VisitRichmond, Kew Gardens, The National Archives and The Original Maids of Honour have partnered with Group Leisure & Travel to offer a Reader Club trip discovering some of Richmond’s most impressive landmarks - from the unique to the historic.

Kew Gardens

Source: RBG Kew

Palm House at Kew Gardens is an iconic Victorian glasshouse with a rainforest climate.

Home to the largest living plant collection in the world, there’s so much to see across The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s 326 acres. GTOs will be able to explore the incredible glasshouses including the iconic Palm House and newly restored Temperate House or get a bird’s eye view from the soaring Treetop Walkway.

This Reader Club trip takes place on Saturday, 28th September, 2019 and the deadline to apply is Tuesday, 30th July. 

Apply to join the Richmond & Kew Reader Club Trip

2019 is another hugely exciting year for Kew, visitors will be able to see Chihuly at Kew: Reflections on Nature, a major exhibition by the world’s most celebrated contemporary glass artist Dale Chihuly. There are also stunning collections of botanical art to discover in Kew’s two galleries. It’s also home to the historic Kew Palace (open Easter to Autumn), the former summer residence of George III and Britain’s most intimate royal palace.

Kew Palace

Historic Royal Palace’s Kew Palace in Kew Gardens.

Lunch will be provided by The Original Maids of Honour on the nearby Kew Road which has a fascinating story. Its origins date back to the early 16th century with Anne Boleyn.

The story goes that she was relaxing in the grounds of Richmond Palace, surrounded by her ‘Maids of Honour’ when one of them produced a plate of delicious tarts she had made. The King apparently declared it the finest taste he had experienced, ordering the Maid of Honour who made the tarts be imprisoned within the palace, where she was to be kept on hand to make the delicacy exclusively for the King and his household. Thankfully, the recipe was rescued and the Maids of Honour Tart (a traditional English baked tart made of puff pastry and cheese curds) is still served today.

The Original Maids of Honour in Richmond

High tea served at The Original Maids of Honour in Richmond. 

In the afternoon, you’ll visit The National Archives in Kew, home to more than 1,000 years of British history. As the archive of the UK government, it collects and secures the future of the government record, from Shakespeare’s will to tweets from Downing Street, preserving it for generations to come. It holds one of the largest archival collections in the world, containing over 11 million historical government and public records.

The National Archives in Kew

The National Archives holds one of the largest archival collections in the world, with more than 11 million records. 

Readers will be able to explore the fascinating exhibition, Protect and Survive: Britain’s Cold War Revealed, with the added bonus of a curator-led tour. You’ll also explore other highlights including a glimpse of the reading rooms, well-stocked shop, restaurant and beautiful lake and gardens.

Itinerary - Saturday 28th September, 2019

10.30am Arrive at Kew Gardens.

11am – 1pm Kew Gardens & Kew Palace.

1.15pm – 2.15pm Lunch provided by The Original Maids of Honour.

2.30pm – 4pm The National Archives.

Itinerary is subject to change and timings are approximate.

Application deadline: Tues 30th July

The Reader Club trip is free and includes: 

  • Admission to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Lunch at The Original Maids of Honour.
  • Admission to Kew Palace.
  • Admission and a tour of The National Archives.

Apply for the trip

If you need any help or have any queries please call the editorial team on 01908-613323 or email