Thursday, 26 May 2011

Sitting in an English garden - Part II: Kew Gardens

One fine Sunday in May three lovely ladies and I made our way to Kew Gardens in West London.

With a picnic lunch and rug in hand we followed the crowds on the short walk from the tube to the garden.

The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew have been around for 250 years and features glasshouses of exotic plant life and landscaped gardens.

We expected there to be an entry fee but were shocked to find tickets were £13.90 for an adult! Ouch! Plus they ask for an extra £2 voluntary donation, which we all declined to pay - we're certainly not made of money.

Much lighter in the pocket, we picked a lovely spot by a large pond by the entrance for lunch - we did have to be mindful a few cheeky birds who seemed pretty interested in our sandwiches.

Kew is huge so there was no way we were going to get to see it all. We chose to head anti-clockwise around the park making our way through greenhouses filled with cacti, fems, orchids and tropical flowers.

There are several historic buildings on the grounds including Kew Palace and Queen Charlotte's Cottage - unfortunately it costs a further £5.30 to get inside the Palace so no royal visit for us.

After enjoying a scoop of hokey pokey (I never knew you could get it outside of NZ!) we continued our walk through increasingly open spaces.

I think we were a little lost by this stage when we came across Queen Charlotte's Cottage - a seriously pimp cottage if you ask me - and had a walk through its sunny, open rooms.

I enjoyed the gardens considerably more than the greenhouse side of things - collections of foreign flora and fauna are not really my bag- I think I prefer my plants au natural.

Having said that, considering the cost of entry I don't think I'll be racing back anytime soon.

I think I'll spend the entry fee on a nice bottle of wine and head back over to Chiswick House.

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