One of the best things about living in West London is that I’m close to Kew Gardens and thankfully my staff pass gets me in for free! Founded by my favourite people in history, The Georgians in 1759, Kew is a spralling 121 hectares and contains the largest and most diverse botanical collection in the world.
The sheer size of Kew can mean that even if you’ve spent a whole day you may never see the gardens in their entirety. I went with the intention of exploring Kew Palace and Queen Charlotte’s cottage. The annoying thing about these two buildings is that they are on directly opposite sides of the park. You can imagine that is a lot of steps you will gain on your pedometer! It would have been easier if Kew Gardens created an interactive map on their website (or an app) that enables you to navigate your way through the park-a bit like using Google Maps-rather than solely relying on the signage in the Gardens that are quiet sparsely placed.
I first made my way to Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, I scurried through the forest-like parts of the garden, not sure if I was heading in the right direction but alas I finally got there. The cottage is everything you would expect of an English cottage, a thatched roof, creaky floorboards, quaint and secluded. Throughout the cottage it was decorated in a lovely duck egg colour. You’ll often find that it’s just yourself in there which is great if you don’t like the idea of battling through crowds and staring at the backs of people’s head when moving through historic spaces. Moving onto Kew Palace, the secret and smallest palace of the British royals. It was built in the 1630s and was once home to George III and Queen Charlotte. It was hard to locate (depending on where you enter the Gardens from!) and when I arrived there was a short wait to get into it. The palace’s architecture had a Dutch feel to it, I later learnt that it was in fact built by a Dutch merchant, Samuel Fortrey. The medicinal gardens behind the Palace are also worth a visit and you’ll be able to find plants that were grown in 17th Century England.
Making my way back home I had to stop off at the Palm House, one of my favourite places EVER! A Victorian masterpiece that is just too photogenic not to capture. It also started to bucket it down with rain so…