There ain’t nothing that a few thousand festive lights and a mug of mulled wine can’t fix.
So, the bad news is, you’ve missed your chance to visit Syon Park’s Enchanted Woodland this year. But the very good news is that there are so many more beautiful light festivals to see in London this winter! Here they are:
1. Chiswick After Dark, until December 30
The grounds of Chiswick House and Gardens have been transformed into a mystical trail of lights. With a series of glowing installations set amongst the trees – including this big, bright, beautiful moon – the After Dark festival has seriously pandered to our need for sparkly things at this time of year. Grab yourself a Terry’s Hot Chocolate Orange or a Hot Apple Cider and take a wander to admire the wonderful projections, spotlights and neon creations, all of which will be set to a stunning soundtrack.
Adult tickets cost £16.50 with discounts for children and families. More info here.
2. Christmas at Kew, until January 5
Bringing light, colour and Christmas sparkle to south west London, Kew Gardens’ magical light trail is back and it’s bigger than ever. Along a 2km trail, you’ll find one million twinkly lights adorning bridges, arches, trees and tunnels. Amongst many other surprises, there’ll also be a festive flotilla, where illuminated boats will sail across the lake looking heavenly. Besides the lights there will, of course, be fairground rides, a chance to see Santa, and a bunch of festive winter warmers.
Adult tickets cost £19.50 with discounts for children and families (hurry, there aren’t many left). More info here.
3. Alice in Winterland, November 28–January 5
Alice in Winterland is new for 2018 and will take place in Southwark Park – making it the most central light festival in this list. This enchanted, immersive event will transport you to a fantasy world, where a trail of thousands of lights and over 160 giant lanterns will take you on a magical fairytale adventure. Fall down the rabbit hole and witness as the lanterns turn the timeless tale of Alice in Wonderland into a beautiful, interactive experience. Cast your eyes upon everything from a 5 metre tall Alice to a life-size Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and watch as 29 scenes from the story are recreated. Besides the lights, there’ll also be plenty of food and drink stalls, ft. mulled wine of course – just to complete the festive experience.
Adult tickets costs £15 with discounts for children and families. More info on the Alice in Winterland website.
4. Enchanted Eltham, December 6–22
Combining a magical mix of light, colour and sound, Enchanted Eltham is back with another breathtaking winter experience. Watch as Eltham Palace glows in the night; marvel at beams of light lightsabering across the sky; walk through arches of twinkling lights; and admire the ancient moat as fountains rise and fall to a stunning soundtrack. You can also toast marshmallows, drink mulled wine, feast on mince pies, or have some fun on a few fairground rides. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year.
Adult tickets costs £12 with discounts for children and families. It’s open Thursday through to Sunday. More info on the English Heritage website.
5. Christmas at London Zoo, November 22–January 1
This winter, ZSL London Zoo will really come alive once the animals go to bed. Wander the mile-long illuminated path winding its way through the zoo, and admire the festive sights and sounds. There’ll be tunnels and vortexes festooned with over 100,000 twinkly lights, as well as illuminated wild animal sculptures and singing trees. And, of course, there’ll be many more surprises along the way – including hot chocolates and mulled wine (okay, that’s not very surprising, but trust me on the others).
Adult tickets costs £19.50 with discounts for children and families. More info on the ZSL London Zoo website.
6. Canary Wharf Winter Lights, January 15–26
In early 2019, Winter Lights festival is returning to bathe Canary Wharf in colour. Light artists from across Europe are ready to show you what an unbridled imagination and state of the art light technology can do. Many of the installations are interactive or responsive, and they get bigger and brighter each year! Best of all, the whole shebang is FREE to attend. Perfect if December has taken its toll on your bank account.
More info on the Canary Wharf website.