Last Updated on August 4, 2021
A packed summer programme with plenty to pick at Kew Gardens
The summer programme at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, will delight both horticulturalists and thespians alike. From live performances to exhibitions, the long August days are full of variety. Throughout August, visitors can enjoy longer opening hours enabling an evening view of the magnificent botanic gardens. Closing at 7pm on weekdays and 8pm on weekends, the public can bring a picnic and enjoy the outdoor delights of the rose garden, the Mediterranean garden of the shaded cedar vista. Alternatively, visitors can stroll around some of Kew Garden’s 320 acres, enjoying the Great Broad Walk Borders.
Kew is hosting an immersive summer festival that explores the question ‘what plants mean to you?’. This included newly commissioned art installations that use music, sound and colour. Kew’s exceptional plant biodiversity is celebrated with six huge plantscapes which highlight the fragile nature of the plants and the wide range of wildlife that the plants support.
The botanical theme continues at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art with an exhibition entitled Naturally Brilliant Colour. This innovative exhibition showcases an immersive kaleidoscope featuring Pure Structural Colour which has been created by Lifescaped lab to bring to life the brightest colours seen in nature.
Theatre lovers young and old will enjoy the open-air productions of Wind in the Willows. These morning and matinee productions are perfectly timed for family involvement. This year, Kew is introducing evening performances with A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed by the Australian Shakespeare Company. Enjoying this wonderful play within the landscape at Kew, including the Main Lake and Berberis Dell, promises to be a very special evening.
Wellbeing is in abundance at Kew this August with events including yoga in the Temperate House, forest bathing, cycling, and Pilates.
As autumn approaches, the focus shifts to Japan when, from October, visitors can enjoy the art, plants and culture of Japan. The Japan Festival is supported by Daikin, UK and will run from 2 – 31 October in the magnificent Temperate House.
Kew Gardens Summer Opening Times 2021
Mon – Fri: 10am – 7pm* (last entry 6pm)
Weekends and bank holidays: 10 am – 8 pm** (last entry 7 pm)
*4pm-close (last entry 3 pm) on 10 and 11 August
**7pm-close (last entry 6 pm) on 3 July, 17 July, 24 July
You must book a time slot in advance unless you are a Kew member.
Kew Gardens is easy to reach on foot from Kew Gardens Station (overground and District Line) and there is limited pay and display parking if you prefer to drive.
Entrances are at
Victoria Gate (TW9 3JR)
Lion Gate (TW9 2DF)
Elizabeth Gate (TW9 3AB)
Brentford Gate (TW9 3AF)
Ferry Lane car park is close to Brentford Gate/
The full programme and ticket booking for the events and exhibitions at Kew can be found on the website.
Looking for something different? We also recommend the Royal Observatory at Greenwich for a day out in London – find out more!