Christmas at Kew is back! After last year’s hugely popular experience, Kew Gardens is offering a brand new glittering trail a mile long, guided by snowflakes, which winds its way through breathtaking landscape, creating a magical after dark experience. This will be enhanced by a series of botanically inspired, large scale light installations, created by French design studio TILT. Their work has been seen at Bestival, and the renowned Festival of Lights in Lyon. The 27 individual pieces – the largest of which will be 12 metres by 12 metres – will look like fireworks frozen in time, including luminous lily of the valley and imposing thistles.
Wander between glowing waterside reflections, illuminated fountains and glorious glasshouses, as Kew’s stunning architecture and towering tree canopies are brought to life and drenched in Christmas colour. A shimmering tunnel of lights, twinkling holly bushes, Christmas trees festooned with lit up presents and plumes of fire dancing to music inspired by The Nutcracker in-front of the iconic Palm House, make this one of the most Christmassy affairs in town. Not to mention romantic – visitors can steal kisses at ‘mistletoe moments’ – a secluded spot bathed in fairy lights and bedecked in mistletoe.
Keep warm under the stars with a mulled wine, spiced cider or hot chocolate, as well as roasting chestnuts, toasted marshmallows and other sumptuous traditional fayre. Kew’s tastefully curated shops at Victoria Plaza and White Peaks are the perfect place to pick up unique gifts for the whole family.
There’s lots of fun to be had for the whole family both day and night. Father Christmas will be waiting for the children in his Snowflake Grotto, and a Victorian Carousel, family rides, and an outdoor adventure playground can be found by White Peaks Cafe.
Christmas at Kew; Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB; Admission: adult £15, £17 (on the day), family £45, £50, child £10, £12, under 4s free; until Saturday 03 January 2015; I: www.kew.org