Every year when autumn rolls around, I plan to go to Kew Gardens to see the beautiful seasonal colours. So far, I’ve always ended up not going because I was too busy, but this year I made it!

Inspired by A Beautiful Mess’ template, I created an Autumn Bucket List for myself. I’m terrible at giving myself actual time off, rather than working (which I guess happens when you have your own business). But this list really made me focus on setting aside time to do the stuff I really wanted to experience at this time of year. I’ll definitely be doing a festive/Christmas one!

Kew Gardens in autumn

I went on a Friday morning because I thought it would be quieter than on the weekend, and it did end up being a good choice! I arrived around 11am (it’s a long way from East London) and probably spent around 3 hours there. I think I only managed to see half of the whole area in that time!

I took along my Fuji XT2 as it’s my go to when I am on day trips – it’s way lighter and smaller than a Canon. I did also take my Canon 50mm lens with me as I’m all about the soft depth of field for flowers!

Kew Gardens Chihuly exhibition

Plants in the temperature greenhouse at Kew

I started out with a walk around the temperate greenhouse where I absolutely loved the Chihuly sculptures. The large hanging blue one was beautiful!

White glass sculpture by C

Chihuly at Kew Gardens

I then wandered on towards the Pagoda and the Japanese garden. I think this was actually my favourite area – so relaxing and the Chihuly sculptures in this area really looked amazing. It took me right back to walking around the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo.

View of the Japanese garden at Kew Gardens

Chihuly sculptures in Kew Gardens Japanese garden

Pagoda 

Heading back towards the centre of the park was one of the main things I wanted to see: The Treetop walk. From pictures I’d seen, I imagined it to be really long so was a bit disappointed when I saw it was a short loop. The trees also weren’t quite orange yet, but it was still very pretty. There’s a fab view from the top.

The cacti area at Prince Charles Conservatory

When I was a teenager, I used to collect cacti and succulents (I know, I was such a cool kid). This meant the cacti area in the Prince Charles Conservatory was awesome for me!

Prince Charles Conservatory at Kew

Kew Gardens in Autumn

My camera hated the palm house because of the humidity but it was an absolutely amazing place to visit! I got one photo on my phone before it misted up:

Palm house at Kew Gardens

Because I had been in bed sick for most of the rest of the week, I only lasted the 3 hours of walking around and missed the rest of Kew Gardens. However, I’m so glad I got to see the Chihuly exhibits and have my first taste of the gardens. I would definitely go back.

Kew Gardens in autumn

Prince Charles conservatory at Kew

Whilst it is a long old train journey from East London (pretty much an hour and a half), this did give me plenty of time to read my book, which was lovely! All in all, a fab day and a big thing ticked off on my Autumn Bucket List.

What do you love to do at this time of year?

Caroline Opacic Photography