NEW! GROUP TOURS – Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens – Winter Special 2019
Includes entrance to Kew Gardens and for February Tours the Orchid Festival
The Orchidaceae are a diverse and widespread family of flowering plants, with blooms that are often colourful and often fragrant, commonly known as the orchid family. A sight to behold at Kew Gardens.
Along with the Asteraceae, they are one of the two largest families of flowering plants. The Orchidaceae have about 28,000 currently accepted species, distributed in about 763 genera. The determination of which family is larger is still under debate, because verified data on the members of such enormous families are continually in flux. Regardless, the number of orchid species nearly equals the number of bony fish and is more than twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species. The family also encompasses about 6–11% of all seed plants. The largest genera are Bulbophyllum (2,000 species), Epidendrum (1,500 species), Dendrobium (1,400 species) and Pleurothallis (1,000 species).
The family also includes Vanilla (the genus of the vanilla plant), Orchis (type genus), and many commonly cultivated plants such as Phalaenopsis and Cattleya. Moreover, since the introduction of tropical species into cultivation in the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars.
Every February, become immersed in a celebration of vibrant colours, culture and magnificent plant life inside the tropical paradise of Kew Gardens’ Princess of Wales Conservatory. Each year, Kew brings a new theme to this magnificent festival.
In 2017, as well as the usual visual displays, sounds of India surrounded the senses as visitors entered the steamy glasshouse. From the tones of milkmen’s bicycle bells and newspaper boys, to the playful voices of school children, temple bells, and muezzin calls, the Indian street was brought to life. This visual feast of colour also featured elaborate floral displays inspired by a typical Indian market, including Kew’s own decorative rickshaws.
A giant Indian flag created from Vanda, Dendrobium, Cymbidium and Paphiopedilum orchids was set as the backdrop as visitors admired giant animal figures including an elephant, peacock and tiger. Phalaenopsis drops hung delicately from the ceiling, while a beautifully embellished traditional Indian marriage swing swayed amongst the Vandas, with sari material adding an extra splash of colour. A pond display exploded with intense hues in a larger than life floral arrangement marrying together tradition and modern culture.
The theme for 2019 is yet to be set, but rest assured it will be a magnificent celebration of the Orchid.
The Kew Orchid Festival runs from the first week of February to the first week of March each year.
January to March 2019
Travel to London and arrive at your hotel
On route to the hotel why not stop at one of the many garden attractions in the area, such as RHS Wisley, The Swiss Garden, The Savill Garden or attractions such as The Musical Museum, the Water & Steam Museum, the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum or maybe Windsor and the Castle. We will be delighted to make the arrangements for you, or offer some alternative suggestions.
Continue to your hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.
Kew Gardens and the Orchid Festival
You will take breakfast in your hotel, then drive to Kew Gardens.
Kew contains the most diverse collection of living plants of any botanic garden in the world. The collection contains plants from tropical, temperate, arid and alpine climates, which are grown out in the gardens and in controlled conditions within glasshouses and nurseries. The Orchid Festival will be a marvellous spectacle to see – the theme is under wraps at the moment, but it’s bound to be something spectacular.
If you wish, and at a small supplement you can add the Kew Gardens hop-on hop-off land train. This 72 seat vehicle (which will be shared with other guests), will take you on a 45 minute tour around the Gardens on the Kew Explorer land train. The knowledgeable drivers will give a commentary about Kew’s flora and fauna, historic buildings and vital conservation work.
When you feel like a break, there are four restaurants/cafes in the gardens offering everything from a cup of tea and a piece of cake, to full meals. Don’t forget to visit one of the shops before you leave.
Return to your hotel, and dinner will be served in the vening
Optional visit to RHS Wisley and return Home
After breakfast in your hotel check out, and then you have a choice of optional visits. How about a visit to the RHS Garden at Wisley, just 30 minutes drive from the hotel.
Wisley is the historic home of the RHS and houses one of the largest plant collections in the world. The gardens delight through every season: enjoy swathes of bulbs and blossom in spring, unforgettable mixed borders and roses in summer, autumn’s bountiful colours, and frost-sparkled walks in winter. And don’t miss the stunning Glasshouse, set to transport you to far-flung shores.The huge cathedral-like Glasshouse, covering the area of 10 tennis courts and rising to 12m (40ft) high, is home to the RHS’s world-class tender plant collection.
Alternatively, – you may like to consider the Savill Garden near Windsor , one of the finest Woodland Gardens, with 35 acres of beautifully themed landscaped Gardens, or maybe the Swiss Garden in Bedfordshire.
Both these gardens are open all year round offering a changing scene of variety and landscape .
You may also wish to visit these gardens on your day of arrival !
Copthorne Hotel Slough/Windsor ****
This modern hotel is situated on the outskirts of the town of Slough in a semi residential area and just a few minutes from the M4 Motorway. The Town Centre is around a mile away.
There is a large reception and lounge area with a bar. The restuarant has a nice outlook . There are 219 good size bedrooms with ensuite, Tea/coffee making facilities and large flat screen TV.
The hotel offers a leisure club with indoor pool, sauna and gym. Free coach parking is available on site.
Please note Breakfast and Dinner will be served buffet style
Other hotels in the area are also available
Time to spare ?
This tour is also available on 2 day/1 night itinerary at a variety of hotels in the Heathrow area
Prices start from £59.00 per person.
Please enquire for further details and information and available hotels
|January to March 2019|
|2 days / 1 night||from £59.00 per person|
|3 days /2 nights||from £99.00 per person|
A single room supplement will apply and this varies between hotels – details on request.