KEW GARDENS - Explore Kew Gardens - the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - near London
Explore Kew Gardens online - Official Virtual Tour




Nash Conservatory
Conservation in Action 1
Conservation in Action 2
Conservation in Action 3
George III and Queen Charlotte
Prince Frederick's Plans for Kew
Ice House
The First Plant Collectors
Jodrell Laboratory
Introduction to Kew
Kew Palace
Marianne North Gallery & Ruined Arch
Millennium Seed Bank (1)
Millennium Seed Bank (2)
Chambers' Buildings
The Pagoda
Palm House
Amorphophallus titanum
Queen's Cottage and Grounds
Rhododendron Dell
Rock Garden
Riverside Palaces
Victoria amazonica waterlily


360° Panoramas

01 Outside the Main Gates on Kew Green
02 Near the Nash Conservatory and the Main Gates
03 Near the Orangery
04 Kew Palace
05 In the Queen's Garden behind Kew Palace
06 Near the Sundail (White House)
07 By the Joseph Banks Building
08 Near the Monkey Puzzle Tree
09 Near the Ginkgo Biloba Tree
10 In the Rock Garden
11 In the Grass Garden
12 In the Duke's Garden
13 Inside the Alpine House
14 The Order Beds
15 Inside the Ice House
16 In front of the Museum
17 In front of the Palm House
18 Waterlily House
19 By Temple of Bellona
20 King William's Temple
21 By the Lake and Chestnut Trees
22 Inside the Marianne North Building
23 In front of the Temperate House
24 By the Ruined Arch
25 Tree and Daffodils
26 Inside the Temperate House
27 Inside the Evolution House
28 By the Pagoda
29 By the Japanese Gate
30 On Holly Walk
31 Behind Queen Charlotte's Cottage
32 View of Syon House and the River Thames
33 Near the Lake
34 By the Waterlily Pond
35 By the Old Cycad in the Palm House
36 By the Sophora Japonica (Pagoda Tree)
37 In the Orchid Room, Princess of Wales Conservatory
38 Downstairs in Queen Charlotte's Cottage
39 Upstairs in Queen Charlotte's Cottage
40 Inside the Waterlily House
41 Compost heap
42 Inside the Palm House
43 In the Desert Room, Princess of Wales Conservatory
44 Inside the Temperate House
45 Near Autumnal Dogwood Trees
46 In the Bamboo Garden
47 Near the Cycad House
49 Tree, Bluebells and Daffodils


Press Release Text

Explore Kew Gardens is the free, Official Virtual Tour of the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, near London. The website tour includes 360-degree panoramas, mini-movies, narration, maps, full text for the hearing-impaired, and downloadable MS Word files (with pictures) for non-commercial use by schools.

Web Surfers can now take a free online, Virtual Tour of the exquisite Kew Gardens near London, from the comfort of their own armchairs at Explore Kew Gardens --

Technological advances by the Armchair Travel Company have now made it possible for tourists, teachers, historians and students to take an interactive, "virtual tour" around these extensive and beautiful gardens and research facilities, as if they were there. They will be able to see and hear everything about the gardens, its exhibits, designers and history by simply connecting to our website.

Explore Kew Gardens, which has been just been opened as a completely free-entry website to the general public by the Armchair Travel Company Ltd., is the third in a series of 'World Heritage Explorer series' web sites.

The London-based company has employed a technique it has developed over ten years called Virtual Travel®, based on proprietary photographic techniques, Macromedia Flash, and the Java PTviewer Panoramic Display Engine. The site displays 360-degree panoramic views, movies, and narration to create a photo-real, interactive tour. The site also includes a full set of Microsoft Word files, including pictures, for use by schools, teachers and students.

Upon entering the grounds of Kew Gardens, 'virtual visitors' can look around by panning left and right on the small panos. Having spotted something of interest they can click to open a window with a much larger and higher quality panorama, and then zoom in and pan around for closer looks. For example, they can view close-up details of orchids in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, dedicated to the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

An easy-to-follow map also ensures that, unlike the real tourist, they can jump around the gardens and buildings at the click of a button. There are even exclusive 360-degree panoramic views taken from the Desert Room, the Marianne North Building, and the Palm House. Also included are locations such as Queen Charlotte's Cottage, an area which is off-limits to tourists at the site itself. All of the panoramas have descriptive narration, text and downloadable MS Word files with pictures.

William Beckett from Armchair Travel said, "If a user wanted to see and hear everything on the website, it would take over three hours to view it all, thus making this the most comprehensive interactive guided tour yet produced on the world-wide web. This site should make this World Heritage Site available to a wide range of virtual visitors who would otherwise never be able to see its splendor.

Armchair Travel's "World Heritage Explorer" programs will help alleviate the burden for access to internationally important sites, such as Kew Gardens, while producing income for preservation through donations. Many of the most famous heritage sites are threatened with closure to prevent the damage caused by admitting yet more tourists."

Four hundred years of history are brought to life, with the key figures in the story of Kew Gardens being presented in 40 specially produced movies (suitable for both broadband and dialup connection). These include video essays on the main features of the gardens, such as its extensive collections, historic buildings, research facilities, royal patrons, and art, etc, and especially those features not visible to most tourists.

William Donelson from Armchair Travel said: "As the uptake of broadband in the home expands, people will increasingly look to the World Wide Web for entertainment as well as information, and travel seems likely to prove one of the most popular subjects. Armchair Travel is at the forefront of this new technology."

Further details are available from - William Beckett – (44) 207-589-6873 – Armchair Travel Co Ltd. 21 Queens Gate Place, London SW7 5NY, England.