Kew Gardens are back to once again bring light, colour, and a healthy sprinkling of Christmas magic to south-west London this winter. Their lovely lights trail is amongst the very best of London’s Christmas lights, turning the gardens into a festive enchanted woodland. And as they’re now heading in to the 10th year of running Christmas at Kew, they’ve got plenty of new tricks and treats up their sleeves!
Here’s your chance to see the UNESCO World Heritage sight in a whole new light. An incredible selection of installations and projections dazzle visitors over the course of a 2.7km trail – that’s about a 40 minute walk when you’re not being distracted by an incredible light installation. The night-time celebration of nature takes visitors through projected light shows and ornately decorated flora and fauna that absolutely amaze and boggle the mind. And they’ve truly outdone themselves this year. We’re talking over a million twinkling lights illuminating the pathways and dazzling visitors on their journey along the trail.
So, what can you expect to see?
Among the new sights to feast your eyes on are ArtAV’s magical Starry Night, which finds guests wandering through thousands of twinkling lights, and LuminARTi’s Willow Hives, which take inspiration from natural forms to elegantly illuminate their surroundings. You’re also sure to linger for far longer than you realize by the Lake, as the projected light show interacts with the surface of the water to create an optical illusion as light seems to flow and disappear completely into an abyss.
Some old favourites have returned, too. The hugely popular Fire Garden is back, as are the iconic Palm House projections. Kew Gardens have also brought back the Instagram-dominating Christmas Cathedral for visitors to take incredible photos in a dazzling world filled with thousands of fairy lights. And as always they’re keeping visitors warm, and appetites sated, with a selection of independent street food vendors along the trail. We’re definitely opting for some mulled wine as we make our way along the route!
Make a wish at Kew
New to the Christmas at Kew light trail this year is the ability to Make a Wish for Nature. Visitors can tie a wish to one of two wishing trees that can be found along the trail. Kew will then take those wishes to the Biodiversity COP15 meeting in December. This move is intended to show the public demand and desire for action to be taken to protect the world’s biodiversity. The wishes range from ‘protect our food’ and ‘protect our well-being’ to ‘protect nature’ and more.
Christmas at Kew was the first light trail of its kind across the UK when it started back in 2013. But they haven’t faded out at all. Instead they’ve gone from strength to strength as one of the most beautiful, captivating experiences in the UK. If you’ve never been, this year is definitely the time to go. Don’t be disheartened by their sell-out December season either, as there are plenty of tickets still available through January!
Family from £65;
Child 4 – 16 from £14;
Under 4s free;
Kew member from £18.50.
Also published on Medium.