Impromptu visit to Kew

One of my favourite places in London is Kew Gardens, so when my sister and her husband invited me for an impromptu trip recently I couldn’t say no. Kew is known for having plants, trees and flowers from around the world, there’s so much to see and it’s a great place to get lost in for the day.

First stop was the Hive which is a large structure made of metal and has lights that blink according to bee activity in a real beehive at Kew.

You can’t go to Kew and not visit the Palm House, which holds tropical plants from around the world. It’s usually really hot in here and as usual I had to wait for my camera to de-fog before I could take some photos. One plant we were pleased to find was the Sensitive plant. When you touch the open leaves they react immediately and close together.

From there we went to the Waterlily House hoping to find the giant lily pads that I remember from my childhood but have missed on my previous visits. Unfortunately they’d been moved, so I’ll have to try again another time. I did, however see some pretty waterlily flowers though.

Next we went to the Woodland area, and with it being late summer and the weather unsettled we got caught in a heavy downpour, thankfully though we were able to shelter under a giant Elm tree until the rain stopped. The Woodland area had a great number of trees of all types, my favourite though were the Redwood trees. These giants have a reddish, rough grain trunk and can grow to a phenomenal size.

Walking further along came across a huge wooden table, which seems like it would be perfect for all my family when they come to dinner! And hidden nearby was a log trail that you could walk across, made up of different types of trees, so educational as well as fun. There was also a badger set and tunnels you could go into.

By the time we reached the log trail we’d made it to the far end of the grounds and it was getting late so we started heading back towards the gates. I had a relaxing, fun day out and it’s always a pleasure and a privilege to see the beautiful plants, trees and flowers that can be found around the world so close to where I live.

Farm day out

My sister organised a day out for us all this weekend to a farm local to her, to coincide with her daughter’s birthday. This farm was quite big and had all the typical farm animals you would expect but also had several unusual ones too.

It was great to get up close to some of these animals; the sheep, goats and llamas were lively and eager for attention and the animal feed they could see in our hands. I’ve never seen a turkey before and I found the amazing plumage fascinating.

We were able to pet some of the more interesting animals in the farm, namely a snake, which was soft and warm, a Bearded Dragon which was spiky and my favourite, a Chinchilla, known as one of the softest animals in the world and I can see why with fur that’s as soft as a cloud.

The other animals I was excited to see were the flamingos, ones that were on my bucket list. As the day warmed up they cooled off in the pond becoming more active. The enclosure they were in also had other birds such as peacocks and Scarlett Ibises, which I thought was an interesting mix as they would normally never meet in the wild.

As well as animals to see there were play areas for the kids to enjoy, including a ball pit and mini golf. We also enjoyed a tractor ride around the farm and ice cream in the sun.The farm really reminded me of my visits to Pakistan as a child and playing with the animals my grandfather kept. It was a really fun day out that everyone enjoyed, and we left exhausted but happy.