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Kew Explorer land train

Enjoy a tour around the Gardens on the Kew Explorer land train. Learn about Kew's flora and fauna, iconic buildings and vital conservation work.
Kew Explorer land train
The Kew Explorer land train

Tickets and timings

The Kew Explorer is a hop-on, hop-off land train that operates a daily service throughout the year (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when the Gardens are closed). It departs every half hour from 11am to 3.30pm from 11 February and 11am to 16.30pm from 31 March 2017, from stop 1 at Victoria Gate

Kew Explorer tickets can be purchased from the driver, ticket gates, Kew shops, and online*. By purchasing a ticket, you are helping to support Kew's work in helping to save the world's plants. 

Price: £5.00 adult, £2.00 child. Essential carers go free.


*You will be able to add land train tickets to your shopping basket after you select a visit date.


There is space for one manually operated wheelchair in the back carriage of each vehicle and ample room for storage of folded up wheelchairs and pushchairs. For further information call 020 8332 5617.

Kew Explorer route

The main boarding point is Stop 1, close to Victoria Plaza. Services arrive at Stop 1 approximately ten minutes after leaving Stop 7. There is then a 20-minute wait before continuing.

Please see the daily timetable located at all visitor gates. 

Explorer land train ticket holders can get on and off at any stop on the route.

We recommend that you check schedules when you purchase your ticket in case of seasonal fluctuations. During severe weather conditions the service is liable to disruption – to confirm that it is running, call 020 8332 5655 / 5617.

From time to time it is necessary to remove services due to essential maintenance.

The Kew Explorer land train stops at the following places:

Explorer route map from 10 November 2016

Stop 1: Victoria Gate

Things to see here: Victoria Plaza Shop and Garden Shop (with a fantastic selection of exclusive gifts); Victoria Terrace Café; Plants + People exhibition at Museum No.1 (closed until July 2016); Palm House (world famous tropical glasshouse and tropical display); Waterlily House.

Stop 2: Marianne North Gallery

Things to see here: Marianne North Gallery, Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, Ruined Arch, Pavilion Restaurant.

Stop 3: Lion Gate

Things to see here: Lion Gate; Pagoda (10-storey Pagoda designed by Sir William Chambers); Japanese Gateway and Landscapes (including a replica of the 16th-century Gateway of the Imperial Messenger); Cedar Vista (the longest of seven avenues radiating from the Pagoda); Holly Walk. This is the closest gate to Richmond.

Stop 4: Waterlily Pond

Things to see here: Conservation Area and Woodland (lake, wildfowl and a glorious display of bluebells in spring); Sackler Crossing; Waterlily Pond; Stable Yard (a viewing platform for Kew's compost area); Stag Beetle Loggery and Badger Sett; Queen Charlotte's Cottage (open weekends April to September).

Stop 5: Vistas

Things to see here: Bamboo Garden (including traditional Japanese Minka House); Rhododendron Dell (gorgeous colour in late spring).

Stop 6: Brentford Gate car park

Things to see here: Riverside Walk (walk among fine oaks alongside the River Thames); White Peaks Family Restaurant and shop (enjoy snacks and buy gifts in Kew's family shop); Climbers and Creepers (interactive play area for children aged 3–9 years); Treehouse Towers (outdoor play area for children).

Stop 7: Elizabeth Gate and the Orangery

Things to see here: Orangery Restaurant (delicious hot and cold meals, teas, snacks and evening venue hire); Kew Palace, Royal Kitchens and Kew Palace Welcome Centre; Queen's Garden (including Nosegay Garden, Parterre and Summer House).

Hire the Kew Explorer

The Kew Explorer land train is available to hire as part of wedding or venue hire packages and school groups. Tours and commentary can be tailored to suit your event and guests can board and alight from the vehicle at arranged, convenient locations. The Explorer land train is available for private hire in the morning from 9.30am to 10.30am and later in the day, from 5.30pm onwards.

For initial enquiries please complete the application form and someone from the Team will contact you:

Kew Explorer tour application form

Your comments

We welcome advice and comments from passengers. If you need special assistance or have any queries, please email us at