What better way to spend summer than a relaxing meander around the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens! Just travel 50 minutes away from central London, it’s the perfect get-away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Kew Botanical Gardens is a royal botanic garden that was initially home to members of the British Royalty during the 16th and 17th century but was open to the public in 1898 thanks to the late Queen Victoria!
The Kew Palace
The Kew Palace is located within the Botanical Gardens and was the summer home to many royals throughout British history. The royals that inspired me during my visit were King George III, Queen Charlotte and their 15 children. It is the story of a royal family but also a love story and one filled with many cherished family moments. Royals are like normal people too!
Entering the Kew Palace was like a history lesson. We learnt about the marriage of King George III and Queen Charlotte, an arranged marriage that flourished despite initial language barriers. I loved looking at their old family portraits and wondering how it would have been like for Queen Charlotte to move to Great Britain with no knowledge of the English language. For a long time, she could only speak German, her native tongue.
As I stepped through some rooms, it was arranged as if the family were about to enter any time soon. The furniture in the dining area was set-up for dinner and the beds were made fit for royalty. The chair that Queen Charlotte died on was even placed by her bed as recordings (of actors) voices played in the background. I read about the pain that the family felt when they lost 2 of the children at a young age; Prince Alfred and Prince Octavius. I imagined how interesting the conversation would have been with the family dining so informally in the dining room, much to the dismay of their courtiers. I could imagine Queen Charlotte playing with her children in the gardens and King George arriving on horse back after trips to London. I am sure that many interesting family moments happened in the Kew Palace and in the gardens. It isn’t just a beautiful house and garden, it is a place full of history.
The Kew Botanical Gardens
We were lucky to experience yet another day of sunshine in the UK so we walked around the gardens for a good 4 hours. Every now and then, we stopped to enjoy the pond full of lilies, do the tree-top walk and visit the many micro-environments set up in the green houses. This is not just a place for kids. I too loved being in the rain forest for just a moment, watching pirañas in the self-contained water containers, standing next to tall sun-flowers, and spotting plants only seen in the Australian countryside or Nevada dessert.
There are many restaurants located in the Kew Botanical Gardens, which is just as well because I was getting so hungry from all the walking. We opted for casual dining outside with some freshly barbecued Jerk Chicken and beef burgers! I have never eaten jerk chicken before but I must say it was spot on! Rick and I sat in the outside dining area and could smell the meat barbecuing as the scent wafted in our direction. Not a bad spot to relax at all!
After spending the entire day at the Kew Botantical Gardens, we took a leisurely overground train back to London completely tired but satisfied from our excursion. We met up with friends for dinner and the rest is history
Do you have any suggestions for day trips from London or within London? I’m trying to see as much as I can during summer!
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