After the last day’s hard ride, I decided to give my body a chance to recover properly with an easy ride, preferably in one of London’s public Gardens or in a landscape park. There is a wide selection of Gardens and Paks in and around London, but whenever I’m in town, The Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew are a must go for me.
Kew Gardens are situated next to the river Thames, 10 miles west of central London. They are easy to reach by District Line or London Overground and Kew Gardens Station is about 400 metres from the Victoria Gate entrance to the Gardens. Founded in 1840, it is the world’s largest and most diverse collection of living plants and were 2003 put on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The Gardens boasts landscapes, glasshouses, historic buildings and a vast range of rare and beautiful plants. My absolute favorite is the Waterlily House which is the hottest and most humid of the houses at Kew. Its ironwork construction was completed in 1852 and it contains a large pond with varieties of water lily. This glasshouse was built for the Victoria amazonica, the largest of the family of water lilies. There are more spectacular attractions in Kew one can see in only one day. The Temperate House is currently closed for restoration and will be reopened in 2018. Kew’s third major conservatory, the Princess of Wales Conservatory, was opened in 1987. It has an area of 4499 square metres. The glass roof extends down to the ground, giving the conservatory a distinctive appearance and helping to maximise the use of the sun’s energy. Spectacular. The Davies Alpine House, opened 2006, is the third version of an alpine house since 1887. Although only 16 metres long the apex of the roof arch extends to a height of 10 metres. To prevent it overheating when the sun is too hot for the plants, it has a system that blows a continuous stream of cool air over the plants. To conserve energy the cooling air is not refrigerated but is cooled by being passed through a labyrinth of pipes buried under the house . After all there are a lot of attractions to enjoy at Kew Gardens, and although I was there whenever I visited London, I never have seen all of it; it is much too much to see everything what is offered there. After all there are a lot of attractions to enjoy at Kew Gardens, some of them are just temporary as „The Hive“. The Hive is a unique structure, inspired by scientific research into the health of bees. Designed by UK based artist Wolfgang Buttress, it was originally created as the centrepiece of the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. The installation is made from thousands of pieces of aluminium which create a lattice effect and is fitted with hundreds of LED lights that glow and fade as a unique soundtrack hums and buzzes around you. .