4 August 2023

7 ways to connect with nature

Find your nature through these mindfulness exercises and tips.

By Grace Brewer

Inside the Palm House

‘We are connected in every single way. We are nature.’ – Fearne Cotton, British broadcaster, writer and founder of Happy Place.

Tune in to nature and the natural world with these simple steps on your next visit to Kew Gardens or Wakehurst.

1. Remove your shoes and socks and walk slowly with closed eyes

Walking barefoot, otherwise known as grounding or earthing, awakens your senses, allowing a deeper connection to the earth beneath our feet.

Walk slowly, concentrating on the feelings you are experiencing in your feet. Is the ground warm, cold, smooth, bumpy, wet or dry?

Focus on these different sensations to experience nature in a whole new light.

Person walking barefoot on natural path with fallen autumn leaves
Walking barefoot in nature © Matthias Gellissen on Unsplash

2. Walk along the grass and not the concrete path

Heighten the feelings and sensations you experience in your environment, discovering your own path to finding nature.

Your journey is not about the destination, but your awareness of your surroundings – focus on the present.

Why not deepen your experience by joining one of our forest bathing sessions?

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    Close up of pine needles of Patula pine (Pinus patula)

    Forest bathing at Kew

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    Selected dates, 27 April to 5 October 2024
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    Shine shines through the trees at the Woodlands in wakehurst
    Short courses | Wellbeing

    Forest bathing

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    Selected dates, 9 March to 2 November 2024

3. Take time moving through the landscape

Don’t rush; take in all that is around you.

Notice that in each step there’s a haven of diversity around you: botanical, spatial, visual – bringing you back to the here and now.

Follow one of our five new summer trails at Kew and feel, hear, move, and think differently in nature.

Two people in the Palm House admiring from above

4. Gain perspective by changing your viewpoint

Clamber to the top of our Treetop Walkway at Kew or viewing point at Wakehurst; a view from above gives time to reflect and makes life’s stresses and anxieties seem so small.

Reflect and rebalance in nature.

Aerial view of the Treetop Walkway
Aerial view of the Treetop Walkway © RBG Kew

5. Look to the skies

Don’t forget to look up. There’s so much to see and explore if you lift your eyes from your feet.

Marvel at the beauty of a starling murmuration or the soft falling of dappled light through the tree canopy.

View of a tree, looking up the trunk and through the branches
Arboretum © RBG Kew

6. Listen

Open your ears to the symphony of nature: the hum of bees, birdsong, flowing water and gentle breeze.

A bumble bee on a flower
Bumblebee, Seb Kettley © RBG Kew
Robin sitting on a branch singing
Bird © Unsplash

7. Whisper to the trees

Redwoods live on average between 800 to 1,500 years, connecting us to the distant past and far future.

You can spot these giants in Kew's Redwood Grove and Wakehurst's Horsebridge Wood.

Share your thoughts, feelings and life lessons with those who’ll be around past your lifetime, whether it’s in 50-, 100- or 500-years’ time.

What will your legacy be?

Branches of a redwood at Kew Gardens
Kew's tallest tree in Redwood Grove, Ellen McHale © RBG Kew
Many people lie on yoga mats surrounded by green plants in a glasshouse

Join our wellbeing sessions

From sensory forest bathing to yoga in the greatest glasshouse in the world, we've carefully curated a package of wellbeing events for you at Kew.