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                                The Temperate House at Kew from across the lake

Posted: Friday 21 September 2018

Bournemouth Region - Kew Gardens Social Trip.
- 24th July -

Phew! It was certainly a scorcher for the Associates social club trip to Kew Gardens, however, the journey to Kew was made extremely comfortable in the air-conditioned coach, and some of the group made good use of the comfort stop at Winchester on the outward trip to enjoy a refreshing ice-cream.

Kew is set in 326 acres of exceptional landscape and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.   It was clear however, when walking around the grounds, that the gardens were being impacted by the very hot summer this year, and, for the first time in several years, the trees in the grounds were being watered daily (and continuously) by a sprinkler system. There are however, numerous shady seating areas throughout the grounds, and these were much appreciated.

There is so much to see and do at Kew, stunning gardens, interesting glasshouses, beautiful woodlands, the ornamental pagoda, Queen Charlotte’s cottage, Kew Palace and galleries and museums, that it can be difficult to get around to all the attractions in one visit, however, the majority of the group made good use of the Hop-on Hop-off train to make sure they saw everything they were interested in.

There are some “must-see” key attractions in the grounds, and these include:

The Hive, a fully immersive, interactive aluminium and steel structure, conceived to highlight the plight of the honeybee and to underline the vital role that bees play in pollinating the world’s crop species, The Hive stands 55ft high and the installation is connected to a real beehive in the Gardens.

The Great Broad Walk Borders, featuring over 30,000 flowering plants.

The iconic Palm House which was built in the mid-1840s, the ultra-modern Davies Alpine House, and the Princess of Wales Conservatory, opened by Diana, Princess of Wales.

And finally, Kew Palace, the former residence of King George III, and the art galleries The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art and the Marianne North Gallery.

By mid-afternoon the cream tea was most welcome by everyone, both in terms of sustenance and by it providing a chance to sit down and rest, before exploring further.
All too soon it was late afternoon and time to leave Kew. The group enjoyed a lovely, cool relaxing trip home driven by our friendly coach driver, Terry, who skilfully negotiated the London rush hour traffic before arriving back in Dorset.

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