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Kew Gardens membership: admission of family members

London
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Kew Gardens membership: admission of family members

I am thinking of buying membership at Kew Gardens either for myself or for my partner. Originally I was thinking of buying joint membership, but as individual membership also admits a family member as a guest there probably isn't much point. Their website offers a clear definition of a family member as a "spouse, civil partner, partner who you live with, sibling, lineal descendant or ancestor". I am just wondering whether anyone on here is a member and has experience of bringing guests. Do they ever ask for proof that somebody is a family member, or do they really just make this specification to satisfy HMRC, and then simply take on trust/common sense that guests are actually family members? Obviously very few people will turn up with their marriage/civil partnership certificate, or proof that they live at the same address (e.g. electoral register, bank statements, utility bills, etc), birth certificate, etc. In fact, I have no means of proving that my own father is actually my "ancestor".

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1. Re: Kew Gardens membership: admission of family members

I am a member and sometimes take in my adult offspring and sometimes a friend instead. I have never been asked to prove a relationship. My offspring have a different surname from me so it's hard to see how I could anyway. Or how you could prove or disprove another adult being a sibling. Sounds like a technicality to me.

They recently changed the system - you used to have vouchers for a certain number of guest passes. I'm not sure it is completely thought through, from what you say. But I like to support them on the grounds that somebody ought to be conserving genetic plant material for posterity so I will continue with a joint membership.

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2. Re: Kew Gardens membership: admission of family members

Thanks. Encouraging information. I suppose the point of the joint membership is (a) people who do not have an eye for a bargain, who will buy joint membership because it seems like the obvious thing to do, (b) couples who may want to visit as a larger family group, e.g. husband, wife, and two grown-up children. I agree that it's good to support them, but I don't feel particularly bad about the idea of taking out a single membership with the intention of using it as a couple, as the fact is that we are more likely to keep up a direct debit of £62 p.a. than we are to visit two or three times a year on a pay as you go basis. No doubt we would also spend money on food, drink, entry to the pagoda, etc. We have joint membership of Historic Royal Palaces, which is why we finally got round to visiting recently (to take advantage of our £10 admission vouchers). The main reason I can see to get the joint membership is that individual membership only admits one person (no family guest) to the other gardens (http://www.kew.org/support-us/membership/contact-us-and-faqs#Other gardens). Thanks again for your help.

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3. Re: Kew Gardens membership: admission of family members

I think the main point of the joint membership is that the joint members can go separately. There are several other places (including Tate, V&A, BM) where both joint and member+1 membership are available - joint is always more expensive.

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4. Re: Kew Gardens membership: admission of family members

That's a good point. I don't think I'd be likely to visit with any members of my family, so unless I wanted to visit alone (again, unlikely) or with a friend posing as a sibling (possible) I think I would get the membership for my partner, as she would use it with family members and with me. Is it worth the extra £28 in case I wanted to visit with a friend posing as a sibling? I have never been there with a friend before, but I suppose if I could take someone for free then maybe I would. Various factors to consider! Thanks again.

5. Re: Kew Gardens membership: admission of family members

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