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Kew Gardens
Photograph: RBG Kew Kew Gardens

Five things you might not know about Kew Gardens

Get close to exotic flora in the glasshouses and say hello to the treetops on the high walkway, then discover something different about Kew that you never knew

By Time Out editors
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The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are 250 years old but with regular events and exhibitions (inside and out), a lively children’s adventure playground and places to get a bite to eat, they never go out of fashion. Head to Kew Gardens for so much more than just the sweet smell of the roses.

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Five interesting facts about Kew Gardens

1. 

There’s always something in bloom. Don’t think this place is just for spring and summer, there is colour and beauty to be enjoyed in autumn and winter, too.

2. 

The flowers have late-night parties. For example, to mark the season when the orchids are at their most beautiful, Kew Gardens hosts an annual Orchids Festival (February to March), complete with evening events where you can listen to Indian music, have themed foods and cocktails, dabble in crafts and even try a spot of yoga. Check the website for themed events happening when you want to visit.

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3. 

There’s art hiding among the bushes. The vast landscape features work by the likes of Henry Moore – masterpieces that seem to offer a new perspective, as the landscape around them responds to the weather and the seasons. There is also a gallery dedicated to the work of intrepid Victorian biologist and botanical artist Marianne North.

4. 

There’s a real buzz at Kew. The magnificent open-air, walk-in installation called The Hive is a lattice work tower of aluminium, which uses sound and light to translate the real-time activity of bees on a scale we humans can see and hear, so it feels as if you’re in a giant hive.

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5. 

Buy tickets and get a palace for free. During spring and summer, when Kew Palace is open to visitors, you can gain entry only through Kew Gardens (the gardens were originally founded by the royal residents who lived here in Georgian times).

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