Japanese lantern (Hibiscus schizopetalus)
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Winter at Kew Gardens

From the tropics to the frosty outdoors, see our pick of the top things to do at Kew this winter.

A magical season

Discover nature’s winter beauty during this magical season, when woody plants and ornamental grasses take centre stage.

For Tony Kirkham, Head of the Arboretum at Kew, the colder months reveal some of the Gardens’ secrets:

“Winter is one of my favourite times in the Arboretum at Kew. The trees have lost their leafy summer disguise and can show off their natural structural beauty. I often head to the Pinetum to enjoy the conifers suddenly standing out and coming to life with a myriad of blue foliage and cones.”

Top 6 things to do at Kew this winter

1. Be inspired by the bare beauty of the Gardens

As the leaves fall and the bright colours pale, a stark beauty is left behind. It is at this time of year that the structure of the trees can best be seen: the textures of bark, glistening with frost, and the contrast of winter colour.

Share your photos from your visit to Kew this winter using #WinterAtKew.

More about Kew's Arboretum

Henry Moore sculpture in the Arboretum at Kew

2. Explore a tropical wonderland

Leave the winter behind as you enter Kew’s iconic Palm House. A tropical wonderland of plants from rainforests across the globe, it is home to one of the world’s oldest pot plants: a cycad which arrived at Kew in 1775.

The Palm House is also home to economic 'power plants' rubber, banana and cocoa.

More about Kew's Palm House 

Inside the tropical Palm House

3. Admire Kew's art

The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art is currently hosting three exhibitions, including Rebecca Louise Law’s most intricate large-scale artwork to date. In the Marianne North Gallery you will discover over 800 paintings from one of the most prolific botanical artists of the Victorian age. 

More about the Shirley Sherwood Gallery

More about the Marianne North Gallery

Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death at Kew  (Photo: Charles Emerson)

4. Wonder at rare and delicate flowers in the Davies Alpine House

The Davies Alpine House was built in 2006 using state-of-the-art technology. Its pyramid shape reflects the mountain landscapes.

Look out for one of the glasshouse’s rarest occupants, the Chilean blue crocus. Delicate yet bold, it has scented, cobalt-blue flowers with white centres. 

More about the Davies Alpine House

The Davies Alpine House at Kew

5. Take a tour, learn, be inspired

Walking tours are a fun and informative way to explore the grounds. Hear facts and anecdotes about the plants and Gardens as you walk the tour with our award-winning volunteer guides.

Meet Kew's experts and find out about the science and conservation work carried out at Kew.

More about Kew's tours

Holly bushes near the Palm House

6. Choose your climate

Whatever the weather outside - choose one of ten climatic zones to enjoy in Kew's Princess of Wales Conservatory.

Discover cacti and aloes in the dry tropics, or search for carnivorous plants in the wet tropics.

More about the Princess of Wales Conservatory


Princess of Wales Conservatory