Facts and Data
Unesco World heritage since: 2003
Size of heritage: 132 ha
- Buffer zone: 350 ha
This historic landscape garden features elements that illustrate significant periods of the art of gardens from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The gardens house botanic collections (conserved plants, living plants and documents) that have been considerably enriched through the centuries. Since their creation in 1759, the gardens have made a significant and uninterrupted contribution to the study of plant diversity and economic botany.
Location on Map
Show bigger map on Openstreetmap
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, located in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, southwest Greater London, is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its exceptional botanical collections and scientific research. Spanning over 300 acres, the gardens are a testament to the rich history and ongoing commitment to plant conservation and education.
The origins of Kew Gardens can be traced back to the 16th century when Henry VII's Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, owned the land. However, it was not until 1759, during the reign of King George III, that the gardens were established as a scientific institution. The king's mother, Princess Augusta, played a pivotal role in transforming the gardens into a hub for botanical research and horticultural excellence.
Under the guidance of eminent botanists such as Sir Joseph Banks and Sir William Hooker, Kew Gardens flourished. The gardens became a center for the study and cultivation of plants from around the world, with expeditions bringing back specimens that formed the foundation of the extensive plant collections.
Today, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, continues to be a world-leading institution in plant science and conservation. The gardens are home to over 50,000 living plants, including rare and endangered species. Visitors can explore various themed gardens, each showcasing different plant species and ecosystems.
The Palm House, an iconic Victorian glasshouse, houses a diverse range of tropical plants, including towering palm trees. The Temperate House, the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse in the world, is home to a vast collection of temperate zone plants. These architectural marvels provide visitors with an immersive experience, transporting them to different climates and continents.
Kew Gardens also boasts the Princess of Wales Conservatory, a state-of-the-art glasshouse featuring ten climatic zones. Here, visitors can discover a wide array of plants, including orchids, cacti, and carnivorous species. The Waterlily House, Rock Garden, and Arboretum are among the other highlights that showcase the incredible diversity of plant life.
Aside from its stunning gardens, Kew is a global leader in plant research and conservation. The institution houses extensive herbarium collections, with over 8 million preserved plant specimens, aiding scientists in their studies. Kew's scientists work tirelessly to understand and protect plant diversity, contributing to global efforts to combat climate change and preserve ecosystems.
Furthermore, Kew Gardens plays a vital role in education and public engagement. The institution offers a range of educational programs, workshops, and exhibitions, allowing visitors of all ages to learn about the importance of plants and their conservation. Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, the largest seed bank in the world, aims to safeguard plant species for future generations.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that combines a rich history with a commitment to scientific research, conservation, and education. Its stunning gardens, iconic glasshouses, and extensive plant collections make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and those interested in the wonders of the plant kingdom.
Hotels and places to stay
DoubleTree by Hilton Dartford Bridge
TRAVELODGE THURROCK M25
ibis London Thurrock M25
Campanile Dartford South East of London
Videos from the area
Videos provided by Youtube are under the copyright of their owners.
Large airport - 10 mi (17 km) Rochester Airport
Small airport - 13 mi (21 km) London Biggin Hill Airport
Medium airport - 15 mi (25 km) Southend Airport
Medium airport - 18 mi (30 km) London Stansted Airport
Large airport - 28 mi (45 km) London Gatwick Airport
Large airport - 31 mi (51 km) London Heathrow Airport
Large airport - 33 mi (53 km) London Luton Airport
Large airport - 39 mi (64 km)
Bigger and popular cities in the wider vicinity are these:
- East Ham
These are some smaller cities that might be interesting. They are all rather close.
- East Horndon
- Horton Kirby
- North Ockendon
- Slade Green
- South Darenth
- South Ockendon
- Sutton at Hone
- West Thurrock
- West Tilbury