Wakehurst Country Estate is a palatial mansion surrounded by 500 acres’ worth of beautiful botanical gardens – all set within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s a beautiful National Trust property dating back to the days of Queen Elizabeth I, and even though you can’t currently enter into the actual house due to ongoing renovations, the surrounding gardens are well worth a visit.
Owned and managed by the team at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, they’re home to the ‘Millennium Seed Bank’ exhibit – which showcases over 500 acres of diverse landscapes and plants from across the globe. Come winter time, it gets even more magical, as ‘Glow Wild’ – an enchanting festive light trail set around the grounds of Wakehurst itself – returns to this magnificent country estate.
This year ‘Glow Wild’ is celebrating its tenth anniversary, and it features ten brand-new installations for this milestone year – plus lots of other magical surprises too of course. As darkness falls, the gardens will brought to life with beautifully hand-crafted winter lanterns and captivating light installations created by leading artists – and the pièce de résistance lies in that absolutely mammoth giant redwood Christmas tree.
A part of the lantern trail and towering above the country house itself, the 37-metre-tall tree will feature 1,800 energy-saving bulbs hanging from its branches – and it looks absolutely magical right?
I mean just look at this bad boy! Of course, there will also be plenty of yummy food and drink available too – including toasted marshmallows, loaded roast potatoes, mince pies, steaming mugs of hot chocolate and mulled wine – and tickets cost £19 for adults, £12 for children and free for infants (aged 0-4).
Tickets are still available throughout the rest of the festive season, and you can get your mitts on them here.