A few months ago we got treated to a day out as part of the Stamptastic Brand Ambassador programme. We couldn’t have asked for better weather for a day out exploring Kew Gardens. I hadn’t been to Kew Gardens, near Richmond since I was a child, and really couldn’t remember any of it other than a big hot-house. I was really looking forward to meeting the Stamptastic team and some of the other blogging families too.
We met up with everyone, had some refreshments and were treated to a ride on the Land Train. This is a hop on/off service and extra to the entrance price at £4.50 for adults and£1.50 for children.
It’s well worth doing, especially if it’s your first time at Kew Gardens. The gardens cover a large area, so it gives you a great overview as well as saving little legs along the way. We went on a super hot day (yes we did get a couple of those this summer) and even a really good walker like Monkey would have struggled to cover the whole site. With the Land Train option we got to see the key areas and I made a mental note of what we’d investigate later in the day.
The idea went down well with Monkey too, who can be rather reluctant to join in with group activities. There was certainly a lot to look at.
Something that definitely wasn’t at Kew Gardens the last time I visited around 40 years ago (eek!) is the Treetop Walkway. I have to say I was very unsure if Monkey would even attempt it. But it was one of those days that would be full of surprises. He did try the stairs, but didn’t like them. Ok, well there’s a lift, would you try that way? Yes. Result. The life is really for people with buggies etc but it’s a great way to get more timid children up in the treetops easily.
There was something else which had caught Monkey’s eye which certainly helped. Children can put a coin through a shute at the top of the walkway and it clatters all the way down to a big box of coins at the bottom. The box can be seen through a glass window – Excellent idea. He held my hand tightly and we walked around the loop of the walkway. I was so proud of him for walking with me, a big moment of courage.
Once back down on the ground he was off to explore a tree of a different kind.
It’s well documented that Monkey isn’t a great one for play grounds and climbing, but something happened at Kew Gardens. I’m not if it’s the space of the place or it was just the right timing, but Monkey was a different child that day. He LOVED the outdoor and indoor play areas. He was happy for me to look on from a distance and wave to show I was looking at him. I’d never experienced that with him before, and it was wonderful to watch. My son, trying new things in a new place, and doing it by himself. Magical.
Monkey was having an absolute ball, and the smile was a permanent fixture. He even missed cake!
We both wanted to explore the glass houses so we set off with our map. We stopped to admire different trees along the way, but of course the Monkey Puzzle Tree was a firm favourite.
Kew Gardens may be vast but the site is flat, making it easy to walk around with youngsters, the paths are wide, so buggy friendly, and with lots of open space, it’s a dream come true for little ones.
Monkey was fascinated with the glass houses and the cacti, the orchids were stunning and he even walked up the spiral staircase and around the canopy walkway in the large Palm House. He even found an aquarium.
We’d both wanted to walk up to the Chinese Pagoda and Japanese garden but it was scorching, and an ice cream on the lawns seemed like a much more sensible option.
We said goodbye to the team and headed back to the car. We’d had a wonderful day exploring Kew Gardens thanks to Stamptastic and we’ll definitely be back at some point with Daddy P to explore some more.
It’s certainly worth a visit and I think it’s very family friendly.
disclaimer: we were given free access to Kew Gardens via Stamptastic but were under no obligation to post about our adventures. We just loved it there.