Monday, 18 March 2013

Best Places to see in London-The Kew Gardens in London

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in west London 
is one of the world's most important botanical gardens. The 132ha (326 acres) large area boasts a collection of about 50,000 different plant species, as well as many impressive buildings such as the Palm House and the 10 story Pagoda.
The history of the botanical garden goes back to 1759, when Princess Augusta, Palm House
mother of king George III started developing a 3.6 ha large garden at the domain of White Lodge, Richmond, in west London; with the help of gardener William Aiton and botanist Lord Bute. William Chambers designed several structures for the garden, including the orangery and the pagoda. The botanical garden actually occupied just a small part of the garden, with the rest designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown.
In 1772, King George III inherited Princess Augusta's garden after he had already inherited George II's country house in Kew, a 3ha large estate near the botanical garden. George III decided to join the two royal domains and he put Rock Garden Joseph Banks in charge of enlarging and planting the combined gardens.
Joseph Banks had just returned from his journey around the world with Captain Cook and had collected a large amount of exotic plants on his trip. During his tenure at Kew, Banks established Kew Garden's reputation as one of the leading horticultural research centres in the world. The garden would continue to expand over the years.

In 1841, the Kew Gardens were donated to the state. Soon after, several large greenhouses were added, such as the famous Palm House Japanese Gateway and the Temperate House. The large vistas were also created during this time. In July 2003, Kew Gardens was put on the UNESCO World Heritage list, due to the historical importance of the garden and its many unique edifices.

The Gardens
The whole domain encompasses an impressive 132ha (326 acres), with about 50,000 different species of plants to discover. Some areas are formally laid out with flower beds or themed gardens such as the large alpine garden. A large part of the domain is laid out in English style. The western part of the domain in particular, Syon Vista with its wide open vistas, invites you to casually stroll through the gardens. If you find the walk too long, you can always take a ride on the Kew Explorer, a hop on and off trolley that tours the gardens.

Several of Kew's most famous buildings, such as the Pagoda, the Temperate House and the Palm House are situated at the east side of the domain. The most crowded part is the northeast corner of the park, where you find attractions such as the Princess of Wales Conservatory, the Rock Garden, order beds, Waterlily House and the Palm House. But there are interesting sights all over the Kew 
Gardens, such as the Japanese Gateway, the Waterlily Pond, the Treetop Walkway and Kew Palace.

The Greenhouses
The most famous of the many greenhouses at Kew is the Palm House, built between 1844 and 1848. The magnificent glass and iron structure was designed by Decimus Burton and Richard Turner. The graceful ironwork structure is among the finest buildings of its era. Inside the Palm House you find plants from the Tropical Rainforest. Make sure you walk up the spiral staircase to the footbridge where temperature and humidity are at its highest.

Temperate House

Richard Burton also designed the Temperate House, Kew's largest greenhouse. Construction started shortly after the Palm House was completed; but it would take 40 years before it finally opened in 1899, when it was the largest greenhouse in the world.

A third large greenhouse in Kew 
is the Princess of Wales Conservatory which opened in 1987. This is an expansive building with ten different climatic zones, ranging from a desert climate on one end to a tropical climate at the other end.

A much smaller but no less interesting greenhouse is the Waterlily House, which was built in 1852. The giant water lilies have leaves that can reach a diameter of up to 2.5 meter (8ft). The leaves can support a weight of up to 45 kg. In Waterlily House, you'll find plants such as cacti, carnivorous plants, ferns and orchids, some of which have 'air roots'.

Other Buildings
The most peculiar building at the gardens is the 10 story tall pagoda. Designed by William Chambers and built between 1761 and 1762, this is one of the oldest buildings at Kew. The tower is a testimony to the fascination of the Pagoda British for the Orient during the 18th century.

An even older building is the Kew 
Palace, originally built in 1631 by a London merchant with Flemish roots, which explains the stepped rooftop. In the 18th century, the mansion became royal property and was occupied by figures such as King George III.

More attractions
There are numerous other interesting attractions on the grounds of the Kew Gardens, such as an evolution house, a Japanese Gateway and the King William's Temple. There's even a mock Roman arch, known as the 'ruined arch' and two small temples.
Are you considering visiting London and the U.K.? Then contact the London official visitor agency-Visit London and Partners at: 08701 566 366     

You can also contact the City of London Information Centre: Opposite St Paul's Cathedral:
City of London, Guildhall, PO Box 270, London, EC2P 2EJ
Telephone: 020 7606 3030

They can offer you credible, pursuable and realistic information and advice on the following fronts: Cheap flights to London, hotels in London, cheap hotels in London, boutique hotels in London, bed and breakfast in London, guest houses in London, holiday apartments in London, timeshare accommodation in London, youth hostels in London, transportation in London, bus tours in London, river tours in London, coach tours of the U.K., entertainment in London, tourist attractions in London etc.

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