Humidity at The Palm House at Kew Gardens
Oh this is going to be looooong because I'm completely, absolutely obsessed with Kew Gardens!  Having only ever visited in winter for their festive events, I was hugely excited to return while in the area recently - during one of the warmer months of the year.  Having booked a midweek stay at Urban Villa (an aparthotel in Kew), the journey to the famous gardens was a brilliantly short one and a journey that ended with glasshouses, botanical plants and views from 59ft above ground level.  Kew Gardens is a paradise for garden lovers and flower fanatics alike.  Simply put, it's paradise.  A quick visit to their website will tell you just how many attractions there are, however a few sights in particular shot to the top of my love-list while on my sunshine-filled visit...

T H E   P A L M   H O U S E

We've been through my love for glasshouses one million and one times now, and so with that in mind, you can imagine my reaction to The Palm House.  The Victorian glasshouse is usually closed at Kew Gardens' winter festive events and so believe it or not, this was my first time inside the famous structure since being a teenager!  One thing is for certain, it could never disappoint.  The main fact to keep in mind is how it was constructed in 1844 by Richard Turner - the biggest of its kind at the time.  The more you think about it, the more impressive it becomes.  When you enter, it's beautifully fresh and yet 'close', though the higher you climb up the intricate white spiralled staircases, the more humid it becomes.  I saw many people retreating downstairs after just a few seconds, but I have to admit, I loved it.  Although, I doubt my hair felt the same way...  
Kew Gardens The Palm House London
Kew Gardens Travel Blogger Visit Palm House
Kew Gardens Humidity The Palm House
Truth be told, this is probably the closest you'll come to a tropical climate and environment here in the UK.  A visit to The Palm House serves as the perfect opportunity to pretend you're just seconds away from enjoying a Pina Colada on a nearby beach.  Or lemonade, whatever's your poison!
Kew Gardens The Palm House Travel Blog Review
Tropical Palm Tree Leaves Mood Board
Kew Gardens The Palm House White Spiralled Staircase

W A T E R L I L Y   H O U S E

Unlike The Palm House, the Waterlily House is a teeny-tiny small, square glasshouse designed in 1852 specifically to showcase the giant Amazon waterlily (Victoria Amazonica).  It's a beautiful tropical habitat and compressed space filled with beauty and colour.  So much beauty in fact that while there I was told of how an endangered and priceless plant was stolen from the Waterlily House a few years ago now.  Even worse, it was the world's smallest water lily and I just feel so protective of tiny things, y'know?!    Put it baaaaaack.
Bright Pink Hibiscus Plant Kew Gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Waterlily House

K E W   P A L A C E

A palace?  In the grounds?  I know, just when you thought Kew Gardens couldn't be anymore spectacular!  The interior is just as impressive as the exterior (which, by the way is more red than pink, but y'girl got carried away with the editing...) and was opened to the public for the first time in 1898.  Incredibly, the stunning architecture dates back to 1631, built for Flemish merchant Samuel Fortrey. To be honest with you, I only discovered that after my visit, as while there I was too busy eyeing up the gilded home decor and intricate soft furnishings.  Swoon. 
Kew Palace Exterior in Grounds
Kew Palace Gardens Yellow Flower Tunnel
Kew Palace and Gardens Interior Rooms
Above all else, the most incredible element of Kew Palace is undoubtedly its private garden.  Wow.  Having seen and admired many travel blogs over the years, the tunnel of yellow flowers found directly outside Kew Palace reminded me of countries far away and in much warmer climates.  Nope, it can be found right here in good ol' England!  It's a pretty magical feeling walking through the tunnel, a route that turns two corners, each varying in density of the flower mass.  Seriously, I feel as though this is reason alone to make your way to Kew Gardens!

Psst!  For reference with regard to the flower tunnel, I visited in the middle of May.    
Kew Palace Gold Decor Furnishings
Kew Palace Gardens Yellow Flower Tunnel

T H E   T E M P E R A T E   H O U S E

Yay!  My visit coincided with the reopening of the Temperate House, the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world.  To put it into perspective, the Grade I listed building is twice the size of The Palm House!  Some of the rarest plants can be found here and all in the most beautiful white setting, flooded with light and clean, fresh perspective.  If you've already seen The Temperate House before, it's worth taking a peek at it again as it's had a huge makeover.  15,000 panes of glass replaced, 5,280 litres of paint used and 69,000 individual elements removed from the building to be cleaned, repaired or replaced.
Kew Gardens Reopened Temperate House 2018
Kew Gardens Temperate House Modernised 2018
Kew Gardens 2018 Reopened Temperate HouseWhile there, plenty of gardeners could be found maintaining the beauty of the modernised Temperate House.  It provided a pretty good insight into just how much constant care and attention is needed to keep the world's largest Victorian glasshouse looking hella fiiiiiine. Seriously though, isn't it a spectacular space?!
2018 New Temperate House Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens Victorian Glasshouse Temperate House

T R E E T O P   W A L K W A Y

Besides The Palm House, my personal favourite attraction at Kew Gardens is the Treetop Walkway.  I remember reading about it many years ago in a national newspaper, only to forget all about it - until now!  Suspended 18 metres above ground, the walkway enables visitors a view that would otherwise be reserved for birds and uh, tree surgeons? 
Kew Gardens Treetop Walkway Travel Blog Review
Kew Gardens Summer Visit Travel Blog
The views are breathtakingly beautiful, especially of the Temperature House.  It truly puts into perspective just how vast Kew Gardens is and how much there is to see!  Speaking of which, the walkway provides views looking in all directions, with even some various parts of London visible in the distance, appearing between trees here and there.
.Kew Gardens The Temperate House 2018
Kew Gardens Treetop Walkway in Summer

B E F O R E   Y O U   G O . . .  

Needless to say, there are plenty of other attractions to enjoy while visiting Kew Gardens.  Off the top of my head, there's also The Hive, Great Pagoda and of course the Princess of Wales Conservatory.  The Hive is an 'unique multi-sensory experience designed to highlight the extraordinary life of bees'.  For those with insect-phobias it is not.  But for those of us who quite like the idea of the furry little bumbles, it's a joy!  

Oh and thankfully, you're unlikely to miss the Great Broad Walk Borders, as the long walk branches off to various other parts of Kew Gardens (including The Palm House) and takes you on a journey of over 30,000 plants on the way - and an explosion of colour during the summer months!  But let's face it, no visit anywhere is complete without a decent slice of cake, right?  Pop into the Orangery for botanical seating, high ceiling and tasty snacks.  My advice?  Try a slice of sticky toffee cake.  Mmm... 
Kew Gardens Orangery Cafe Food Review
Purple Alliums Flower Photography
It goes without saying that I'm now a smitten kitten with the famous gardens!  I'd love to hear your thoughts on Kew Gardens.  Have you ever visited before?  Does anything in this post stand out to you?  Let me know in the comments below!

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With love,

Gabrielle x