Pagoda Vista

Pagoda Vista is a wide, grassed walkway that runs 850 metres from the southeastern end of the Palm House to the Pagoda.

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Pagoda Vista

Pagoda Vista

Did you know?

  • One cedar of Lebanon tree stands in front of the Pagoda, blocking the view. It was a good specimen when the vista was planted and no one wanted to take it out.

Historical information

This vista's focal point is the Pagoda - a ten-storey Chinese-style octagonal building built by William Chambers in 1762. It stands 50 metres high in the southeastern corner of the Gardens.

Today, the Pagoda Vista forms a triangle with the Cedar and Syon vistas. The former provides a view from the Pagoda towards Syon House, outside Kew’s boundary, and the latter runs from the Palm House towards the same point. Pagoda and Syon vistas are remaining elements of William Andrews Nesfield’s redesign of Kew’s Arboretum in 1845 and 1846.


Nesfield began planting Pagoda Vista in 1845 but it wasn’t completed until 1908. His design was for matched pairs of deciduous broad-leafed trees flanked by Himalayan cedars (Cedrus deodara). Some of the trees failed, while others grew crowns that were too broad and therefore unsuitable for lining a vista.

Things to look out for

Kew is gradually replacing the remaining pairs with the North American pin swamp oak (Quercus palustris), Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and Turkish hazel (Corylus colurna). Its arboreal experts selected these species as they are suited to avenue planting, are likely to be heat-tolerant in the face of climate change and can thrive in Kew’s dry soil. The replanting programme is due to be completed in 2014. 

  • For an alternative 'Pagoda vista', take a look at our interactive Pagoda panorama, showing the amazing view from the top of this iconic building.

1 comment on 'Pagoda Vista'

Simon Brakespear says

30/09/2009 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

I love the pagoda and the view to it still excites the child in me. I just wish we could climb up the pagoda... one day maybe.

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