Visitors to Kew Palace will find it strange that this rather unimposing building should be deemed fit for a King. Perhaps we are being a little unfair. However, after a visit to Hampton Court this palace seems more like a stately home ( and rather a small one at that ) by comparison.
Kew Palace was the home of King George, particularly during his famous bouts of madness, caused by the disease Porphyria, but mis-diagnosed at the time by the King's physicians.
Most visitors coming to Kew Palace are here to visit the famous gardens. The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are 250 years old. This major attraction receives nearly 2 million visitors a year.
Kew Gardens houses the world's largest collection of living plants. The diverse nature of this important collection and the research that is carried out here is of international renown. Apart from the obvious visitor attractions, this is an educational facility and an important research centre.
The various structures in and around the grounds are all unique in their own way and house very different collections of plant species. Kew Gardens has over 7 million preserved plant specimens, a vast library and many historic documents.
Kew Gardens features several important structures which include several large greenhouses, a Chinese pagoda and more recently a tree walking platform. The Palm House and Temperate House structures are particularly impressive.
Kew Gardens is a World Heritage Site. There are plenty of facilities for visitors at Kew with several cafe and restaurant establishments, some shops and guided tours and walks.
The Kew Explorer is a 72 seater road train with commentary that provides less able visitors or those in a hurry, to get round the estate in double quick time. With several stop off points along the way this is often busy.
Without doubt Kew Gardens is a great day out for all ages and at any time of the year. The greenhouses and pavillions, fountains and various gardens are all beautiful. You can easily spend an entire day here. Don't rush it.
Click here for photos of Kingston upon Thames, Hampton Court and Kew Gardens
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Kew Palace, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Tel: 0844 482 7777
Further information can be found at: http://www.kew.org/