London is Wonderful…

…and my very favorite city to visit when having the time to do so. Coming into Heathrow Airport, I started to consider the many many exciting and educational places that could be visited in this wonderful metro area. Should I pay a visit to The Globe Theater? Museums around town? Boat ride along the Thames?

I came upon a slightly different idea for amusement during our few weekend days here. Why not visit Kew Gardens? Kew is about 10 miles from Paddington Station and I wasn’t sure just what the best way was to get there. To my surprise, it was just to take The Tube, an easy ride via Earl’s Court and directly to the Kew Station.

Kew is probably the best place in the world to see thousands of plants, flowers and trees from our earth. Starting in the 19th century, Kew has collected botanical specimens and taken well care of these for all of London, or the world, to see, take guided tours and learn from. Perhaps not the first thing most would visit on a trip to London but a wonderful time can be had for the daring tourist.

Fortunately, the weather was superb. The entrance fee was not harsh in comparison to other attractions (Kew = £13,50 adults / London Eye = £18,90 online for one trip) and once inside you can stay the whole day and walk around the place taking in everything that Kew has to show. Some people even take picnic lunches and easily spend a day!

One drawback about Kew is the closeness to Heathrow. Every 90 seconds the air is filled with a noisy jet coming in for a landing. To bad, but that’s how city planners decided!

My favorite Kew place was the treetop walk. I also fell in love with the hundreds of different trees growing within the whole compound. The greenhouses were full of exotic plants but the “waterlilly house” was on the top of my list. And this summer they had a special exhibition area with a butterfly room, where many butterflies were flying loose inside for everyone to get near with.

So, tired of the Tower Bridge, Picadilly blasé or no time for Big Ben when in London? Wear a pair of good walking shoes and try a day’s outing to Kew Gardens. It’s much more than a walk in the park!

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