The RHS year-to-date figures to mid-October were 20 per cent up across all four of its gardens compared with 2008. RHS Wisley is 21 per cent up and between June and August there was a rise of 15 per cent. The RHS gave free entry for children in August. Kew saw visitor numbers from 1 April to 30 September up by six per cent on 2008.
A Kew representative said: "We believe that the good visitor figures are a combination of the 'staycation' trend as seen by a number of other visitor attractions, good weather - particularly in May and August - and visitors responding to the Lose Yourself in the Beauty of Kew Gardens campaign as part of our 250th celebrations."
In 2008, Kew attendances were down 8.5 per cent.
National Trust annual attendances are up 18 per cent this year, reaching more than 12 million visits by September compared with 14.8 million for the whole of 2008.
Membership recruitment is up by nearly 21 per cent. The trust's catering is up by 22 per cent and retail operations by 19 per cent.