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Syon Overlook and other viewpoints

There are five main viewpoints at Kew, taking in key attractions of the Gardens.

Syon Vista looking towards the Palm House.

Syon Vista looking towards the Palm House.

The five main viewpoints at Kew

The view from Syon Overlook towards Syon House

Visitors who take the Riverside Walk south eventually reach an open area, with rural views across the River Thames to Syon House. This stately residence is home to the Duke of Northumberland, and has been in his family for 400 years.

The view from Syon Overlook towards the Pagoda

Visitors are rewarded with a view down the Cedar Vista, culminating with the 50-metre high Chinese-style Pagoda.

The view from the Palm House towards Syon Overlook

This provides a clear view from the western side of the Palm House, along the full length of Syon Vista towards Syon House across the River Thames.

The view from the Compost Heap viewing platform onto the Stable Yard

This specially constructed platform enables visitors to see Kew staff at work, making the mulches from garden waste that rots down in one of the largest compost heaps in Europe.

The view from the Temple of Aeolus across the Woodland Garden

The Temple of Aeolus’s elevated location on the artificial mound Cumberland Mount offers views northwest across the Woodland Garden. 

Things to look out for

At Syon Overlook, a ‘ha-ha’ still exists between Kew Gardens and the towpath beside the River Thames. A ha-ha is a ditch with a wall on its inner side below ground level, designed to form a boundary without disrupting the view.

The one at Kew was installed by Capability Brown in the 1760s to separate the lawns of the Richmond Estate (now the western half of Kew Gardens) from the river.