Remember George III? He’s the dilettante ruler who, during his reign from 1760 to 1820, lost the American colonies and went crazy from suspected porphyria: see the movie The Madness of King George for the tragic tale. Kew is where he spent his childhood and went insane, and you can tour a piece of his vanished palace, recently restored with scientific exactitude. It’s only the size of a standard manor house and lacks interpretation except for some ill-advised histrionic audio enactments that no one pauses to endure. Upstairs in the little Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, an imitation of a humble village home, the Picnic Room is painted with vines across its vaulted ceiling. The work is attributed to King George’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth. In late April, the Cottage, which is at Kew’s southwest end, is surrounded by bluebells in bloom.
Kew Palace and Queen Charlotte’s Cottage
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond
Our Rating Hours Kew Palace: Mar–Sept 10am–5:30pm, closed Oct to late Mar; Cottage: weekends and bank holidays 10am–4pm Transportation Tube: Kew Gardens Phone 020/8332-5655 Prices Admission to Kew Gardens is required: £15 adults, £14 seniors/students, £3.50 for kids 16 and under, discounts sometimes available online Web site Kew Palace and Queen Charlotte’s Cottage
MapRoyal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.