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Escape to the tropics at one of London's attractions

Published: Monday 7th of February 2011

If you want to escape the cold winter weather then you may like to plan a visit to Kew Gardens as you choose which London attractions to see during a trip to the capital.

The famous botanic gardens are a sight to behold at any time of year but from February 5th until March 6th they will become a veritable tropical paradise.

Described as "a festival of tropical flowers", anyone visiting this London attraction over the next month is bound to enjoy seeing all the beautiful blooms and smelling their fragrant scents.

Many of the displays that will be on show as part of the Tropical Extravaganza will come from rainforests and it could be the ideal way to introduce your children to a fascinating habitat without having to leave the UK.

One of the main areas of focus will be conservation and the Princess of Wales Conservatory will host an exhibition dedicated to the dangers faced by the world's rainforests, as well as explaining what steps Kew is taking to help with their protection.

You will also be able to see coffee and banana plantations here, giving you a chance to find out where some of your favourite food and drink comes from.

The central display at the festival will also be in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, focused on the pond area.

It has been designed to represent a flooded rainforest and admiring the large orchid-covered tree standing out of the water is bound to be a highlight among the things you do in London.

Hanging baskets and arches will complete the exhibition in this part of Kew Gardens, but just because you have seen the tropical blooms, does not mean you will have run out of things to experience at this London attraction.

If you are visiting Kew Gardens with the kids and want to give them the chance to let off some steam, you should make sure you head to the outdoor play area - Treehouse Towers - or learn more about some of Britain's native wildlife by visiting the human-sized badger sett that has been built in the grounds.

Meanwhile, those of you who are looking for cultural London attractions will also find them here, with a number of art exhibitions relating to botanical subjects and nature as a whole.

Among the artwork currently on display is a selection of nine paintings from the archive of Hampton Court Palace Florilegium. Created by botanical artists, you will be able to see impressions of some of the plants found in the gardens at Hampton Court Palace.

If the weather permits, you could round off your visit to Kew Gardens with a stroll along its treetop walkway.

Constructed in the arboretum between the lake and the Temperate House, you will have a bird's eye view across the area, with the elevated path standing at 18 metres in height. But this isn't just a journey to the top of the trees - the walkway also takes you beneath the earth to learn about how tree roots work with the organisms that inhabit the soil.

So, if you are looking for things to do in London over the coming months, add Kew Gardens to the top of your list. The variety of exhibits, plants and wildlife is sure to amaze you and if you are visiting the capital with children, it could be the perfect place to have some fun and learn a little bit more about the world around us.

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