24 June 2019

The best picnic spots at Kew

Grab your picnic blanket and head to Kew Gardens for al fresco eating this summer.

By Ellen McHale

Riverside walk in the Arboretum

From peaceful woodland to dazzling roses, Kew Gardens has the perfect picnic spot whatever your mood. Here are our favourite areas across the Gardens for outdoor eating. 

The Rose Garden 

Sit amongst our fragrant rose bushes for a magnificent view of the Palm House and take in the beautiful scent of hundreds of roses. 

The Rose Garden is currently home to 170 different species and cultivars of rose, which creates a feast for the senses between June and August. 

See if you can spot the strongly scented Rosa ‘Lady of Shalott’ or the beautiful red Rosa ‘Trumpeter’ which are highlights of our collection. 

Rose Garden, Ellen McHale/RBG Kew
Rose Garden, Ellen McHale/RBG Kew

The Arboretum 

Explore our vast collection of 14,000 trees and find the perfect picnic spot beneath the branches.

Stretching across two-thirds of the Gardens, the Arboretum surrounds our glasshouses in a leafy enclave for you to walk, wander and discover.  

We have over 2,000 species living here, including rare and ancient varieties. Check out some of our oldest trees, which date back to the 18th century and include the Japanese pagoda tree (Styphnolobium japonicum), the Lucombe oak (Quercus x hispanica 'Lucombeana'), and the black locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia).

Riverside walk in the Arboretum
Riverside walk in the Arboretum, RBG Kew

Mediterranean Garden 

Planted in 2007 to depict a typical Mediterranean natural habitat, this area of the Gardens transports you to the sun-kissed landscape of Southern Europe. 

Spread out your picnic blanket among the towering stone pines (Pinus pinea), Tuscan olive trees (Olea europaea) and fragrant shrubs of lavender and rosemary. 

 

Mediterranean Garden
Mediterranean Garden, Ellen McHale/RBG Kew

Cedar Vista 

Head to Cedar Vista and stretch out on the grass to admire views of the Great Pagoda.

The Pagoda was completed in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta, the founder of the Gardens. It was restored in 2018 to its original 18th century splendour. See if you can spot the 80 dragons that adorn the roof, each carved from gilded wood.   

Work off your picnic with a climb to the heights of the Pagoda and marvel at spectacular views across London. Read more information about the Pagoda and book your tickets.

Pagoda vista at Kew
Cedar Vista, RBG Kew

The Palm House pond 

The most iconic building at Kew, the Palm House is magnificently framed by the Palm House pond.

This is the perfect spot to take a seat by the water and relax. Take a look at our beautiful commemorative WW1 bench while you're there.

Enjoy views of this glorious glasshouse, which was the first glasshouse built on this scale and was constructed in 1844 by Richard Turner according to Decimus Burton’s designs.

In need of a picnic top up? Victoria Gate café and shop are close by just in case. 

Find your way around the Gardens with our map

The Palm House, RBG Kew
View across the Palm House pond, RBG Kew
The Pavilion Bar and Grill © Ryder Architecture

Top up your picnic at our cafes

In need of a picnic top up or a hot drink? We have a wide variety of cafés and restaurants at Kew Gardens.

Find out more

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