Kew Gardens Tube | Map
Guided by Sue
Short version. Exactly what it says on the tin. A guided walk in Kew Gardens at the time of the year it's at the zenith of its freshness and beauty. N.B. There's a £16 (£14 concs.) admission fee to the Gardens. The walk has been created and is curated by (guided) by top-flight Blue Badge Guide and passionate gardener Sue.
Long version. Breathtaking spectacle. World centre of botanical research. World Heritage Site. "Unique cultural landscape." Situated on Kew Peninsula (ergo the name: from "key-shaped spur of land"). That's 14th-century. Gardens don't get going until the convergence of three 17th-century projects: the Dutch House and the White House and their grounds and the northward expansion of the royal gardens of Richmond Upon Thames. Then in the 18th-century the Dutch House becomes Kew Palace and the White House was rebuilt as the home of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Landscape gets properly embellished (mostly in the 1730s). The octagonal ten-storey pagoda comes along in 1762 (built as a surprise for Princess Augusta). The famous Capability Brown turns his hand to the Kew project in the 1760s. A decade later Joseph Banks sets about importing, cultivating and then re-exporting consignments of exotic plants from Britain's colonies abroad. The various gardens are united in 1802 and adopted as national botanical gardens in 1841. Brokerage facilities for vital commodities like tea, coffee, rubber, quinine and cotton also come along in Victorian times. Magnificent new buildings get erected for the cultivation of plants requiring different climatic conditions, including the Winter Garden (now the Temperate House) and the Palm House. Kew Gardens. There's no other place like it in the world. London doesn't come any more fascinating – or beautiful – than these gardens. N.B. this one's timed so you can spend the whole day at Kew if you want – with perhaps a lunch break at one of the superb riverside pubs just over the river in Strand on the Green. Days out don't come any better than this.
The Kew Gardens in Springtime Tour takes place at 10.45 am on Sunday, June 16. Meet Sue just outside the exit of Kew GardensTube. N.B. there's an admission charge of £16 (or £14 for concs.) to Kew Gardens.
"London Walks puts you into the hands of an expert on the particular area and topic of a tour..." The New York Times
"by far the most impressive series of walks that I have ever encountered are those offered by London Walks" Travel and Enjoy
"award-winning London Walks are unrivalled for quality and range" American in Britain Magazine
"the best London has to offer" Culture Trip
If you can't make the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Kew Gardens tour do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Springtime in Kew Gardens Walk – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We'll tailor it to your requirements. And – always with private London Walks and tours – we go to great lengths to make sure the guide-walker(s) "fit" is well-nigh perfect. Ring Fiona or Noel or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at email@example.com and we'll set it up and make it happen for you. A private London Walk – they're good value for an individual or couple and sensational value for a group – makes an ideal group or educational or birthday party or office (team-building) or club outing.
A private London Walk makes a fab present – be it a birthday or anniversary or get-to-know-your-new neighbourhood gift or Christmas present or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that's special. Memories make us rich.
"Nah, don't need it, got it all here," you say. Er, roaming charges? Er, dead battery? Er, reading your phone in the bathtub and you drop it? [Smelling salts interval: sick as a parrot. ashen-faced.] Er, read the famous white leaflet in the bathtub and you drop it what do you do? Er, you dry it out. Anyway, maybe worth making a mental note that you can always pick up the famous white London Walks leaflet at the Cafe in the Crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the old church in Trafalgar Square. They're on the Information Table there, right by the box office. And indeed they also display them on the shop counter, right by the cash register. And it's win-win because the Cafe in the Crypt is one of the town's delights. Should be on everybody's London itinerary.