3 December 2020

Best things to do at Kew this winter

Breathe in the crisp winter air and enjoy seasonal highlights at Kew Gardens this winter.

By Ellen McHale

Holly berries

Get outdoors for some fresh air and winter fun at Kew. 

See amazing art in our galleries, explore our beautiful woodlands, and spot seasonal plants and wildlife. 

Go wildlife spotting 

Our gardens are full of wildlife, from herons and woodpeckers to badgers and hedgehogs. Our woodland areas provide great cover for our furry friends.

Head to the Natural Area to spot signs of badgers. They are nocturnal and shy but if you look closely you can spot tell-tale signs, like claw marks and paw prints.  

Look around our lakes and ponds to spot bird life. From stealthy grey herons (Ardea Cinerea) to noisy Canada geese (Branta canadensis), bird life can be seen on the water and by the water's edge.

Keep your eyes peeled for woodland birds like jays (Garrulus glandarius) and great spotted woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major) in the Natural Area. 

Head to Wakehurst, our wild botanic garden in Sussex, to see a greater variety of wildlife. Wakehurst is home to three species of owl: Tawny owls (Strix aluco), barn owls (Tyto alba) and the little owl (Athene noctua). 

Wildlife at Kew

Green woodpecker
Green woodpecker, Phil Baum/Unsplash
Fox
Fox, Scott Walsh/Unsplash

Spot seasonal heroes 

It may be cold but the Gardens are still thriving with winter greenery. 

Take a stroll down Holly Walk near the Temperate House to see one of Europe's most comprehensive holly collections, planted in 1874. 

Head to the Pinetum to immerse yourself in a leafy wonderland. One of our Gardens’ hidden gems, it's tucked away within the Arboretum to the south of the Gardens.

Spanning 40 acres, it's home to a diverse collection of trees including towering redwoods and rare treasures such as our Japanese Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga japonica).

This is the perfect time of year to admire them, particularly when dusted with winter frost on a chilly day. 

Several conifer trees within the Pinetum of Kew Gardens
The Pinetum in Kew Gardens, Ellen McHale © RBG Kew
Redwood grove
Redwood grove, Ellen McHale © RBG Kew

Christmas at Kew 

Plan your perfect winter evening at our magical after-dark trail.

With a brand new route for 2020, you can wander through sparkling archways and starry lanterns. For the first time, the trail will take you through our Rose Garden which will be illuminated with hundreds of twinkling lights. 

Treat yourself to delicious street food along the trail from independent traders, and indulge in sweet treats, mulled wine and savoury snacks. 

Plan your perfect night

Illuminated Temperate House at Christmas at Kew
Temperate House at Christmas at Kew, Jeff Eden © RBG Kew
Christmas at Kew
Christmas at Kew, Jeff Eden © RBG Kew
A couple enjoy Temperate House, Kew Gardens

Become a member of Kew Gardens

Enjoy unlimited visits, get exclusive access to events and discounts, and support our vital science and conservation work.

Read & watch