19 November 2019

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. 

Explore our beautiful woodlands, experience our festive light trail, and spot seasonal heroes. 

Spot seasonal heroes 

It may be winter but the Gardens are still bursting with life. 

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 winter greenery. 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

Warm up in our glasshouses 

The landscape may be looking wintery, but step into our glasshouses and you'll be transported to tropical rainforests and sandy deserts. 

Get steamy in the Palm House and admire tropical fruits like papaya, bananas and cacao, and meet the oldest pot plant in the world.

The Princess of Wales Conservatory offers everything from magnificent cacti to glorious ferns. Head to the Temperate House to discover rare and threatened plants in the world's largest glasshouse. Admire 1,500 species of plants from Africa, to Australia, to the Pacific Islands. 

Interior shot of the Palm House with leafy greenery
The Palm House © RBG Kew
Princess of Wales Conservatory
Desert climate in the Princess of Wales Conservatory © RBG Kew

Christmas at Kew 

If you're coming to our magical evening at Kew, share your photos beneath the hundreds of lights with #ChristmasatKew. With a magical new route and brand new installations, this is the perfect winter evening out. 

Archways will be festooned with glittering lights as well as a spectacular laser projections on the iconic Temperate House.

Stop by at the Pavilion bar and grill for a warming meal, or treat yourself to delicious street food along the trail from independent traders. Indulge in mulled wine and spiced rum cocktails, and don't forget to toast marshmallows over the fire pit. 

The Palm House at Christmas at Kew
Palm House illuminations at Christmas at Kew , Jeff Eden © RBG Kew
Christmas at Kew
Christmas at Kew, Jeff Eden © RBG Kew

Join us for a guided tour 

Take a walk around the Gardens with one of our guides and learn stories about Kew. 

Join the Tremendous trees walking tour, which will guide you through our trees from around the world, each with their own special story. 

Or discover Kew on our introduction to the Gardens tour to hear the Kew story, identify exotic plants in one of our glasshouses and find out what's in bloom. 

Frost at Kew
Frost at Kew, Ines Stuart-Davidson © RBG Kew
Cyclamen coum subsp. caucasicum flowering © RBG Kew
Cyclamen coum subsp. caucasicum flowering © RBG Kew
Arboretum at Kew

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