Visiting Kew Gardens by Train

speeding train

Written by our web team

8 min read | 15 November 2023

Covering more than 300 acres, the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew date back to the mid-1700s. Take the train to Kew Gardens and experience manicured lawns and quirky historic buildings.

There’s so much to do at this spacious UNESCO World Heritage Site. Scale the treetop walkway, visit two hot houses, or refresh in the well-stocked café and shop.

It’s also well known for being a place of science, with more than 350 scientists dedicated to conservation and research programmes.

Use this guide to find the train station near Kew Gardens, so you can plan your route and come visit this horticultural paradise.

Why should I visit Kew Gardens?

The Japanese Gardens at Kew Gardens
With several exhibits, a restaurant, a shop, and acres of rolling lawn, Kew Gardens is a place packed with sights and activities.

Its short distance from the nearest connecting station means it’s also convenient to get to and from London. If you’re planning a trip to Kew, you won’t be short of things to see.

The Palm House

The Palm House enables a pleasant walk through this iconic glass structure, where you can enjoy the sensation of strolling through a rainforest.

Filled with tropical plants and dewy dwarf palms, this stunning hothouse is also historical, dating back to 1844. With such lush plant life, it’s one of Kew’s most famous attractions.

Temperate House

Like the Palm House, this impressive glass building from the late 1880s immediately connects visitors with Kew. Filled with roughly 3000 rare and ancient plants, the house keeps them all at the perfect temperature.

Described as a cathedral of plants, Temperate House houses 1,200 species from all over the world, making it an ideal sight for horticulture lovers.

Great Pagoda

Built in 1762, Kew’s Pagoda was originally a gift for Princess Augusta. The structure’s Chinese-inspired aesthetic is the result of designer Sir William Chambers’ time spent in East Asia

The Pagoda has excellent views across London, making it an ideal place for photo opportunities. While you’re up there, see if you can spot the watchful dragons perched on the roof tiles.

Treetop Walkway

Those with a head for heights can view the gardens from Kew’s canopy pathway. This beautiful, tree-lined structure will raise you a heady 18 metres off the ground.

From here, you’ll get a close-up look at the top of branches and the birds in this magical forest. If you decide to stay on the ground, you can take in the wood sculptures that give insight into how the trees have grown.

The Hive

More of a work of art than a garden structure, this impressive 17-metre aluminium installation recreates life in a beehive.

There’s an enclosure to walk into with a thousand LED lights, making it another perfect spot for some photography. Once inside, listen out for the music synched up to the Hive activity, which is all in the key of C.

Children's Garden

This natural play space is ideal for visitors aged two to 12. At more than 40 tennis courts in size, children will love exploring the four-metre high canopy walk, trampolines, and slides.

You can let them run free while you take a break from plant-spotting. The Children’s Garden also offers quiet sessions during the busier periods.

Living plants

Kew Gardens is gorgeous all year round, but it’s about more than just the sights. The place is dedicated to preserving the natural world, protecting vital plant life.

There’s also an arboretum that contains rare and ancient trees, as well as a wildflower meadow near the Hive.

Timing Your Visit

Kew Gardens and all of its points of interest are open from 10am to 5pm every day, with the last entry being 5pm. The on-site shops close a little earlier, typically between 4:30pm and 5pm.

The cafés and restaurants are open from 10am to 5pm, apart from the Victoria Plaza Café, which closes at 5:45pm. Check the websites before you travel to Kew, as opening hours can change.

Where is Kew Gardens?

An aerial view of Kew Gardens showing the Palm House and surrounding trees
Kew Gardens is to the southwest of London, about 10 miles out, in the leafy borough of Richmond upon Thames.

Hammersmith is to the east, and Richmond Park is to the south. The whole area hugs a loop of the River Thames, and you can access it from several gates.

For those seeking stations to Kew Gardens, there are several options. Kew Gardens tube station is on the District Line. The London Overground stops here, linking the Gardens to the east of London.

No need to ask for directions, as Kew Gardens train station is an easy 10-minute walk from the Victoria Gate entrance. Richmond tube station is a 15-minute walk to the south and is also on the District Line.

How to get to Kew Gardens by train

Palm trees in Kew Gardens’ Palm House
Kew Bridge station is a 10-minute walk, about half a mile north of the Elizabeth Gate. Trains come into Kew Bridge from the mainline London train stations, including Clapham Junction, London Waterloo, Woking, and Staines/

Richmond station, to the south, serves trains on the Waterloo to Reading line and is also on the London Overground Line.

From London Euston

Avanti trains come into one of the busiest stations in the Capital City, London Euston. From here, you can take a Victoria Line tube to Victoria and change to the District Line for stations to Kew Gardens.

From Oxford Circus

From this central shopping area, you can take the Victoria Line to Victoria, then the District Line for a train to Kew Gardens. This trip takes around 40 minutes.

From other mainline stations

As there’s no direct route to Kew Gardens as such, Avanti trains will take you to London Euston instead. However, the journey is still possible from all over the UK.

You can get to Euston from Liverpool, which is a little over two hours away. Coventry is just an hour’s trip, while you can get to Manchester in two and a half hours.

At the other end of Great Britain, Edinburgh is around four and a half hours away.

From London Euston, you can take a Victoria Line tube, then change at Victoria to travel on the District Line straight to Kew Gardens.

The nearest tube to Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens station is on the District Line, about a third of a mile to the Victoria Gate. The walk from the tube is more or less a straight line, taking around 10 minutes. You can also take a tube to Richmond Station on the District Line, then walk 20 minutes to Lion Gate.

Visiting Kew Gardens by train with Avanti

Kew Gardens, lit up by a Christmas light trail
With a dedication to natural preservation and annual events, including a Christmas event and yoga experiences, Kew Gardens is a wonderful day out all year round.

Book your tickets now and then secure your train ticket over the phone, online, or from a ticket office.

If you have one, remember to use your Railcard to save a third off. There are railcards for different age groups, including senior travellers, and for different areas around the UK.

You can also download the Avanti app, which allows you to book and manage tickets directly, making travel that little bit more convenient.. The app is compatible with iOS and Android devices.

If you’re planning ahead, Avanti’s Advanced Ticket Booking means you’ll get the best deals if you book ahead of time. Simply download your ticket onto your mobile device and you’re good to go.

Buy train tickets for your next journey

Buying through our website or app saves you money because we never charge booking fees.

To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance, and booking as a group, visit our ways to save page.

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