Lake and Crossing

Curve your way across our Lake to admire the surrounding trees and wildlife.

Visitors walk over the Lake Crossing

The Lake covers five acres of water, studded with four islands that provide vibrant colours, enhanced by their reflection in the lake. 

Particularly stunning in autumn, Chinese tupelo trees (Nyssa sinensis) turn deep red, while black tupelo trees (N. sylvatica) glow red, orange and yellow.  

The Lake Crossing, installed in 2006, gives easy access to some of Kew’s less visited areas. The black granite walkway leads you over the water along a curving path that mimics the Lake’s rounded banks. On approaching the bridge, its walls appear to form a solid boundary that gradually begins to disappear when viewed sideways on. 

A little bit of history  

The Lake was created in 1856 in an area that was excavated to provide gravel for terracing the original Temperate House. Underground channels connect our Lake with the Thames, and it was filled for the first time in 1861.  

The Lake Crossing opened in 2006, becoming the first ever bridge across the Lake. Designed by architect John Pawson, it won the 2008 Stephen Lawrence Prize. 

Visiting the Lake Crossing 

We may occasionally need to close attractions for maintenance or visitor safety: check for planned closures and visitor notices before you visit. 

There are deep bodies of water on site. Please supervise children at all times.

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