Few places can be as inspiring as Kew’s expansive and historic gardens, especially on a summer’s day. There are more than 50,000 living plants to be found here as well as an Alpine rock garden, a Japanese-inspired sanctuary and the famed Great Pagoda, with its panoramic views of the London skyline. Our must-visit is Temperate House, the largest surviving glasshouse in the world, which reopened last summer after an imaginative restoration. Amidst winding pathways, spiral staircases and opulent water features, there are more than 10,000 rare plants from the world's temperate regions to see in glorious close-up.
Short courses, from drawing techniques to gardening classes, and a programme of guided tours make the most of this unique setting and if you’re in need of time out from the city’s frenetic pace, you can also get in step with nature at one of the latest well-being workshops. Aiming to return participants to a state of relaxation and Zen, the Tai Chi classes are held in a secluded area of the grounds. And Studio Beleta has its eye on the six-week mindfulness course, set amid nature every Tuesday afternoon from 10th September onwards.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3JR, 020 8332 5155, kew.org.