Kew Gardens - paradise in West London

If you're like me, you have days where London gets a bit too much.

The tube, the people, the noise, the (bad) smells, the gaahhhhhhhhhhhhh 'get out my face' feeling that sometimes overcomes me.

It's at times like this that

1) I'm grateful to live in Ealing, as soon as the cool air hits my face when I step out of Ealing Broadway I feel at home and instantly soothed

2) I make a mental note to visit Kew Gardens at the weekend

Kew is vastly historic and a hugely significant site for science - so much so that I'm not even going to attempt to tell you about it (but you can visit their website HERE) - and I visited it last week to get my nature fix just a short drive (there's some free parking around Kew Green as well as Pay and Display) or a short bus ride (get the number 65) from Ealing.

Now before I go any further, this is my first blog post using the new camera I got for my birthday so please bare with while I get to grips with it and apologies for so many photos!

We arrived (£15 each for Adults) on a pretty quiet Thursday so, having only previously been at weekends, it was rather quiet and we started to wander.

We didn't get very far before we decided it was time for tea and cake (we were on a 'staycation' after all) so we stopped off for an earl grey and some Peyton & Byrne cake. The Peyton of P&B is Oliver Peyton (the Irish judge on Great British Menu) and this is one of his many 'culinary adventures' around the UK (more about those here if you are interested).

We had a slice of carrot cake (amazing) and lemon & poppy seed (not so amazing) and then trotted on to explore some more.

Kew has a lot of eastern influence, so if it wasn't for the overhead flights to Heathrow you could almost feel like you were in Asia.

As well as the expected (err lots of green stuff) there are little pockets of weird and wonderful things like the wooden play area and what looks like a table straight out of Game of Thrones!

For the fit ones there is the pagoda that you can walk up to get amazing views of London, but if you don't fancy that then the views just wandering are pretty good too!

After wandering for about 3 hours we realised it was nearly closing time to scurried to the nearest exit so we didn't get locked in (although I can think of worse places to be stuck!) and on our way out I saw the Gin & Tonics garden - there was a little bar where you could taste alcoholic and non-alcoholic 'tonics' for health. Unfortunately this has ended now, but maybe they will bring it back next year?

If I've whetted your appetite but you're still not convinced then they have this vid that can give you a little 2 minute tour - Top 10 things at Kew in 2 minutes!

Also, I wanted to share the amazing value you get from becoming a Friend of Kew.

If you join on the day of your visit (or the day after if it was too late to process) then you get the value of your day ticket off your membership. We went for the joint membership (£100) but as we agreed to set up a Direct Debit this took it down to £90 and with our tickets we got another £30 off, meaning we have a years joint membership (2 members can bring two guests as well) for £60 which works out at £2.50 each per month - bargain!

We all know how expensive it is to do things in London so I think this is excellent value for money and I can't wait for our next trip.

Let me know if you go and what you think?



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