Community Access Scheme: Frequently Asked Questions
How can I apply?
You can apply by submitting an online application form.
How can I pay?
Applicants can pay for their membership by BACs or cheque. We cannot currently take card payments.
How can I renew my membership?
To renew your membership, please submit an online application form.
Who counts towards the number of visitor admissions?
Service users and accompanying staff, volunteers and carers or personal assistants.
Who does not count towards the number of visitor admissions?
Children under 4 years of age and essential carers or personal assistants accompanying service users are admitted free of charge and thus do not account for your visitor admissions.
Can service users visit without accompanying staff or carers / personal assistants?
Group service users can visit without essential carers or personal assistants where deemed appropriate by the group.
Can my staff or volunteers use CAS to visit Kew?
Our scheme is designed to provide opportunities for service users and therefore admissions cannot be offered to staff or volunteers who are not accompanying service users.
Is there a limit to group size per visit?
There is no limit to group size when visiting the Gardens. However, please bear in mind that we do not have the capacity to offer bespoke support to large groups. All groups will have to enter Kew via the Gates as normal and this could involve queuing time.
When can I use my admissions?
The membership year runs from 1 November to 31 October and applications can be made at any time. The visit quota can be used at any time within the membership year and therefore the membership fee does not reduce if you join later in the membership year.
Can I roll over unused admissions to the next membership period?
Unfortunately, any unused admissions during a membership period cannot be used once that period is over.
How can I check how many admissions I have remaining?
You can check how many admissions you have remaining as part of your membership by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What do I need to bring when I visit?
Please bring a copy of your membership confirmation, which includes your membership number, to show to gates staff on the day. Be prepared to let the staff at the gates know number of adults, children aged under 4 years of age and essential carers or personal assistants.
As visits will usually involve walking (including over uneven or grassy terrain) we strongly recommend that visitors wear comfortable footwear.
Most activities are outdoors, so we suggest that you consider the weather when preparing for your visit. We recommend bringing an umbrella and raincoat in case of wet weather, an extra layer to ensure you stay warm in cooler weather, or sun cream, a refillable water bottle and a hat in the case of particularly hot weather.
How can I get risk assessments for the visit and/or activities my group is taking part of?
Risk assessments for the visit will need to be done by the visiting organisation. You can use our school group risk assessment as an example to help you.
Kew will complete a risk assessment for any of the Kew-delivered learning programmes. If you are taking part in any of our learning programmes and would like a copy of the risk assessment, then please let us know by emailing us at email@example.com
Can I have more information about Health and Safety at Kew Gardens?
You can find guidance on Health and Safety in our CAS terms and conditions.
Are assistant dogs allowed in the Gardens?
Yes, all recognised guide, assistance, or service dogs – including assistance dogs in training – are welcome in the Gardens. We ask that they are recognisable, with a lead or harness that identifies them as working.
What are the noise levels like in the Gardens?
The Gardens are under a flightpath and there are often vehicles and machinery at work in the Gardens and this could cause significant noise. Some parts of the Gardens can also get crowded which also causes significant noise levels.
Are there quieter areas in the Gardens?
Yes, there are areas in the Gardens that are significantly quieter than others. Some of the quieter areas include the following:
- Woodland Garden
- Japanese Landscape
- Mediterranean Garden
- Secluded Garden
- Queen Charlotte’s Cottage
- Redwood Grove
- Small lake behind the Banks Building
We have an accessibility map of Kew Gardens and a visual guide.
Do you offer ‘quiet hours’ events?
Yes, we do. We have out of hours access events designed for people who benefit from visiting at quieter times (for example, people with autism spectrum conditions or sensory processing differences). You can get more information by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have wheelchairs or mobility scooters available to borrow/hire?
Wheelchairs are available to borrow at entry gates. There is no need to book, just ask when you arrive.
A few mobility scooters are available to hire from Brentford Gate and Victoria Gate. These must be booked in advance. Please contact our Visitor Information office on 0208 332 5655 to book.
Where are the toilets with wheelchair access located?
All the toilets around the Gardens have a unisex wheelchair access toilet, you can find them at the following locations:
- Victoria Gate
- The Botanical Brasserie
- The Orangery
- Near Kew Palace
- Family Kitchen
- Opposite the Waterlily Pond
- Pavilion Bar and Grill
- Near Ruined Arch
- Brentford Gate (with hoist and bench, ask gate staff at Brentford gate for the key)
You can find more information on our accessibility map and in our visual guide.
Is there a car park in Kew Gardens?
Parking at and around Kew Gardens is extremely limited, with spaces in our car park available on a first come, first served basis.
Kew Gardens car park (TW9 3AF) is located near Brentford Gate:
- Drivers displaying a blue badge can park in Kew Gardens car park (TW9 3AF) free of charge
- There are 8 accessible/blue badge parking spaces in the car park (you can use other spaces if full)
- There are 2 accessible/blue badge parking spaces to the right of the Elizabeth Gate on Kew Green
Can I have more information about accessibility at Kew Gardens?
For all the necessary information, including access to all the indoor attractions, please see the Accessibility at Kew Gardens page on our website.
What are the recommended ratios of adults to children and vulnerable adults for groups visiting Kew Gardens?
You can find the recommended ratios under the “Additional Obligations” section of our CAS terms and conditions.
Can I have more information about safeguarding children and adults at risk at Kew Gardens?
Please see our safeguarding policy for all the relevant information.
What can I see in Kew Gardens?
Kew Gardens is a 300 acres site, with several different glasshouses, gardens, and arboretums. It also has two art galleries, a Children’s Garden, several historic buildings, cafes and restaurants and a shop. You can find more information on the What's in the Gardens page on our website.
Are there any events or activities that my group can take part in during our visit?
You can find any events taking place in the Gardens on the What's on page on our website. Please note that some of these events may have an additional charge. You will receive quarterly newsletters as part of your membership, letting you know about free events taking place in the Gardens.
What are the Garden opening times?
The Gardens open at 10am and close at different times throughout the year. Please check our opening and closing times as well as any planned closures before you visit.
Please note, last entry to the Gardens is always an hour before closing time. The glasshouses also close one hour before the Gardens close.
How do I get to Kew Gardens?
Kew Gardens has four main entrances: Victoria Gate, Brentford Gate, Elizabeth Gate and Lion Gate. Please see the Getting here page on our website where you can find directions on how to get to the Gardens by different modes of transport, as well as which gates are closer to stations and car parks.
Can my group bring a packed lunch and where can we eat together?
Groups are welcome to bring their own food and drinks and can picnic outside anywhere in the Gardens.
There are also five cafes and restaurants within the Gardens, you can find all the information on the Eating and drinking page on our website. Please be aware, inside space is limited and may not be able to accommodate large groups.
Can I use CAS for paid events such as Christmas at Kew?
Commercial events such as Christmas at Kew, which require an additional ticket separate from a general entry ticket to the Gardens, are not part of the Community Access Scheme offer.
Can I use my CAS membership to book tickets for the Orchid Festival?
The Orchid Festival is free for visitors with entry tickets to Kew Gardens, therefore you can use your CAS membership to visit the Gardens during the festival. However, you need to book your free Orchid Festival tickets online in advance of your visit.
Can I use my CAS membership to book tickets for the Children’s Garden?
Access to the Children’s Garden is free for visitors with entry tickets to Kew Gardens, therefore you can use your CAS membership to visit the Gardens and book a free play session for the Children’s Garden. You will need to book your play sessions online in advance of your visit on the Children's Garden page on our website. On this page you can also find out more about our “Quiet sessions” offer for children who might benefit from a calmer play environment.
What other opportunities are open to me as a CAS member?
Our Community and Access Learning Programmes offer a wide and varied range of tours, walks, workshops and courses which are open to CAS groups. You can find more information, including how to book, on the Community and Access Learning Programmes at Kew page on our website. You will also receive quarterly newsletters as part of your membership, highlighting some of these offers and letting you know about free events taking place in the Gardens.
Can I contact someone to ask another question about CAS?
You can contact our team at email@example.com or call them on 0208 332 3600.
Do you offer concessionary tickets to individuals?
Find out about our concessionary ticket offers for individuals on the Tickets and prices page on our website. This includes a £1 ticket for people on universal credit and pension credit. Please note that these concessionary rates operate separately from CAS membership and visits.