Kew Gardens has a rich history dating back to the 18th century when Queen Caroline established it as a royal estate.
Today, it is home to over 50,000 living plants, making it one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections.
Declared a UNESCO world heritage site, Kew Gardens houses the world’s most diverse and exotic collection of plants.
Kew Gardens is often described as a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of London.
This botanical garden offers many attractions, including the iconic palm house with its exotic rainforest and The Princess of Wales Conservatory, where you can explore ten of the world’s climatic zones.
This article shares everything you must know before buying Kew Gardens tickets.
Table of contents
- What to expect at Kew Gardens
- Kew Gardens Ticket Prices
- Kew Gardens tickets
- Visiting Kew Gardens for free
- How to get to Kew Gardens
- Kew Gardens entrances
- Opening hours
- Best time to visit Kew Gardens
- What to see at Kew Gardens
- Kew Gardens Explorer train
- Kew Gardens map
What to expect at Kew Gardens
While buying Kew Gardens tickets, you have three options.
You can purchase the regular Kew Garden ticket, the cheapest and the most popular ticket.
Kew Gardens Ticket Prices
You can purchase Kew Garden tickets online and at the attraction’s gate.
If booked online, a Kew Gardens ticket for an adult 30 years and above is £22.
Seniors 60 and above pay £20 for entry, while the tickets for youth aged 16 to 29 are priced at £9.
Child tickets for visitors aged 4 to 15 years cost only £5.
If you also want to include the Kew Explorer train experience with the Garden entry, it will cost you £5 more.
When you book Kew Garden tickets in advance, you save a few pounds per person on the ticket cost.
Purchasing your tickets for Kew Gardens online will also save you the hassle of standing in the ticket counter queue.
Kew Gardens discount
Kew Gardens offer discounted tickets to children up to sixteen years of age.
Kids three years and below can enter for free, while children aged 4 to 15 get a £17 discount on the adult ticket and pay only £5 to enter.
The London attraction also offers a massive 50% discount to visitors between 16 to 29 years and students with valid IDs. Their ticket costs only £9 per person.
Seniors (60+ years) and disabled visitors get a fixed £2 reduction on the adult ticket’s cost.
Kew Gardens tickets
While buying tickets, you get – the regular Kew Garden ticket, which is cheaper and more popular.
These tickets are ‘smartphone tickets,’ and within minutes of purchasing them, they will be emailed to you.
On the day of your visit, walk up to any of the Kew Gardens entrances, show the ticket on your smartphone, and walk in.
You don’t need to take printouts.
Yet another good thing about these Kew Gardens tickets is that you can claim a full refund if you cancel more than 24 hours from the day of your visit.
Regular Kew Garden Tickets
Regular Kew Gardens tickets offer entry at any four entrance gates.
You can enjoy a full day in the beautiful Kew Gardens, strolling among the millions of magnificent specimens that make up these gardens.
The other ticket inclusions are:
- Access to the Art Galleries (Marianne North and Shirley Sherwood)
- Entry into Kew Palace
- Access to Treetop Walkway and Greenhouses
- Free guided walking tours at least twice a day
- Map and guide to the highlights of the season
- Access to the Children’s Garden
Sit and enjoy the calm environment at one of the cafes and eateries situated in the Kew Gardens.
Adult ticket (30 to 64 years): £22
Student ticket (16 to 29 years, ID): £9
Senior ticket (60+ years): £20
Children ticket (4-15 years): £5
Infant ticket (0-3 years): Free Entry
If you would love to learn more about flora and fauna at Kew Gardens, check out this ticket + audio guide combo.
Kew Gardens + Explorer train tickets
This Kew Gardens ticket is everything the previous ticket offers, plus access to the Kew Explorer land train.
It is better known as the transportation inside Kew Gardens, for the train has seven stops, which help you explore the main attractions.
The train departs every half an hour from the main departure stop at Victoria Plaza.
The Kew Explorer ticket allows you to board and de-board the train at any stop.
The Kew Explorer land train runs from 11 am to 4:30 pm.
The Kew Explorer tickets are recommended if you are a tourist and will likely spend less time at the Gardens.
Because of the pandemic, Kew Explorer train tickets aren’t available online. So instead, we suggest you buy regular Kew Gardens tickets in advance and purchase Explorer train tickets at the venue.
Adult ticket (17-59 years): £24.50
Senior ticket (60+ years): £22.50
Children ticket (4-16 years): £11.50
Infant ticket (0-3 years): Free Entry
*On the ticket booking page, choose the “Full-Day Admission to Kew Gardens plus Kew Explorer ticket” option.
Visiting Kew Gardens for free
Kids 4 years and below walk into Kew Gardens for free.
Registered blind and partially sighted visitors can enter Kew Gardens for free.
Caregivers of visitors with a disability can also walk in for free.
However, if you are a local, the best way to ensure free entry into Kew Gardens is by becoming a Friend of Kew.
This is a value-for-money offer and can be yours for 69 Pounds a year.
The London Pass helps you enter more than 80 tourist attractions for free. Save time and money. Buy The London Pass
How to get to Kew Gardens
The Kew Gardens is in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames, just 30 minutes from Central London. Get Directions.
Kew Gardens has four main entrances, and River Thames flows 500 meters from the Elizabeth Gate.
The 300 acres stretch of exotic gardens in southwest greater London is a perfect relaxing place.
The nearest station to Kew Gardens is the aptly named Kew Gardens station.
The District line and London Overground serve it and lie in Zone 3.
Once you get down at the Station, you must walk half a km (one-third of a mile) to Victoria Gate of the Botanical Gardens.
If you’re taking the train, you must arrive at Kew Bridge station.
From Kew Bridge Station, Elizabeth Gate is the closest Kew Gardens entrance. You can reach it in 10 minutes.
South Western Trains run services from Waterloo via Vauxhall and Clapham Junction.
Buses are the most convenient and accessible method for traveling around the city.
To reach Kew Gardens by bus, you can use routes 65, 391, 237, or 267.
Route 65 stops near the Lion Gate, the Victoria Gate, and the Elizabeth Gate.
Route 391 will drop you near the Kew Gardens station and the Elizabeth gate.
Route 237 and Route 267 pass through the Kew Bridge station.
Note: Visitors can also use riverboat service from the Westminster Pier to the Kew Pier during summer. The Kew Pier is 500 meters from Elizabeth Gate.
Kew Garden parking
Visitors can park their car at Ferry Lane near Brentford Gate or around Kew Gardens.
You’ll have to pay a fee of £7 for cars and taxis, which is applicable for the whole day. Parking motorcycles and mopeds are free.
Around Kew Gardens, only limited parking is available after 10 am.
If you are a Blue Badge holder, you must head for the Elizabeth Gate, which has three disabled-access parking bays and drop-off areas.
Click here to know more about the nearby parking lots.
Kew Gardens entrances
Kew Gardens has four entrances.
Tourists with Kew Gardens tickets bought online can enter through any of these four entrances.
The Victoria Gate is nearest to the Palm House, the botanical, Marianne North, Shirley Sherwood galleries, the broad walk borders, and the Victoria Plaza cafe and shop.
The Kew Gardens station is the closest to the Victoria Gate.
The Elizabeth Gate is at the Western end of this attraction and is closest to the Kew Bridge Station.
The closest attractions to this gate are the orangery restaurant, the Princess of Wales Conservatory, the Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens, and the Hive.
Brentford Gate is situated next to Kew’s Ferry Lane car park.
The nearest attractions to the Brentford Gate are the white peaks cafe and shop, climbers and creepers, and the treehouse towers.
The Lion Gate
Richmond station is the nearest to the Lion Gate.
The Japanese Gateway and the Pavilion restaurant are the closest attractions to the Lion Gate.
Note: Bicycles, tricycles, roller skates, skateboards, and scooters are prohibited in the Gardens. There are locker services at the Victoria and Elizabeth Gate, so you don’t have to worry about your personal belongings.
When you buy Kew Gardens and Kensington Palace tickets together, you get a 10% discount code, which you can use (five times!) to get discounts on future purchases.
Kew Gardens opens at 10 am daily, but its closing times are seasonal and vary throughout the year.
The Gardens’ closing time ranges from 3 pm to pm, depending on the season.
Closing time schedule
|1 April to 30 April||7 pm|
|1 May to 31 August||7 pm, Saturday, Sunday, and Bank Holiday at 8 pm|
|1 to 30 September||7 pm|
|1 to 28 October||6 pm|
|29 October to 13 November||4 pm|
|14 November to 7 January||3 pm|
|8 January to 31 January||4 pm|
|February 2024||5 pm|
|March 2024||6 pm|
The last entry into the Kew Gardens is always one hour before closing.
*The dates usually remain the same every year. For a more updated timing, click here.
Best time to visit Kew Gardens
The best time to visit the Kew Gardens is as soon as they open at 10 am, for you get to see the flowers and the plants at their day’s best and avoid the crowd.
The Kew Gardens are at their best from late August to early September.
But since the botanical gardens have plants of all seasons, you can visit them in any season.
For instance, if you visit the Kew Gardens in Autumn, you will find the gardens filled with red and yellow foliage.
It is best to visit the Arboretum in Autumn.
Similarly, in winter, the Kew Gardens is prepared for the holiday season.
It is the best time to observe the orchids planted in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.
Spring is already known as the season of flowers, and visitors can see the Kew Gardens blooming with all the different kinds of flora.
The Waterlily House is at its best during this season, and the weather is perfect for spending the day outside.
Whatever the season, we recommend you add Kew Gardens to your holiday itinerary.
Don’t believe us? Check out Kew Garden’s Tripadvisor reviews.
What to see at Kew Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew offer visitors several beautiful and exotic attractions, making it a highly rated destination.
Some of these attractions include different glasshouses, galleries, unique eateries, formal gardens, sculptures, a pond, and Treetop Walkway.
Here is our list of the must-see at Kew Gardens, London –
The most important attraction here is the Kew Gardens, which you can’t miss.
Kew offers 300 acres of colorful happiness, with flora and fauna of all kinds.
The Palm House
The Palm House has been one of the most popular attractions at the Kew Gardens. It is the most important Victorian iron and glass structure still surviving.
You will observe that the glasshouse is divided into world areas, and the specimens are attached with complete and detailed explanations. The Palm House also has some interactive activities for both children and adults.
The temperate glasshouse
The Temperate Glasshouse is home to a collection of the rarest and the most threatened temperate zone plants.
The temperate glasshouse takes care of plants on the verge of extinction.
It is considered the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse and was re-opened in 2018 after a five-year-long restoration.
The Formal Gardens
The Formal Garden is a dedicated Japanese landscape that attracts tourists with its magnificent aura.
Professor Fukuhara of Osaka designed it after getting inspiration from the Momayama period.
The Treetop Walk
The Treetop Walk is an 18-meter-high structure that offers a splendid view of the Royal Botanical Gardens.
It also offers a 200-meter walkway around the tree tips of lime, chestnut, and oaks.
Minka House and Bamboo Forest
The Minka house and the Bamboo forest are other places inspired by Japan.
The Minka house is a wooden house that keeps Japanese history and values intact.
Until the 20th century, the Minka house was used to move around in an emergency (like an earthquake) as they were not cemented houses.
Kew Gardens Explorer train
The Kew Explorer land train is the perfect way to explore the massive gardens.
Visitors can either book Kew Gardens + Kew Explorer train tickets in advance or get the Kew Explorer tickets once they are in the garden.
Update: Due to the covid pandemic, the train service has been temporarily stopped.
During the guided tour around the Gardens, visitors learn about Kew’s flora, fauna, and historic buildings within the complex.
The 40-minute train tour starts from Victoria Gate and ends at Elizabeth Gate.
Kew Gardens ticket holders can get on and off at any of the seven stops on the route.
Stop 1 – Victoria Gate
Victoria Plaza shop and cafe, Palm House, The Botanical cafe
Stop 2 – Temperate House
Marianne North Gallery, Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, Davies Exploration House, and Pavilion Restaurant.
Stop 3 – The Great Pagoda
Lion Gate and the Japanese Gateway.
Stop 4 – Natural Area and Woodland
Pinetum, Log Trail, Badger Sett, Stag Beetle Loggery, Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, Waterlily Pond, Lake, and Sackler Crossing.
Stop 5 – Rhododendron Dell
Bamboo Garden, Rhododendron Dell, Minka House, Riverside Walk, and Oak collection.
Stop 6 – Brentford Gate and car park.
Stop 7 – Elizabeth Gate/Orangery
Orangery restaurant, White Peaks café, and shop, Children’s Garden, Climbers and Creepers, Queen’s Garden, and Kew Palace.
Visitors may have to skip a train and wait for their turn for the next one during peak times.
Download the route map of the Explorer train
Kew Gardens map
Navigating Kew Gardens can be a little challenging if you are a tourist.
There is help all around, but the place is so huge that extra help won’t hurt, primarily because the attractions are spread all around.
A map of the Kew Gardens can help you navigate the attraction easily.
It especially comes in handy if you visit with kids or older people.
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1 thought on “Kew Gardens – ticket, prices, discount, hours, entrance, explorer train”
I was interested in purchasing a ticket for a year several years ago I used a yearly ticket
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