Orchids, orchids, and eucalyptus trees!

Kew Palace

Last weekend, I took my Mum and daughter to see the orchid festival at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, London.

We left the NorthWest around 7am on the Saturday morning, and found rather a lot of other people already on the motorway. At one point, we ended up stopped on the M1 for almost 40 minutes, which really made the journey longer, and then, we found the right road, and promptly went the wrong way along the North Circular for about half an hour before we noticed! Oops!
The Orchid Display - well, part of it
We got there eventually though. Once we had found a place to park, we went in (having pre-paid for tickets via the internet) and found a play area, where daughter could stretch her legs and we could have our sandwhiches, as it was just coming up for midday by this time.
More of the orchid display
We did use the explorer bus, but didn't do the full route on it, and walked for most of the way round the gardens. Checking gmaps pedometer when we got home, I discovered that we had walked around 5miles while we were at the gardens (ouch, no wonder my feet ached). I even managed to Tree Top Walk... A staggering 108 steps to a raised platform, eighteen metres above the ground! I don't do heights, made obvious to passers-by, by my faintly green-hue and whitened knuckles, gripping the hand rail for all I was worth. But my Mum wasn't going up, and I could hardly let a six year old go up on her own. So, whilst it was a terrifying experience for me, I survived. Apparently the views are fantastic. I can't confirm that, I kept one eye on my daughter and the other squinting so I could see where I was going!

The Tree Top Walk
The View from the Tree Top Walk
108 Steps
We didn't see everything unfortunately, although we did our best in the five-and-a-half hours, before they closed. The gift-shop had closed before we left, which upset girl-child greatly (she's six, the gift-shop is the best part of any day-trip) and we missed the ice-cream van in the car park by mere moments, but we did manage a short walk along the banks of the river Thames at Richmond, before driving home again.
We stopped for some food and diesel at the services on the toll road, and made it home for around ten thirty at night. It was a long day, and not a cheap day, but it was totally worth it!
Eucalyptus Tree

I took around 600 photos while we were there (a few more than my one-a-day requirement for lent), but I have chosen only my favourites to put on here, just not in any particular order. I'd recommend a visit if you can, so much so, that we're planning to go again in June, so that we can see the roses in bloom. Enjoy:





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