6 August 2020

Holiday at Wakehurst in one day

Discover plant passports, picnic in our best spots, walk the world, and so much more.

By Katie Avis-Riordan

A family enjoying Wakehurst in summer

Travel the world in one day at Wakehurst this summer, exploring 500 acres of our wild botanic gardens in the heart of Sussex.

Here are some of the fun ways you can have a holiday adventure with us, from discovering plant passports and dining out to being transported to far-flung countries through our global plant collections.

Walk the world

We have stunning plants and landscapes from all across the world, from the Himalayas to Australia.

Enjoy the sensory feast of our botanic collections, allowing the fragrances, sounds and sights to whisk you away to different parts of the globe.

Highlights include our monkey puzzle trees (Araucaria araucana) from Chile and our Australian Wollemi pines (Wollemia nobilis) in Coates Wood, our giant redwoods (Sequoiadendron giganteum) from California in Horsebridge Wood, and the beautiful Asian plants growing across our Himalayan Glade and Westwood Valley.

Your globe-trotting couldn’t be easier as our gardens are designed phytogeographically, with our plants grouped together according to their native country.

Read our full guide on walking the world at Wakehurst

Group visit at Wakehurst
Group visit, Wakehurst, Jim Holden

Discover our plant passports

Add to your holiday explorations by discovering where the plants in our wonderful collections come from.

Look out for the black botanic labels attached to specimens that are like the plant’s own passport.

You can find out the plant’s common and scientific names, family, unique Kew collection number, natural distribution range, whether it comes from wild source material, and if it has been verified by a Kew taxonomist.

Put on your botanist cap and take a look at the picture below to learn more about how to read these useful labels.

How to read a plant botanical label guide to find out the plant’s common and scientific names, family, unique Kew collection number, natural distribution range, whether it comes from wild source material, and if it has been verified by a Kew taxonomist.
Plant botanical label © RBG Kew

Dine out

Food and drink are always an enjoyable part of any holiday and at Wakehurst it’s no different.

Take your pick from our delicious family-friendly menu at the Stables Kitchen with seasonal specialities and food inspired by our gardens.

And as an added bonus, you can enjoy 50% off food and non-alcoholic beverages when you dine with us here throughout August, from Monday to Wednesday. 

For a grab-and-go dining experience, we’ve got a variety of tasty treats at our pop-up food stall in the Carriage Ring.

Cakes at Wakehurst
Cakes at Wakehurst © RBG Kew
Salmon bagel

Enjoy a picnic

If you prefer outdoor eating surrounded by nature, then why not bring your own picnic?

There are plenty of beautiful spots across our gardens to tuck into your grub and admire the stunning scenery.

Lay your picnic blanket by the tranquil Water Gardens for some peace and quiet, or enjoy your al fresco eating overlooking Westwood Lake.  

Bloomers Valley is another great picnic spot, where you’ll be surrounded by a sea of wildflowers.

Sit among the trees in our Pinetum or Horsebridge Wood and snack under the canopy.

Families may want to head to our Labyrinth, a great area for kids with its natural play space and lots of benches.

We also offer pre-bookable picnics which are available when you book your tickets to the gardens.

A family picnic
A family picnic © RBG Kew

Go wildlife spotting

If you wanted a wildlife holiday this year, then Wakehurst may be able to satisfy your nature-style wanderlust.

Walk among the different landscapes and terrains across our vast gardens, noticing the butterflies, bees and birds.

For even more of a nature fix, visit our Loder Valley Nature Reserve, a 150-acre wildlife haven.

Home to 300 plant species, this reserve is a mix of habitats including wetlands, meadows and woodland.

Dormice, badgers, kingfishers, owls, and many more species live here. Keep your eyes peeled!

Kingfisher
Kingfisher, Jan Meeus/Unsplash

Take some holiday snaps

What would a holiday be without a few fun snaps? Take photos at our scenic spots and seek out the best selfie destinations in our gardens.

You’ll be spoilt for picture choice with vibrant colours, blooming flowers, magnificent vistas and undulating landscapes.

Overlooking the Mansion Pond is a favourite spot for capturing great photos and selfies.

Check out the Mansion Gardens and Bloomers Valley that come alive with colour and movement in summer.

We love seeing your pics, so why not tag us on Instagram with @wakehurst.kew and #wakehurst?

Smartphone photography in woodland
Smartphone photography © Jeshootscom/Unsplash

Buy a souvenir

Round off your travels with a trip to our Gift Shop to buy a holiday souvenir.

We sell pocket-money toys, games and books for children to continue their adventures at home, along with a fantastic range of gardening gifts, plants, books, homeware and beautiful stationery.

Did you know, Wakehurst and Kew members can enjoy 10% off in our shop and plant sales area?

Become a member

If you prefer to buy online, have a browse of our Kew Online Shop.

Wakehurst Boardwalks © RBG Kew/Jim Holden

Holiday at Wakehurst

Discover plant passports, picnic in our best spots, walk the world, and so much more.

Plan your visit

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