Kew always put on great family friendly events and the Beano Trail is no exception. Upon entry to the gardens (tickets can only be pre-booked in advance) you can pick up a hard copy trail which doubles up as a Beano Comic strip.
We entered via the Victoria Gate and then followed the signage throughout the site to find out way to the main part of the trail. We were greeted by lots of bright and colourful plants and various Kew Gardens staff wearing the iconic stripy Dennis the Menace t-shirt.
Kew Gardens has a lot of space so fortunately it is quite easy to social distance from other people whilst enjoying the great outdoors. As we got closer to the trail, the kid got particularly excited by seeing some drawings around the site.
then finally we found the start of the comic. The adventure starts with Dennis on a school trip to Kew Gardens for a birthday picnic. Was delighted to be included in an image (courtesy of one of the Kew Gardens staff who suggested I get in). Not sure who was more excited, me or the kid.
As you make your way along the trail you can expect to find a variety of jokes and activities to learn about some of the plant kingdom’s cleverest tricks. With help from new characters based on members of RBG Kew staff – Lee (The Fun Guy who loves Fungi) and Katie (the tree-swinging Horti-hero) we joined Dennis and friends in learning about some of nature’s cleverest tricks in the plant kingdom – including the huge and stinky titan arum, the flame-repelling Giant Redwood, and an orchid that looks like a bee!
The trail is interactive and the kid was particularly keen on the jumping part where various noises (including farts) can be found by jumping up and down on the installation.
Although this young Londoner is a little young to be familiar with the Beano comics (or the movie) he enjoyed exploring the emotions displayed on the characters’ faces and delighted in discovering the next picture that had been brought to life.
We also really enjoyed discover the slimy, sticky, smelly and deceptive powers of plants to help save the day and the superhero mirrors had us captivated for around 15 minutes.
The trail felt really magical. Birds were tweeting, bees buzzing and we were surrounded by colourful plants and their fragrant smells. It was a really peaceful way to celebrate the end of lockdown and enjoy the freedom within the wide open spaces at Kew.
We ended our visit with a trip to the Children’s Garden – one of our favourite play spaces in London. Plus we enjoyed the art installations throughout the site, including The Hive which replicates the sounds that are found in a bee hive to giant proportions.
The Beano trail is taking place at both Kew Gardens and Wakehurst until 18th of April 2021. Kew Gardens offer a variety of concessions for members, families, jobseekers, carers and students. Do check out their website for the full breakdown of costs.