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Write on Kew

Write on Kew literary festival

Write on Kew returns this September for four days of talks and events with a stellar line-up of speakers from Carol Ann Duffy to Monty Don.



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About Write on Kew

With over 70 events, Write on Kew offers something for all tastes. Former children’s laureate Michael Rosen, Horrid Henry creator Francesca Simon and the multi award-winning author of I, Coriander Sally Gardner are among the children’s authors appearing, while the fiction programme includes talks by Rose Tremain, Marian Keyes, Fay Weldon and Robert Harris. Actors Brian Blessed and Tony Robinson take centre stage while politicians Nick Clegg and Alan Johnson share their experiences in Parliament.

Nature writers will include ‘natural navigator’ Tristan Gooley and winner of the 2015 Wainwright Prize John Lewis-Stempel while from the world of science Steve Jones, Susan Greenfield, Robert Winston and Ben Miller cover subjects from the human brain to aliens. There’ll also be events with designer Emma Bridgewater, historians Tom Holland and Antony Beevor, broadcaster Rev. Richard Coles, cookery writer Rick Stein and, the icing on the cake, an appearance by 2015 Great British Bake-off winner Nadiya Hussain.

A message from our Creative Director 

September 2016 celebrates the centenary of master wordsmith Roald Dahl, creator of some of the most popular and memorable characters in children’s literature. Dahl wrote in Matilda that books transported his eponymous heroine ‘into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling‘. We hope that our festival will  enable you, like Matilda, to travel to magnificent places with our authors  while enjoying the tranquility and splendour of one of the world’s most beautiful gardens.

Footage from Write on Kew 2015

Highlights from last year's Write on Kew, 24-27 September 2015

Top picks from Write on Kew

Friday 23 September, 6.00pm

Anne Sebba

Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s

Acclaimed author Anne Sebba, Les Parisiennes is in conversation with Sonia Purnell, author of First Lady: The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill.

Event details

Genre: Non fiction
Venue: Museum No.1

Friday 23 September, 2.00pm

Paddy Ashdown

Game of Spies

Join the renowned politician and former marine and intelligence officer to hear the true story of a lethal spy triangle in Bordeaux between 1942 and 1944. 

Event details

Genre: History
Venue: Jodrell Lecture Theatre

What’s On

Filter events by genre

Thursday 22 September, 1.00pm

The author of The Snow Geese leads this specially-designed walk through Kew Gardens, introducing some of its most fascinating trees.

Event details

Genre: Science / Nature
Venue: Festival bookshop

Thursday 22 September, 3.00pm

Robert Harris talks to Mark Lawson.
Join Britain's leading thriller writer on the publication day of his new book. This special event includes a signed, hardback copy of 'Conclave'.

Event details

Genre: Fiction
Venue: Banks Building

Thursday 22 September, 3.00pm

The author of The Snow Geese leads this specially-designed walk through Kew Gardens, introducing some of its most fascinating trees. 

Event details

Genre: Science / Nature
Venue: Festival bookshop

Thursday 22 September, 4.00pm

Britain's favourite pottery designer talks about the inspiration behind her distinctive homewares. 

Event details

Genre: Non fiction
Venue: Jodrell Lecture Theatre

Thursday 22 September, 4.30pm

Kew Gardens' top tree man talks to the Evening Standard editor about the importance of trees and how we can keep London green.

Event details

Genre: Science / Nature
Venue: Nash Conservatory

Thursday 22 September, 6.00pm

The bestselling author and natural navigator reveals the fascinating secrets of ponds, puddles, rivers and oceans. 

Event details

Genre: Science / Nature
Venue: Jodrell Lecture Theatre

Thursday 22 September, 7.30pm

The award-winning nature writer and environmentalist talks about his year spent restoring wildlife to a field.

Event details

Genre: Science / Nature
Venue: Nash Conservatory

Thursday 22 September, 7.30pm

Monty Don explores what connects us with animals quite so deeply, alongside his abiding passion for gardening.

Event details

Genre: Science / Nature
Venue: Banks Building

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Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB

Which gate to use

Before 5.30pm all four gates (Victoria, Elizabeth, Brentford and Lion) are open.

After 5.30pm, please use Elizabeth Gate.

Eating and drinking

We have four restaurants and cafés:

  • White Peaks café open until 5pm
  • Pavilion restaurant open until 5pm
  • Victoria Plaza café open until 5.30pm
  • Orangery restaurant open until 7pm

Getting here

By car

The Gardens are well signposted from all the major local roads.The South Circular (A205) passes the north-east corner of Kew Gardens. Kew Road (A307) forms the eastern border.

Car park

Brentford Gate car park is open 10am to 6.30pm. Access is via Ferry Lane (off Kew Green). Use TW9 3AF to find the car park.

Cost is £7 per day.
No charge for motorcycles and mopeds.

Other parking

Free parking is available on Kew Road (A307) after 10am every day.

Parking restrictions apply on most of residential streets around Kew and on parts of Kew Road.

By train

The nearest stations are:

  • Kew Gardens station (District and London Overground lines)
  • Kew Bridge station (South West Trains)
By bus

The most convenient bus routes are:

  • Route 65 (stops close to Lion Gate and Victoria Gate)
  • Route 391 (stops near Kew Gardens station)
  • Routes 237 and 267 (stop at Kew Bridge station)
By bicycle

Bicycle racks available at Victoria, Brentford and Elizabeth Gates.
Owners leave bikes at their own risk.


Venue access

All venues, cafés and shops have level access.

Accessible toilets

There are accessible toilets at:

  • Victoria Gate
  • Brentford Gate
  • Welcome Centre
  • Orangery restaurant
  • White Peaks café
  • Cambridge Cottage
Guide and assistance dogs

Guide dogs or registered disability assistance dogs are welcome within the Gardens. Other dogs are not allowed.

Free carer tickets

Visitors with a disability who buy an event ticket are entitled to one free ticket for their carer or companion.

We will need evidence of DLA or Blue Badge on entry, without this we may withhold the free carer ticket.

Disabled parking

Parking in Brentford Gate car park is free to drivers with a disability and displaying the Blue Badge.

There are 12 extra wide disabled parking bays. If these are full, drivers with a disability are welcome to park elsewhere in the car park free of charge.

There are 3 disabled parking spaces on Kew Green near Elizabeth Gate.

There is more disabled parking within Brentford Gate for events that finish before 5.30pm.