Eloise, Summer and I recently visited the magical Kew Gardens. Situated in West London, the Botanical Gardens park is easily accessible by tube, and well worth a visit. The park itself is huge: we only managed to cover half of it during our time there, well worth the £8 entry fee. We spent hours exploring the Gardens, the different conservatories and attractions, the hidden paths and isolated gardens overflowing with a huge variety of trees, plants and flowers.
Our first stop was the 'Palm House' conservatory- located close to the entrance of the park, it's hard to miss. It towers over the green gardens, and from it's location you can see how beautifully designed the park is. The entrance is lined with dozens of statues, each representing an animal with cultural significance. Benches are placed at equal distance between each statue, whereupon you can admire the view: a small patch of garden with intricately placed plants, in front a fairly small lake which is home to dozens of duck and geese. And that's just the front entrance!
From the back, a large path leads from the back doors, straight down the garden, perfectly lined from each side with rose gardens, towering trees and bushes. Small roads connect one part of the garden to another, yet so much remains hidden from sight. If you wander from the path you could suddenly find yourself in a small empty plain, home to dozens of giant oak trees, or maybe even a small temple, again surrounded by various trees, plants and flowers all perfectly placed to create a magical, ethereal atmosphere- a place for nature crafted by humans, a place of peace and comfort.
When you walk into the conservatory you find yourself in a beautiful, humid, green paradise. Every single inch of the conservatory is occupied by some kind of plant or tree, many of which tower above you and almost touch the ceiling so high above. Small paths connect each section of the Palm House, only large enough to fit 3-4 people walking side by side. The glass walls and ceiling cast a beautiful bright glow over everything, yet sometimes the trees and leaves are so large they leave some areas in shadow, a magical contrast. From ground level, the place is pretty spectacular- but to fully appreciate the beauty of this place you must walk up the spiral staircase, and walk the top balcony. From there, you can admire the architecture, the outside views (though often blurred by the condensation), the various plants and trees, and, if you look closely, you can see the leaves move ever so slightly from the large water drops falling from above.