Orchids festival at Kew

Things to do, Exhibitions
5 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)

Time Out says

Kew Gardens’ celebration of the orchid returns for its twenty-fourth year, this time with a focus on the plant life of Colombia. Kew’s Orchids festival will see the botanical gardens’ tropical greenhouse bursting with colourful species, and in 2019 they will reflect the country’s diverse landscape – from tropical beaches to snow-capped mountains.

The Prince of Wales Conservatory will be filled with the sights, smells and sounds of Colombia. Highlights will include a ‘Carnival of Animals’ display depicting a toucan in flight, a hanging sloth and swimming turtles all made up of hundreds of stunning orchid blossoms. A cascade of colourful hanging vandas will represent Colombia’s famous rainbow river, Caño Cristalesm. There’ll also be a forest scene with life-sized jaguars.

Don’t miss a dazzling display of hundreds of colourful butterflies suspended from the glasshouse ceiling and bright yellow orchids floating over the glasshouse pond, depicting the legend of El Dorado. Kew has also enlisted the help of Colombian multi-disciplinary artist Vanessa Moncayo Gonzaìlez to transform the glasshouse film room into a Bogotá-style café where you can grab a cup of tea and take in some colourful street-art-style murals.



Users say (5)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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3 people listening

I've been to Kew Gardens a couple of times before and enjoyed myself enormously but this festival is the icing on the cake.  A different spectacle greets you at every twist and turn. Amazing.


Every year Kew Gardens presents in its pavilions Orchids Festival and every year it's amazing! It's a colourful celebration of vibrant plants and culture. As you step inside the tropical paradise, you experience unbelievable explosion of  colours and  beauty. You will find there hanging up the ceiling different types of orchids, you will see a peacock and a monkey as a flower composition. Then there are ponds with orchids baskets and so on. Stunning exhibition.  

This is amazing. Honestly. I don't know much - if anything - about flowers, but the colours, displays and scents are just beautiful. Not only do you get to view this splendid exhibition but the rest of Kew Gardens as well - banging! Only thing I would recommend is not going on a bitterly cold day as I did as you have to walk from place to place and it just makes you sad in between each segment of art. 


The vibrant colours and smells of the Orchid Festival was a welcome escape from the obscenely cold and dreary day outside AND made me feel just a little bit better about the extortionate £15 price tag to get into Kew Gardens. There was a huge variety of orchids to examine and stare at in awe, more than I ever thought existed! To second what Sarah G says in the previous review, it was extremely busy and yes, there was little to no organized walkway round but to be honest, I kind of liked that; it allowed me to forage my own way through the greenhouse, stopping at things I really wanted to get a closer look at vs slowly shuffling around in a long slow-moving line and made the space feel that much bigger as I continued to find more and things to see that I had not noticed before.

The orchids, with the backdrop of the existing marine life and botanicals, were arranged beautifully and it made for a very uplifting experience and escape from a cold Winter's day. Highly recommended.


Kew Gardens is one of my favourite places in London. It is the scene of many a childhood family trip and has become a favourite with my family too now.

We had a full Guerra clan trip for my mum's birthday today. 11 of us ranging for 71 years old to 8 months. The Orchids are stunning  - a huge variety that are inventively displayed with lovely, lively accompanying Brazilian music. 

One the downside the marketing has worked so well it was chaotically crowded - and with no obvious 'route' round I feel i may well have missed whole sections. I also feel more could have been done to explain/describe/educate about the Orchids. That said i am seriously upgrading today's tickets to a membership so I can go again.

If you love beautiful and exotic things - GO!