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Discovery Programme

Our Discovery and Access Programmes offer access opportunities for visitors with additional needs (such as limited mobility, learning disability or sensory loss) and community groups to enjoy the magic of Kew.
Discovery bus
Discovery bus

Discovery Programme

Access Programme


Discovery bus tours

Usually starting from Elizabeth Gate, the Discovery Bus travels around the Gardens with an accompanying guide who brings to life many of Kew's most iconic features, as well as some hidden gems. 

  • Tours operate twice daily (am and pm) subject to availability.
  • Tours cost £40 per group and free entry to the Gardens is included.
  • Tours last approximately one hour.
  • Please ensure there are at least two carers per group.
  • The maximum capacity per tour is 13 people and this can include one permanent wheelchair user.
  • British Sign Language guided tours are available on request.
  • Tours must be booked in advance – to book a tour, please see booking section below.

Discovery walking tours

We also offer guided walking tours for groups and individuals with sensory loss (sight or hearing loss) and limited mobility. 

  • Tours are available seven days a week, subject to availability.
  • Tours cost £10 per guide and free entry to the Gardens is included.
  • Tours last approximately one hour (unless otherwise requested).
  • Tours are bespoke and designed for groups of up to five people, including carers.
  • If your group is larger than five we will need to assign additional guides.
  • British Sign Language guided tours are available on request.
  • Tours must be booked in advance – to book a tour please see booking section below.

Booking

To book a Discovery bus or walking tour please download the relevant Booking Form below and send the completed form by email attachment to: tours@kew.org

Discovery bus tour booking form - August 2016

Discovery walking tour booking form - August 2016


Monthly guided walking tours with sign language

For visitors who use sign language, these monthly tours led by our specially trained tour guides offer a fascinating overview of the Gardens, its history and important scientific work.

  • Tours run on the first Sunday of every month from 6 March to 6 November 2016.
  • Tours leave from Victoria Plaza at 11.30 and last approximately 90 minutes.
  • This tour is free and free entry to the Gardens is included.
  • There is a limit of 20 people per tour and places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • No booking required – just register with the guide 15 minutes before the start.

Further Information

For further information about Kew's Discovery Programme please email tours@kew.org or call 020 8332 5643. 

 Discovery Programme Leaflet


Access Programme

Walking and workshops

We also offer:

  • Health walks for residents of the London Borough of Hounslow
  • Health walks for people living with Dementia and their carers from the London Borough of Richmond
  • Taster workshops in garden photography for community groups supporting adults with mental health issues and disabilities.

See details below:

Health Walks for Hounslow residents

Come and take part in a health walk for Hounslow residents in the beautiful surroundings of Kew Gardens.

  • Walks are led by Kew's trained volunteer walk leaders
  • Walks take place on a Wednesday, once a month
  • Remaining dates and start times for 2016 are:

14 September – 2pm
12 October – 1pm
9 November – 1pm
​7 December – 1pm 

  • Walks last approximately 1 hour
  • These walks are free and free entry to the Gardens is included

Booking

Walks must be booked in advance – to make a booking or for more information please visit the Walking for Health (Hounslow Health Walks) website.

Walking for Health website


Health Walks for people living with Dementia

Walks for people living with Dementia and their carers from the London Borough of Richmond take place on a Wednesday once a month, subject to availability.  Walks must be booked in advance – to make a booking or for more information please contact the Alzheimer’s Society Richmond Office 020 8877 0033 or richmondservices@alzheimers.org.uk


Community photography workshop

Kew offers a taster workshop in garden photography for community groups supporting adults with mental health issues and disabilities.

Participants are introduced to the basics of outdoor photography before taking a walk through the Gardens to practice their newfound skills.

  • Workshops are available on Wednesdays, subject to availability.
  • Workshops last approximately 2.5 hours.
  • Group size: minimum eight and maximum ten participants.
  • No previous experience with photography is required.
  • All equipment, including digital cameras is provided.
  • This workshop is free and free entry to the Gardens is included.

Booking

Workshops must be booked in advance – to book a workshop or for more information please email community@kew.org


Community Access Membership Scheme

This is a group membership scheme for organisations that provide services directly to people who face physical, sensory or social barriers to visiting Kew Gardens independently.

Member groups include those that support older people, people with learning or physical disabilities, people experiencing mental health issues, people living with dementia and organisations supporting excluded, vulnerable or isolated members of society.

Eligible groups must:

  • Be registered charities or statutory facilities (e.g. NHS or local authority-owned care homes, hospitals or day centres)
  • Have a postcode address located inside the M25.

Groups are entitled to:

  • A maximum of 60 visitor admissions* to Kew Gardens each year during normal opening hours for an annual membership fee of £24 (2016 fee).
  • Visit more than once until they reach the maximum number of admissions each year.

*In addition children aged under four years and essential carers accompanying people with disabilities are admitted free of charge.

Membership Information

For more information about the scheme or to request a membership application pack please email community@kew.org


Kew Access Forum

Kew Access Forum is a consultative forum made up of individuals who have experience of disability and a keen interest in making the Gardens as accessible as possible for visitors with a disability. The Forum meets 3 times per year. Members are appointed for a 3 year term and vacancies are advertised via Kew’s recruitment webpage.