Christmas at Kew: Showstopping light trail returns for eighth year

PUBLISHED: 12:32 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:32 23 September 2020

Beatrice Granger, Clair Chapple, Lulu Kingstone enjoying the Cathedral of Light during Christmas at Kew. Image: Jeff Eden / RBG Kew

Beatrice Granger, Clair Chapple, Lulu Kingstone enjoying the Cathedral of Light during Christmas at Kew. Image: Jeff Eden / RBG Kew

Jeff Eden

Tickets are on sale now for the annual illuminations, which start this November

Christmas at Kew's finale at The Palm House. Image: Jeff Eden / RBG KewChristmas at Kew's finale at The Palm House. Image: Jeff Eden / RBG Kew

Kew Gardens famous magical winter light trail WILL return this winter with a beautiful new route through the iluminated Rose Garden.

From November 18, a roster of internationally acclaimed artists will adorn the gardens with a feast of art, light and music at every turn; visitors can expect bursts of colour and enchanting optics as they explore the UNESCO World Heritage landscape after dark.

Other highlights include a canopy of stars, neon-wrapped trees and another spectacular light show at the Treetop Walkway bringing a touch of magic to this year’s otherwise rather uncertain festive calendar.

Stepping through the welcome wreath archway, visitors will enter a botanical world filled with seasonal cheer. The iconic Temperate House will be lit from within by a dynamic light show, enveloping the glasshouse in a spectrum of Christmas colour, while the Cathedral of Light – will twinkle with thousands of fairy lights for a truly Instagrammable moment.

New this year, visitors can wander through a tunnel adorned with a canopy of starry lanterns, while the returning Fire Garden will receive a makeover with sculptures made from wicker and willow casting shadows among the scented, flickering flames.

Kew Gardens’ botanical treasures will be accentuated along the route; heritage trees illuminated from different angles, branches interwoven with multicoloured neon swirls, a glowing pink cherry blossom walkway and a spectacular singing Rose Garden are but a few of the features that await.

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Proving a hit last year, the Waterfall of light will return to the Treetop Walkway bigger and better than before with beams of light performing a breathaking aerial dance in a new overhead light show.

At the final stop on the trail, the renowned Palm House finale will greet visitors with festive projections played across a giant screen of water in the centre of the lake, and across the iconic glasshouse itself, to a memorable soundtrack of Christmas classics.

Visitors xcan pick up a warming spiced cider, mulled wine, or hot chocolate from one of the street food vendors along the route or, to add an extra special touch to the evening experience, indulge in a traditional Christmas dinner at Kew’s Botanical restaurant.

The illuminations will take place from Wednesday November 18 2020 to Sunday January 3 2021 between 4pm and 10pm (last entry 8pm).

Additional safety and social distancing measures, such as a one-way system, additional time slots to help spread the flow of visitors and stringent cleaning practices, will be in place.

Tickets are available to purchase from Kew Gardens by advance booking only and cost from £12 per child (4-16), from £19.50 per adult and from £57 for a family. Under 4s go free.

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