A few weeks ago we decided to have an early autumn trip out to Kew Gardens, it was a bit of a disaster as my boyfriend spent time lying around in bed instead of getting ready and then the tube wasn’t going all the way from Whitechapel and we spent ages at Westminster waiting for a train that promised to come but never did before we tracked down a member of staff who looked at us like we were idiots because we had failed to follow the instructions he thought were being given out to people on the screens but which clearly weren’t. We got to Kew much later than I would have liked and we ended up being a bit mardy at each other for most of the time. Not one of our finest days. However, all was not lost as we had decided that it was actually pretty cost effective to sign up to become a Friend of Kew – rather than paying something like £15 each for tickets, I instead signed up to the option that allows me to take a family member plus one for £62 and now we can go as often as we like in a year. We knew we’d use it and it’s proving to be a good decision.
The first time we went we were a tad early for the best of the autumn colours and so the other weekend we paid a return visit to try and catch them at their best. It was a misty weekend but dry (apart from a little mizzle in the air) and so I put my stompiest boots on and we set off for a wander around Kew. We weren’t the only ones with that same idea, it turns out that Katy of Little Miss Katy had a similar idea, she took some beautiful photos of her visit.
The colours were beautiful, from browns, to yellows through to gorgeous red of the Japanese maples.
Last time we went to Kew we got in and headed right, this time, we decided to head left and see where we ended up. The genius thing about Kew is that unless you spend at least half a day there, you won’t see everything in one visit, so there’s always more to discover. We headed towards the Pagoda and Japanese gardens, which were shrouded in mist.
Everything was beautiful coated in a fine layer of raindrops.
We decided to get up close and personal with the treetop leaves with a walk around the Treetop Walkway, an 18 metre high steel walkway. It’s definitely not one for those with a fear of heights as it really is high and does sway slightly. For those without heights though, it’s a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the area.
Our favourite area of the park from our previous visit – the Mediterranean Garden was looking suitably Mediterranean, without much of a sign of autumn.
If it’s all a bit nippy outside, the ideal place to warm up is the Palm House – steamy and humid inside, it houses a mini tropical rainforest and its basement contains a small aquarium. Within minutes you’ll be peeling off the layers and dying to escape back into the chill of the autumn air.
We are definitely going to be heading back to Kew on a regular basis as we have so much more left to explore. In fact, I’ve already booked to visit for Christmas at Kew when my mum comes down for a visit in a few weeks’ time. Although Kew is the other side of London from us, having a direct tube link there makes it actually much more convenient than places that are much closer to us.
It’ll be lovely to see it in every season, it’s a membership that will definitely be worth the money. I’m not a member of anything else in London, what else is well worth the money?