Exploring Kew Gardens!

After a lot of walking yesterday, on Sunday, we headed to Kew Gardens and explored there! Day 3 of 4.

Click here to watch the vlog or see below.
After a successful but tiring day at the World Athletic Chmpionships, we had a slightly later start to the day than expected. In other words, I totally slept through my alarm and dad didn't want to wake me. I had a quick - cold! - shower and then got ready. Dad had eaten breakfast so I just took a toasted teacake with me for the train journey.

Arriving at Kew was a simple journey and we ended up arriving at this quaint little village like location. It was sweet and as we crossed under the tunnel, we saw that there was a small farmer's market going on. We'd forgotten it was a Sunday so considering the size of the place, it was quite crowded. We walked through fairly quickly, barely stopping to have a look at the sausage dog pillows, and made our way over to Kew Gardens.
Dad had been before with my older sister, Catherine, back when she herselfe lived in London but I had never been. In all honesty, it wasn't really my thing but it was defintely right up dad's alley so I was prepared for a day to make him happy. After 2 days of queuing and crowds, I figured he deserved to do something he enjoyed instead.

Having said that, as though an evil joke, we arrived to a long queue. Luckily, it did go fairly quickly and we were in it for under an hour which he seemed to think was tolerable. I never snapped a picture but there was a woman dressed as a tree! It was super creepy but eerily reminded me of a giant version of Baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

When we got in, it was just before 12pm so we decided to head over to the Pavilion for an early lunch of sandwiches and cakes. A perfect afternoon tea style meal under a beautiful green ivy tunnel. I'm glad we made the most of the respite because from then on we didn't really pause for a break.

We walked through trees after trees and down little paths, eventually emerging in front of a stunning Japanese style garden with neat rocks and intricately designed lanscapes. At the top of the hill was a stunning archway. I forget the proper name but I did capture it in the vlog! It was beautifully carved and apparently it was recently restored using traditional techniques from an original one.

As we left, there were people feeding peacocks. Out of their hands! I was shocked at how tame they were but admittedly, disappointed that people were pulling out their feathers. I felt horrible watching so didn't stay for two long before continuring to the Japanese path and sculpture.

Then came the long corridor marked by trees and bushes. I loved how the flowers were ombre effect, slowly increasing in pigment. But I was most impressed at seeing the pinecones being formed. I swear, I've never seen them - although I've also never looked - before the brown, solid, prickly self. Seeing the soft, fury, green balls was absolutely mind blowing to me. LOL!

After meandering down to the science fair, we managed to sneak in an icecream or two - dad I'm looking at you! - before slowly making our way over to the lake/pond to see the ducks and fountains. We quickly nipped inside the tropical house to see the plants but it was almost unbearingly hot. Given the fact that we were sweating outside, we were melting in there!

As we left the opposite side, we walked out into the rose garden. Dad's happy place. He loved taking pictures and exploring the designed gardens but after returning to the flat, my heart broke for him. It turned out he'd knocked a setting on his camera and ended up taking 4 - 8 copies of the same photo. Not only that but if he held it down for too long, the picture combined and created a very blurry image of a rose. Oops!

Working our way around the map we came to The Hive which is a metal structure in a field of wildflowers. Personally, I think it looks devastatingly ugly and does not promote the preservation of bees at all, but supposedly that's the purpose. It is cleverly made but it's a waste of a lot of time, money and metal.

I was moreover impressed by the size of the bonsai tree growing in front of it! It's huge. It's so big that they had to help it buy building a brick wall at the side of the trunk to prevent it from toppling over and fracturing. It's almost like a massive crutch!

The final thing on the agenda was the Treetop Walkway. Dad was very eager to go to Kew Gardens mainly because of this new feature. I have a slight fear of heights so looking up the staircase was a little nervewracking but given the sheer scale of the structure and how many people were coming down safely, I figured I would risk it. Honestly, it wasn't that bad until the second half when the whole structure suddenly became very wobbly. I dread to think what it's like when it's windy.

I quickly caught up with dad and bypassed him, telling him I'd meet him at the bottom. After making it down the stairs, I looked up to see dad taking a photo of me so I took one back. It turned into quite the shot! Can you see me and my dad?

Although it felt like a long day it had only just passed 6pm when we left so we headed to Leicester Square on the way back to call in at TGI Fridays. I had the last part of my voucher to spend so it worked out well. Then we made out way back to the flat and got ready for bed, this time with no showers.

To see the full album of pictures click here. Stay tuned for Day 4 tomorrow!