Visiting during coronavirus
Our gardens at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst are open for exercise and fresh air. Most buildings will be closed in line with national guidance.
Last updated: 1 February 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 during these difficult times.
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.
Under national lockdown rules, all our glasshouses, restaurants for dining in, shops and buildings are closed. Takeaway options will be available with delicious food for you to enjoy. Our 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.
You can only visit with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with one person from another household.
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, 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.
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.
Most buildings at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst are closed in line with government guidance. This includes our glasshouses, galleries, shops and restaurants. Our toilets will remain open.
In line with recent guidance, you can only visit with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with one person from another household.
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 encourage you to wear a face covering during your visit when using the toilet facilities, buying a takeaway, 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.
Food and drink
Our restaurants are closed in line with government guidance.
There are takeaway outdoor food and drink stands at both gardens. Be prepared to use contactless payment methods as we're not accepting cash.
You are welcome to bring your own food and drink; at Kew Gardens we have water fountains.
Help us to look after our gardens
Please place all rubbish in the bins provided or take it home with you.
Under the recent lockdown, you should only leave your home for limited reasons, including for outdoor exercise. You should not travel outside your local area for that exercise e.g. your town, village or part of the city where you live.
Please check gov.uk for further guidance, including rules around public transport and car-sharing.
- Kew Gardens: It's easy to walk or cycle and enter at any gate. You can drive but 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.
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.