Kew Explorer

40-minute tours with commentary - a great way to gain an introduction to Kew.
The service runs hourly from 11am until 3pm.

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The Kew Explorer

Enjoy a tour on the Kew Explorer. Learn more about plants, the Gardens' history and Kew's vital work.

By purchasing a ticket you are helping to support Kew's work in saving the world's plants for life.

Price: £4.50 adult, £1.50 child. Essential carers free. To purchase a ticket online, click on the date you wish to visit, then scroll down to Explorer tickets and select the number you would like to purchase.


The Kew Explorer is a hop-on/hop-off land train which normally operates a daily service throughout the year.

Kew Explorer ticket holders can get on and off at any stop around the route.


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 contact: 020 8332 5617

Kew Explorer route

The Kew Explorer route goes to the following stops :

Stop 1. Victoria Gate - for the Victoria Plaza Shop & Garden Shop, Victoria Terrace Café. A fantastic selection of exclusive gifts available from the shop.
Plants & People exhibition in Museum No.1  |   Palm House - the world-famous tropical glasshouse and tropical display.   |   Waterlily House

Stop 2. Holly Walk - the best stop for the  Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop Walkway - get a bird's eye view of Kew when you climb the 18-metre high, 200-metre walkway.  |  Mediterranean Garden  |  King Williams Temple.

Stop 3. Lion Gate (the closest gate to Richmond)
Japanese Gateway and Landscapes - a replica of the 16th-century Gateway of the Imperial Messenger |  Pavilion Restaurant  (open until 2 November)|  Pagoda - 10-storey Pagoda designed by Sir William Chambers  |  Cedar Vista - the longest of seven avenues radiating from the Pagoda.

Stop 4. Queen Charlotte's Cottage (open weekends April - September)  |  Conservation Area & Woodland - lake & wildfowl. 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

Stop 5. Vistas. Bamboo Garden - traditional Japanese Minka House  |  Rhododendron Dell  - stunning colour in late spring 

Stop 6. Brentford Gate car park. Riverside Walk - walk amongst fine oaks alongside the River Thames | White Peaks - enjoy snacks and buy gifts in Kew's family shop | Climbers & Creepers - interactive play area for children aged 3-9 years |  Treehouse Towers - outdoor play area for children

Stop 7. Main Gate and the Orangery. The Orangery - delicious meals, teas, snacks and evening venue hire  |  Kew Palace and Kew Palace Welcome Centre (open 2 April - 25 September)  |  Queen's Garden - Nosegay Garden, Parterre and Summer House  |


Explorer tickets may be purchased from the Kew Explorer Driver, ticket gates, Kew shops and online. The main boarding point is Stop 1, close to Victoria Plaza. The first Explorer of the day leaves Stop 1 at 11.00am. Services then normally run on the hour, with an additional service on the half hour in the peak season. Services arrive at Stop 1 approximately 10 minutes after leaving Stop 7. There is then a 20 minute wait before continuing.

We recommend that you check schedules when you purchase your ticket in case of any seasonal fluctuations. During severe weather conditions the service is liable to disruption - to confirm that it is running please call +44 (0)20 8332 5655/5617.

 Large Explorer route map (jpeg)


Hire the Kew Explorer

The Kew Explorer is also 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 pre-arranged, convenient locations. The Kew Explorer is available for private hire in the morning from 9.30am to 10.30am and later in the day, from 5.30pm onwards. For prices and further information please call +44 (0)208 332 5617 or email

If you require any further information on the Kew Explorer, please contact the Kew Explorer Manager:

RBG Kew Enterprises Ltd, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 8332 5617 (during weekday office hours) / Fax: +44 (0)20 8332 5632
At weekends, please leave a short message and your phone number on +44 (0)20 8332 5617 or call our visitor info line on +44 (0)20 8332 5655.

Advice and comments from passengers are most welcome. Please contact us if you need special assistance or have any queries. 

Kew's Discovery Bus

Kew also offers tours for groups and individuals with particular needs due to limited mobility, sight loss, learning disability and deafness.Our specially adapted mobility bus takes groups of up to 12 people seated, plus one permanent wheelchair user, on tours of the Gardens. The Discovery Bus provides excellent visibility, comfort, and year-round comfort and protection from the elements. Find out more about the Discovery Bus here

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