Visiting during coronavirus
Our gardens at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst are open. You must book a time slot in advance.
Last updated: 20 October 2020
Kew Gardens and Wakehurst are open, giving you a chance to enjoy our magnificent gardens during these difficult times.
With acres of green space, thousands of plants and secret corners, you can roam all day in our botanic gardens.
Whilst we are excited to welcome you, there is are some measures in place to protect you.
To manage the number of visitors, we have established prebooked 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 glasshouse, restaurants, toilets, shops and some outdoor food facilities are open and screened regularly.
Some offers, like the galleries and the Kew Explorer train will remain closed. 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.
- You're welcome to visit our gardens whilst adhering to the rule of 6 when outside. However, at Kew Gardens you are unable to socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, such as our glasshouses, galleries and restaurants. Check gov.uk for more.
Time slots for everyone
Your safety, and that of our staff, is our highest priority.
That’s why we’ve introduced time slots for everyone, even members. This will help us stagger the entry flow, avoid 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.
On arrival, make sure you have proof of your time slot on your phone or on a printout plus any ID required for concessions and members.
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.
We hope you appreciate this for your protection and will help us do our part to keep the gardens safe.
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.
We expect this to be a popular offer, so do 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.
NHS QR code posters are at entrances to the Gardens allowing visitors to ‘check in’ using the NHS COVID-19 app.
If you are also eating inside one of our restaurants, it is now compulsory to provide your contact details again.
You can do this by using the app and scanning the QR code displayed, or directly with one of our designated catering staff members.
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.
You will need to wear a face covering in our shops, glasshouses and buildings including the galleries, the Millennium Seed Bank and the Wakehurst Visitor Centre. Please make sure to bring it with you (unless you're unable to wear one).
In line with recent guidance, Kew Gardens falls under Tier 2. This means that when outside, you are able to adhere to the rule of 6. However, you are unable to socialise with anyone outside of your household in any indoor setting, including our restaurants, galleries and glasshouses.
Wakehurst falls under Tier 1 and the rule of 6 still applies. If you are visiting from a higher tier, then you should follow the guidance from your place of residence,. This includes not socialising with anyone outside of your household or bubble in our Visitor Centre, Millennium Seed Bank or restaurants.
Our glasshouses have a one-way system in place. Queues will be stewarded and the location will be rigorously cleaned. Some areas may be closed off to allow staff to work.
Our shops are open with guidance in place.
Our facilities undergo strict cleaning throughout the day:
At Kew Gardens, all toilets are open, and some will have capacity measures in place. Handwashing stations are at each gate and at key locations.
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 practicing 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.
The Kew Shop
Our Victoria Plaza, White Peaks and Pavilion shops are open.
If you can't visit the Gardens right now, you can still shop at our online store.
Read more information about our shop during coronavirus on this dedicated page.
The Wakehurst Shop
The gift shop and plant sales are are open, with limited numbers of visitors able to browse at one time.
Food and drink
You are welcome to bring your own food and drink into the gardens. At Kew Gardens, we have water fountains for you to fill up water bottles.
There are pop-up outdoor food and drink stands at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst.
Our restaurants at Kew Gardens are open either for table service, outdoor catering or takeaway. There will be hand sanitiser available at key locations.
At Wakehurst, Stables Kitchen is open for takeaway and from Friday 24 July indoor seating and catering facilities at Stables Kitchen will reopen.
Don't forget to be prepared to pay by contactless.
If you're eating in one of our restaurants, we will be collecting test and trace data. You can provide your details to one of our designated catering staff members, or scan the QR code for the NHS COVID-19 app.
Help us to look after our gardens
Please place all rubbish in the bins provided or take it home with you.
It's easy to walk or cycle to Kew. You can drive but parking is extremely limited.
Elizabeth Gate, Brentford Gate, Victoria Gate and Lion Gate are now all entry and exit gates.
Please note: parking is entirely prohibited on Kew Road. Read more on getting to Kew Gardens.
At Wakehurst, the car park is open as usual. We have a temporary one-way entrance to the gardens, which is signposted from the car park. As of 5 October we will go back to the two-way entry/exit in the Visitor Centre. Read more on getting to Wakehurst.
We are excited to welcome school groups back to Kew Gardens and Wakehurst 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.
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.
Postponed or cancelled events
Most of our events are cancelled or postponed to support the UK’s effort to stem the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)
If your individually ticketed event was cancelled, your ticket provider will be in touch. We have cancelled and refunded all pre-booked day tickets.
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.