Full of Spice is Kew Garden’s current exhibition and a fantastic opportunity to visit the world’s largest collection of plants. Based in the leafy district of Richmond in South London, Kew Gardens is a vast outdoor space for you to kick off your city shoes and revel in nature. If you visit before September 6th, Kew Gardens are offering a unique journey through the history of spice with their Full of Spice exhibits.
Stuffed into every experience at Kew is an opportunity to learn more about spices and how they have shaped our world, as well as our plate. Look out for spices such as vanilla pods, cinnamon sticks and caraway seeds growing in Kew’s huge Victorian greenhouses. Sniff enormous ginger, garlic and chillies outside the Princess Diana Memorial House. Read about how the hunt for spices changed our planet and dispersed people from their homes. Take a cycle rickshaw round the park, and perhaps try a piece of ginger cake or chilli chocolate after your travels in one of the many cafés.
Even if you’re coming outside the summer, Kew Gardens should be on your must-see list. The tree top walkway whisks you (if you catch the lift) 18 metres into the sky to walk under a treetop canopy with views out across London.
For rainy days, The Princess of Wales Conservatory is a must, housing 10 computer controlled micro-climates, and showcasing many cactuses, bromeliads (of which a Pineapple is a family member), huge waterlilies and even some carnivorous plants!
The Palm House offers a chance to feel hot and humid on even the most grey and cold English day, with steps inside this greenhouse to take you up high above the plants. Look out for the plants that would have been eaten by dinosaurs! Beneath the Palm House is a special aquarium, with a plant focus, showing how mangrove forests or the rocky English coast can affect which plants and other life forms grow where.
Look out for the Japanese garden, the Pagoda and even the two art galleries, with specially selected artwork on a floral theme. The Orangery Restaurant offers a great place for a tea and cakes or on a sunny day why not take a picnic and enjoy the huge lawns? However you choose to enjoy Kew Gardens, you’re sure to find it a perfect little escape from the bustle of the city.
Find out more about visiting and buying tickets in advance for Kew Gardens and Kew Palace.
(Image Credits: All photos by Megan Donnelly except where noted)