Every May I think, I must go see the bluebells in Kew, then promptly find an excuse not to get off my fat, lazy backside.
But this morning I donned my cycling gear, got on the bike and pedalled my way towards the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. The five-mile trip along the tree-lined Thames Tow Path was easy riding, muddy and stony in parts, crowded with pedestrians in others. The only real hazard, apart from the odd rogue dog bounding off his lead, were the green flying aphids that clung to my sweaty face or flew into my mouth and down my throat! (That was my lunch sorted, then!)
I chained my bike up by the main gate, forked over a small fortune for an entrance ticket (£11.75!!) and then wandered around the 300 acres on foot.
The sun was out and everything looked gorgeous. So many plants in bloom. But it was the bluebells I really wanted to see, although I had to trek right to the other side of the gardens to reach them.
The long walk (and the eight-year wait) was worth it though. The fields of bluebells looked stunning, like a pretty azure carpet, dappled by soft, green light filtering down through the trees.
During my visit I went a bit mental with the camera (267 photographs!!), but it was hard not to. Everywhere I went, every new path I took, revealed beautiful vistas alive with glorious colour and picture-perfect foliage. I loved all the different types of gardens and habitats on show, including the wonderful conservatories and the world-famous Palm House.
Eventually, having traversed one corner of the grounds to the other, I treated myself to a coffee and yummy muffin, which I devoured sitting in the sun. It suddenly occurred to me how relaxed and trouble-free I was feeling. Amazing how a wander through a park can be so soothing, like a balm for the soul.
Then, after a short perusal of the souvenir shop, I got ready for my return journey by bike. Riding under an avenue of leafy green trees, the silky smooth waters of the Thames to my left, was fun. No motorised traffic to worry me but considerably more pedestrians, Sunday joggers and fellow cyclists to grapple with than my morning trip. This meant I had to keep my speed relatively slow in order not to knock anyone over!
Six hours after leaving the house I was back in the door at around 4pm, a little foot-weary, but pleased that I’m made the most of some fine weather to see those long-awaited bluebells at Kew. They were definitely worth it!
Click to see all my bluebell photographs (I will post my other Kew photographs at a later date.)
Distance travelled: 11.37 miles
Time for return journey: 1hr 14min
Av speed: 9.43 mph
Max speed: 18.1 mph