Off to see the orchids…
Sadly, between November and March, most of the buildings at Kew are closed, including Kew Palace.
To avoid the £15 pp entry charge we used a Rail Voucher I’d previously received for a delayed train to get there free from Waterloo and then courtesy of South West trains, we were entitled to 2-4-1 entry. Parfait.
So £7.50 pp for a day out isn’t bad, and the train station is only a couple of minutes’ walk from the garden entrance, so there’s no hardship. In fact, the row of shops outside Kew Gardens Station is delightful too to warrant a trip.
If I were to choose, I’d go to Wisley for their orchid display.
The orchids at Kew didn’t wow me. The display in the shop was more impressive. I have for the first time ever been able to keep an orchid alive – in the summer months the flowers drop as soon as I bring them into the tropical heat of Central London but it seems during January and February they can live.
That said, I wasn’t going to spend between £20-30 to be proven wrong (the one I currently have was in M&S at £4 knocked down from £16 as it was apparently on the last day of its sell-by-date, albeit guaranteed for a further 4 weeks of guaranteed flowering). Gotta love M&S!
What made the trip was a fairly empty gardens and the warmth of the winter sun. We didn’t find many snowdrops or bulbs at Kew either, which means if I were doing a Feb trip again, I’d definitely plump for Wisley. Kew, for my money, is perfect for a May, June or September visit (but then isn’t everywhere fit for visiting in May? All them rhododendrons!).
When visited: February 2015
Stars out of 5 (for February): ***