Despite being only a few miles from the centre of London, Kew very much has a village feel. Geographically Kew is triangular, being enclosed by the famous Royal Botanical Gardens, the River Thames, and the town of Richmond.
Kew’s history is particularly fascinating. The first mention of Kew was supposedly during the Roman era with the area being cited in Caser’s Gallic Wars as a place where the Roman army crossed the River Thames. Indeed Kew’s location, where the river bends, made it a popular settling site. By the medieval period Kew was large enough to pay taxes, and during the reign of the Tudors it became populated with the Royal favourites of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. As time passed, Kew became a stylish location for the nobility, who built impressive Georgian and Stuart houses, some of which still stand today. With Royal visitors came trade and prosperity, which in turn brought more people to Kew. It became known as ‘the breadbasket of London’ as much of the area was given over to market gardens. But inevitably, as London grew, these gardens decreased to make way for more homes. Much of what is here today dates from the late 19th Century with the arrival of the District Line and easy access to London.
With wide-open spaces, good schools, and access to the city, today Kew is a popular area for young families. It retains a real community feel with its village green, small selection of independent shops, restaurants, and cafés.