Visiting during coronavirus
Our gardens are open for exercise and fresh air.
Last updated: 21 May 2021
In line with national guidance, Kew Gardens and Wakehurst are open for fresh air and exercise, giving you the chance to enjoy acres of green space and thousands of plants.
Whilst we are excited to welcome you, there are some measures in place to protect you.
To manage the number of visitors, we have established pre-booked entry time slots for everyone.
You must book your time slot online before you visit, otherwise, unfortunately, you will be turned away, even if you’re a member.
Our glasshouses, restaurants and buildings are open - you will need to wear a face covering in our indoor spaces unless you are exempt. Toilets are open and are screened regularly.
Check before you book:
Our gardens are easy to get to by bike, foot or car.
Importantly, if you are unwell or self-isolating then you must postpone your visit until it is safe and possible to come.
When indoors, you will need to limit your party to the rule of six or to two households only. Groups of over 30 are not allowed in the gardens.
Before you come, book your time slot
Your safety, and that of our staff, is our highest priority.
That’s why we have time slots for everyone, even members. This will help us stagger the entry flow, minimise queues and reduce contact.
Everyone will need to pre-book a time slot to be allowed into the gardens. We’re sorry, but you won’t be able to come in without it.
If you are a member, don’t worry. You won’t need to pay anything extra. Just book a time slot to visit and bring your membership card and a form of ID with you. No card? Show us a letter or email confirming your membership number.
Simply present on arrival:
- Proof of your time slot on your phone or printout plus any ID required for concessions and members.
- Your membership card or email confirmation of membership if you have one.
- You will need to wear a face covering in our buildings (unless you're exempt). At Wakehurst you must wear a face covering to pass through the Visitor Centre and into the gardens. We also ask you to wear a face covering during your visit when buying a takeaway, or in the areas surrounding our gates.
You have 45 minutes from your chosen time slot to enter Kew Gardens and 30 minutes to enter Wakehurst; once you're inside, stay as long as you like. Please help keep to 2m social distancing and don’t arrive earlier than your time.
Please be considerate and avoid booking more than you need.
Book time slots for Kew
Need to cancel?
Simply send a message to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doing this will free up a slot for others to enjoy a visit.
Test and trace
When you make your booking, we will request contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace programme.
You will also need to 'check in' when you come into the gardens, and also in our restaurants.
NHS QR code posters are available for those using the NHS COVID-19 app, or you can give your details to staff at the facilities.
More information for members
As a member, you will need to book your free time slot before coming to the gardens to help us manage the visitor flow.
Keeping you safe during your visit
We’ve worked hard to ensure your visit is safe for everyone. We will review our plans every day and adapt where we need to.
To avoid queues and crowds, we have introduced pre-booked time slots to stagger arrival times.
There will be markers out to guide the 2m social distancing rule outside our gates. Once you’re here, feel free to explore the acres of gorgeous gardens and avoid crowding together.
Face coverings are required for all our indoor spaces, like toilets and glasshouses, unless you are exempt.
Our restaurants are open for indoor and outdoor seating, and takeaways. Please wear a face covering when queuing unless you are exempt and limit your party to the Rule of 6 or two households.
Glasshouses, toilets and shops are open, but as they are indoors your group size will need to be limited to the Rule of 6 or two households.
Groups of over 30 will not be permitted in line with national guidance.
At Wakehurst you must wear a face covering to pass through the Visitor Centre and into the gardens or in the areas surrounding our gates.
Our facilities undergo strict cleaning throughout the day:
At Kew Gardens, most toilets are open, and some will have capacity measures in place. Handwashing stations are at each gate and at key locations. Please note: the toilets at Kew Palace are undergoing refurbishment. The Orangery is a short walk away with facilities.
At Wakehurst, toilets and handwashing areas are open at the Visitor Centre, Stables Kitchen, Winter Garden and Schools Entrance.
You may need to wait a while to make sure there is enough space between each person. We have soap and towel dispensers, but it’s worth bringing hand sanitiser with you too.
Some staff will be equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) and be positioned throughout the site to manage any crowding and remind visitors of the 2m rule.
Our horticultural teams are practising social distancing so will be unable to answer questions. Please avoid approaching them whilst they are working.
We have also gone cashless, so be sure to bring the right payment method with you.
We need your help in following the rules so we can keep the gardens open. Please respect social distancing guidance at all times.
Unfortunately, if we see that these rules are not being observed then we will have to take immediate action, including asking people to leave, or closing the gardens once again entirely.
As they are indoors, you will need to limit your group to the Rule of 6 or two households unless you need specific assistance. Please wear a face covering.
If you can't get to the gardens, you can still shop at our online store.
Read more information about our online shop during coronavirus on this dedicated page.
Food and drink
You may be asked to check-in via the NHS app when seated.
We still have delicious takeaway food and drink stands across both gardens. Remember to wear a face covering when queuing and be prepared to use contactless payment methods.
Don’t forget, you can also bring your own picnic and fill up your water bottle around the site.
Help us to look after our gardens
Please place all rubbish in the bins provided or take it home with you.
Our gardens are easy to get to by bike, foot or car. Don’t forget to check gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest guidance on travel.
- Kew Gardens: It's easy to walk or cycle and enter at any gate. Parking is extremely limited and entirely prohibited on Kew Road. Read more on getting to Kew Gardens.
- Wakehurst: The car park is open as usual. A two-way entrance and exit system is in place through the Visitor Centre so that visitors can access the gardens safely. Read more on getting to Wakehurst.
We are excited to welcome school groups back to Kew Gardens from 1 September onwards.
We've introduced new measures to ensure your group has a safe and enjoyable visit. We have reduced capacity for school visits and access to teaching spaces has been organised to minimise contact between groups.
We are open for school bookings. Come and join us in the great outdoors.
We are welcoming assisted and self-led visits this winter. We are open for future bookings and our team will be happy to discuss how we inspire and engage your students with hands on learning experiences.
We will respond to emails to email@example.com as soon as possible.
Bring Kew into your classroom with our online learning platform, Endeavour. From exciting videos of Kew scientists to fun infographics, Endeavour has everything you need to deliver engaging lessons in plant and environmental science.
Stay part of our community
We know that not everyone will get a chance to visit us right now.
We will continue to share stories, pictures and films that showcase the beauty of our botanic gardens and our world-leading science so that everyone can enjoy a slice of Kew.
We'd love to hear from you.