UK cyclists have been invited to Kew Gardens in a unprecedented event, it was announced last week.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site normally does not allow cyclists on its premises, but has made the surprise exception in an event set for mid-August.
Two-wheelers can explore the 360 acre gardens on 13 August in the three-hour Kew's Summer Cycle event, the venue said.
— Kew Gardens (@kewgardens) July 21, 2020
Visitors can also picnic at the Garden's Syon Vista near the river Thames as well as pop by the Pavilion for dinner.
“Kew Gardens is so beautiful on a summer’s evening, with so much to enjoy. I am delighted we are once again opening the Gardens for visitors to enjoy by bike. Cycling is normally reserved for people who work at RBG Kew, so it’s a rare opportunity to experience the Gardens on two wheels,” Sandra Botterell, director of marketing and commercial enterprise said.
Most paths in the gardens will be open to cyclists but narrower paths near the Rock Gardens and Queen Charlotte's Cottage will only allow single-way routes.
Tickets will cost £20 for adults, £18 for members and £10 for children. Visitors must hire or bring their own bikes to the event as no bike rental service will be provided.
The news comes as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted revenues, with the Gardens launching an appeal for donations. The gardens were founded in 1759 under Princess Augusta, mother to King George III, and are a royal venue for global scientific research and conservation of biodiverse plants and fungi, among many others.