Step Outside: Kew Gardens

Explore the grounds of London's world famous botanic gardens

By Google Arts & Culture

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond upon Thames, Greater London (2006-08-08) by English HeritageHistoric England

Form an Orderly Kew!

Founded in 1840, using plants from Kew Park in Middlesex, Kew Gardens is one of the largest and lushest botanic gardens in the world.

The Palm House

Kew is one of the most well-known botanic gardens in the world, thanks in part to this enormous Victorian palm house. Completed in 1848, the glass and iron structure, and its tropical palms, are a sight to behold.

The Palm House - Kew Gardens (1926) by Clive GardinerLondon Transport Museum

The Palm House - Kew Gardens, 1926

Made in 1926 to advertise the London Underground, Clive Gardiner's woodblock posters express the jazzy enthusiasm of a day amongst the tropical palms and exotic flowers.

The Great Broad Walk

The impressive Great Broad Walk leads south east from the Thames to the Palm House. Replanted in 2016, the borders are arranged in eight large circular beds, filled with aromatic and beautiful species.

The Hive

Just off the Broad Walk, The Hive is a stunning piece of contemporary art that evokes the sense of being inside a bee hive. LED lights and a soundscape respond to the activity of real hives dotted around the gardens.

Davies Alpine House

Many of the plants at Kew couldn't survive in Britain's grey, damp climate. The Davies Alpine House supports those that thrive in dry, cool, windy conditions of mountainous areas such as succulents and campanulas,

Mediterranean Garden

Lose yourself amongst the stone pines, olive trees, and cypresses of this typical Mediterranean landscape. The King William's Temple stands in the middle of the garden, lending a sense of grandeur to the vibrant landscape.

The Great Pagoda

The Great Pagoda was built in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta. It was designed by Sir William Chambers at a time when Asian architecture was beginning to become fashionable in Europe.

Kew Gardens: The Pagoda and Bridge (1762) by Richard Wilson RA, 1714–1782, British, active in Italy (1750–56)Yale Center for British Art

Kew Gardens: The Pagoda and Bridge, 1762

Richard Wilson RA was an influential Welsh painter of landscapes who worked between Italy and Britain. Here he captures a scene of Kew Gardens with its Great Pagoda, constructed earlier that same year.

The Temperate House

More like a cathedral than a greenhouse, the Temperate House features over 10,000 individual plants of 1,500 different species, some of which are now endangered in the wild. Here, you can learn how Kew Gardens is working to protect the environment.

Japanese Landscape

The Japanese Landscape at Kew comprises three gardens, the Garden of Peace, the Garden of Activity and the Garden of Harmony. The gardens are planted with Rhododendron and Japanese anemone amongst large, naturally shaped boulders.


Chokushi-Mon (Gateway of the Imperial Messenger), created for the Japan-British Exhibition held at White City in London in 1910, is a near replica of the Gate of Nishi Hongan-ji (Western Temple of the Original Vow) in Kyoto, Japan.

Bamboo Garden and Minka House

It might be hard to spot, nestled amongst the tall quivering stems of bamboo, but this traditional Japanese cottage can't be missed. This cottage, or minka, belonged to the Yonezu family, who donated it to Kew in 2001.

Kew Palace

The 17th-century home of King George III, who preferred the countryside to the urban St James's Palace. Today only the building known as the Dutch House remains, however it is kept in immaculate condition.

Queen's Garden

The Queen's Gardens are laid behind the Dutch House, facing the River Thames. The garden features box hedges, a parterre, and pond, as well as various neoclassical statues, just as it would have in the Queen's day.

Discover more highlights of Kew Gardens

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps