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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.
Passengers getting onto the 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 30 August 2016)

Discovery walking tour booking form (updated 30 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 5 March to 5 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 15 people per tour and places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • For further information or to register your interest please contact tours@kew.org

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

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
  • The remaining date for 2016 is:

​7 December at 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 contact Age UK Hounslow on 020 8560 6969.


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 between April and November, 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 Access Membership Scheme

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

*Opportunities for individuals not part of any group are provided through other elements of Kew's Discovery and Access Programmes listed on this webpage.

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:

  • A registered charity OR
  • A community interest company (CIC) OR
  • An organisation that provides services directly to people who face physical, sensory or social barriers to visiting Kew Gardens.
  • AND 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 to the 60 visitor admissions, children aged under four years and essential carers accompanying people with disabilities are admitted free of charge and this does not count towards your 60 visitor admissions.

Membership Information

  • The membership year runs from 1 April to 31 March and applications can be made at any time during the year. 
  • As the visit quota (60 visits) can be partially or fully used at any time within the membership year, the membership fee does not reduce pro rata.
  • Unused visit quota cannot be carried over at the end of the membership year. 

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 additional needs. The Forum meets twice a year, in March and September. Members are appointed for a 3 year term and vacancies are advertised via Kew’s recruitment webpage.