London’s Urban Rain Forest

Take a tour of London’s stunning Kew Gardens…

This post comes from our UK team, Lisa and Natalie.

In awe of the raindrops pooling puddles beneath our winter boots, we soon forgot about the icy wind reddening our cheeks just moments before entering The Palm House at London’s Kew Gardens. Such relief to be met with a humidity normally reserved for lands much further south of London. A sanctuary of peace and beauty, we climbed to the top of a winding staircase and were treated to a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the entire rainforest canopy.


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But, what truly stole the show was the award-winning Princess of Wales Conservatory, where lies the most captivating display of colours imaginable. Inspired by the environment and enchantment of Brazil’s carnivals, the Orchid Festival (running until 6 March 2016) is truly a tropical paradise. With flowers ranging from deep purples to pastel pinks, florescent yellows and blood oranges, there was no place left untouched by their magic. Contradictorily to the beautiful display of orchids and bromeliads at our feet, hanging from the glass roof was an array of orchids with exposed roots, allowing us to envisage a view usually reserved for those below the earth.

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Just outside of the glass houses dwells a large lake, filled with swans and other fleeting birds, surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens.

On our return through the streets of Richmond, we were filled with gratitude for having tasted a bit of the tropics…a perfect antidote to the often melancholy feeling of post-Christmas winter.


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Kew Gardens is open year-round; the Orchid Festival is on now until 6 March 2016.

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