way to visit Kew is by underground train on the District Line. Make sure you get a train with final destination Richmond, then get off at Kew Gardens station. I haven't taken the boat trip myself but it can take from 1 to 2 hours depending on the state of the tide and the direction. It would be quite a scenic run.

Personally I think there's enough to see at Kew Gardens for the whole day. There's a quite nice but pricey restaurant within the gardens, or you can go to Richmond or the traditional centre of Kew Village to find somewhere to eat. Or there's no regulations against bringing your own food as long as you don't eat inside greenhouses or cook.

The whole area is long-established as a very wealthy part of London. The traditional centres of Kew and Richmond are quite attractive, and you can walk along the river, although beware of braying packs of Hooray Henry cyclists who think they should be able to ride at Tour de France speed.

Posted by
3203 posts

Thanks, Philip. Is it on the Thames Path then? Is that why all the "Hooray Henry" cyclists?

Posted by
3428 posts

We LOVE Kew Gardens! We always took the Tube, then walked through the 'village' to the gardens. There are several places to eat- a snack bar area near/in the shop, and a quick lunch place (burgers, hot dogs, salads, pizza, fries, etc.) as well as the expensive restaurant. The garden itself is great to wander around in. Lots of lovely nooks and crannies. The greenhouses are great, and I love the rose garden. There is even an aquarium area! I really loved the shop. Often bought lots of great gifts to bring back- and they weren't too expensive, either. Even bought seeds that still produce flowers in my own yard! I'm certain you'll enjoy it. Well worth 1/2 to a whole day.

Posted by
3203 posts

Thanks so much. I know we are going to love it.

Posted by
5382 posts

The other place that came to mind as soon as I saw 'Kew' was what used to be called the Public Reference Office, and is now officially The National Archives. Not really a place for the casual visitor but one for those with a specific historical interest - there are weekly talks on a specific topic from an archivist.