Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB
Telephone: 0845 260 9000
Review by Janet Elliston - 2011
Disabled parking available, but arrive early as these soon fill up! But there’s plenty of parking otherwise but not so near garden entrance. Wheelchairs & scooters available, but you must book in advance as this is a very popular venue. There is also a chauffeur driven buggy available with stop-off points. 2 Restaurants & other snack bars. Plenty of D/A toilets as you tour around garden, plant centre, nice gift shop – not so easy to get around because of other visitors & positioning of display areas
Gardens * * * *
Car Park * * *
Toilets * * * *
Restaurants * * * *
Plant Centre * * * * *
Gift shop * *
An exceptional garden – the flagship of the Royal Horticultural Society. Beautiful herbaceous borders, display gardens, new Rose Garden to open June 2011 – looks promising.
On entering the garden head towards the pool area, don’t turn immediately right as most folks do as you will encounter steps. Travel along side of beautiful pool, with water lilies. Just behind the pool, is a beautifully designed and colourful garden and behind that another very interesting walled garden. On the other side of the pool is a large restaurant. Beyond the walled garden, you will find a route which takes you towards new Conservatories. Follow this route, travelling alongside the stream. This is planted with various & wonderful water loving plants and beautiful woodland on your right – under-planted with more wonderful and varied plants, according to season. As you walk along you will pass the rockery garden on opposite side of stream. This is inaccessible because of the many steps but you can view it as you walk along and in spring it is exceptional with beautiful spring flowers. You are now approaching the Conservatory. These are exceptional and accessible. Flowers from all areas & climates are on display, including orchids in beautiful colours. (No need to go to Eden project – this is much more accessible!) There is another large restaurant nearby. As you leave the conservatory, wander around the exceptional prairie planting – it quite takes your breath away.
On the edge of this area is a glorious herbaceous border – somewhat uphill – but I managed it on my mobility scooter. Then turn left and you approach a children’s enchanted castle and a café and toilets. Nearby you’ll see the various display gardens & the fruit gardens also a herb garden. There’s so much to see I’ve probably left out some very important areas. However, to travel back to the entrance you will pass between 2 outstanding herbaceous borders, plus two beautiful walled gardens. There are plenty of areas to sit and meditate and enjoy the views along the way. One visit will not be enough and you’ll need to go in the different seasons too!
Review by Pamela Boram - 2011
The all round best location on our travels.
Very good for passing company, variety of exhibits and environments, ease of access to most areas, clear signposting, frequency of opening and sheer relaxation.
Except for the entrance cafe which is small, the restaurants, cafes, gift shop and plant shop are all easily accessible. The outdoor seating at the entrance is good. I find the food expensive.
The disabled parking can get full, which matters if you are on your own.
A member of staff walks round with a bell prior to closure.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB
Telephone: 020 8332 5655
Review by Pamela Boram - February 2011
Photographs by C Reed
There are a few disabled parking spaces outside the Main entrance.
We stayed outdoors where it was spacious and very pleasant.
The terrain is easy for a wheelchair but there seemed to be more paths and junctions than sign-posts. This is significant as you'd do well to make your way out in good time before closing as you could get locked inside the garden. A few groups did the day we visited. Take a mobile with you for this reason.