Kew Gardens springs into bloom for the Müller Olympic Marathon trials

Release date: 18 March 2021

Marathon trial at Kew

Friday 26 March will see British hopefuls run 26.2 miles around Kew Gardens in a bid to cement their place at the Olympics later this year. The trials include the race walk event which will start and finish at Kew’s iconic Palm House, whilst the marathon course begins at Kew Palace and finishes at the Palm House.

Built in 1844, the design of the Palm House emulates that of an upturned hull of a ship to allow the plants inside to reach great heights. It is the oldest glasshouse at Kew and houses a remarkable indoor rainforest, simulating the multi-layered nature of a tropical rainforest, and features some of the world’s rarest tropical plants.

Sandra Botterell, Director of Marketing and Commercial at RBG Kew said: “The gardens are looking particularly beautiful this spring and we’re delighted to be chosen to host these hugely important trials for British Athletics. Spring is wonderful at Kew, from cherry blossom to magnolias, our trees are sure to create a wonderful background for the trials.”

Hosted at Kew Gardens for the first time in the garden’s history, the Olympic trials will take place behind closed doors and not open for spectators. Athletes, officials, and media in attendance will be adhering to strict protocols laid out by UK Athletics and following government guidance which sets out the Covid regulations for elite sport. The event will be live streamed at, on BBC iplayer and on the BBC Sports website.

Ends – For more information or images of Kew Gardens please contact

For more information on the event please contact British Athletics:

About Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections as well as its scientific expertise in plant and fungal diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major

international and a top London visitor attraction. Kew Gardens’ 132 hectares of landscaped gardens, and Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex, attract over 2.5 million visits every year. Kew Gardens was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in July 2003 and celebrated its 260th anniversary in 2019. Wakehurst is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world, as well as over 500 acres of designed landscapes, wild woodlands, ornamental gardens and a nature reserve. The Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre is Kew’s third research centre and only overseas office. RBG Kew receives approximately one third of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needed to support RBG Kew’s vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales.