FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Autumn at Kew

Posted in England, London by folkestonejack on October 27, 2012

Arctic winds may have brought an early warning of the approach of winter but after a week of murky conditions I was glad of a cold but clear day. Not wanting to waste the opportunity we headed over to Kew Gardens. It was a perfect time to visit with autumnal displays not yet replaced by bare branches and the winter shutdown still a week away (the gardens remain open through the winter but Kew Palace and the Royal Kitchens close for the year).

The colours of autumn surround the Temperate House

I had forgotten many of the small pleasures of Kew, such as the array of “Queen’s beasts” that line the exterior of the palm house, whilst attractions like the rhizotron and treetop walkway were new to me. It is simply impossible to do justice to the entire site on a single visit so we took our time wandering around. The Temperate House, the largest surviving Victorian glass structure in the world, never fails to impress.

On this occasion we also took the opportunity to look around Kew Palace. It may be an unusually small royal palace but it is also the homeliest that I have visited. The opening of the kitchens to the public in May 2012 adds a fascinating and sometimes unexpected angle to the story, particularly with the discovery of a high status tin bath in the stores (King George III was said to take his bath in the kitchens to save his servants the trouble of lugging the hot water up to the palace). It is well worth the additional admission fee.

Autumnal colours at Kew

I never need much encouragement to start snapping but it is especially hard to resist taking photographs continuously at Kew with so many wonderful vistas and remarkable constructions – let alone the occasional splash of seasonal colour!

Gallery

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