Autumn leaves and tranquil trails make Kew Gardens an excellent spot for a lockdown wander.
As of last week, England is back in lockdown until December 2 – but there are a handful of reasons why this lockdown should be a little easier than the last. In fact, you’ll find one of the best of them in south-west London, where Kew Gardens is still open to members of the public through the November lockdown. Inviting “those who are well enough to appreciate fresh air and relaxation” to come along and visit, Kew Gardens offers a nature-filled escape from confinement at least for a little while. Truly, an invaluable resource for the next few weeks.
You can enjoy the fruits of the great outdoors again at Kew Gardens, but there are naturally a few restrictions limiting what you can and can’t do. First up, you’ll need book a time slot in order to get in, even if you’re a member – simply pitching up for a walk isn’t going to be an option with restrictions as tight as they are. You’re also asked not to head along if you’re unwell or are in isolation with your household, and you’ll need to follow the rules for outdoor exercise, so you can only visit with your household, support bubble, or with one person from another household.
In line with government guidance, Kew are also closing certain buildings and structures to prevent households from mixing indoors. This includes all of their glorious glasshouses (the Temperate House, the Palm House, the Princes of Wales Conservatory, the Davies Alpine House, and the Waterlily House), a pair of galleries (Marianne North Gallery and Shirley Sherwood Gallery), the Pagoda, Queen Charlotte’s Cottage and the Royal Palaces, and the Library. Other attractions, such as the Treetop Walkway, remain closed, and Kew Gardens’ restaurants are closed for dining but will offer takeaway options. Mercifully, the toilets will remain open, and will be screened regularly.
With parking prohibited on Kew Road, spaces limited around the area, and public transport only used for essential journeys, Kew Gardens suggest you walk or cycle if you’re planning a visit. It won’t be quite the dazzling experience you usually see at the gardens, but there are enough shrubs, trees, and flowers to make your visit a breathtaking immersion into nature!