15 October 2019

Best things to do at Kew this autumn

We round up the seasonal highlights at Kew Gardens this autumn.

By Katie Avis-Riordan

Fallen yellow autumn leaves at Kew

Spot the autumn heroes

This season is the perfect time for tree lovers to explore our Arboretum.

Among our vast collection of 14,000 trees, many are displaying a fiery spectrum of colours, from yellow and orange to red and purple.

For the best of the autumnal shades, look out for the stunning trees in the gallery below.

It’s not just the leaves that are livening up the landscape. Plump berries and fruit of soft pink, blazing orange and bright red can be found if you head south of the Temperate House.

Japanese rowan (Sorbus commixta), holly (Ilex), wild crab apples (Malus) and pear (Pyrus) are bursting with great fruitful colour.

Close up of red berries on holly tree
Holly (Ilex) berries, Katie Avis-Riordan © RBG Kew
Red berries of Japanese rowan (Sorbus commixta)
Japanese rowan (Sorbus commixta) berries, Andrew McRobb © RBG Kew

Walk the treetop canopy

Soak up the seasonal atmosphere from a different viewpoint on the Treetop Walkway.

Circling 18 metres above the ground, the elevated path offers spectacular panoramic views of the Gardens and beyond.

You’ll be surrounded by the canopy of autumn favourites; sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), beech (Fagus sylvatica), horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) and several oak (Quercus) species.

Treetop Walkway at Kew in autumn overlooking trees
Treetop Walkway in autumn © RBG Kew

Capture autumn at the Lake

Take a walk down to the Lake for one of the most breathtaking seasonal views. It’s a treat for photography enthusiasts.

Spanning five acres, the Lake is surrounded by vibrant autumnal shades, enhanced by their reflections in the water.

As you cross the curving path of the bridge, try to spot the stunning deep red of the Chinese tupelo trees (Nyssa sinensis) and fiery colours of the black tupelo trees (Nyssa sylvatica).

Top tips on autumn photography

Reflections of trees in the Lake at Kew Gardens in autumn
Autumnal reflections in the Lake at Kew Gardens, Ellen McHale © RBG Kew

Admire art

Lovers of art can appreciate what’s on in our Shirley Sherwood Gallery.

From 16 November 2019 to 15 March 2020, Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art will be marking 30 years of the Shirley Sherwood Collection.

The six gallery spaces will be filled with 150 paintings, split into geographical regions.

Visiting the gallery is also a great way to escape the chill on cooler autumn days.

A painting from the Modern Masterpieces exhibition
Modern Masterpieces, 'Strelitzia nicolai' by Beverly Allen © Shirley Sherwood Collection

Dine in the Arboretum

With floor-to-ceiling windows, our newly renovated Pavilion Bar and Grill is a great place to dine this autumn.

The restaurant sits in the heart of the Arboretum so you’ll be surrounded by autumn colour and able to enjoy the outdoors no matter the weather.

Our chefs will prepare your dish with fresh, seasonal, local produce in our central open kitchen and use some ingredients foraged right here at Kew.

Davies Alpine House at Kew

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