Light Fantastic: Christmas at Kew Gardens

Christmas tree at Kew Gardens

Christmas returns to Kew with a wonderful illuminated trail. Absolutely has a preview

Words Pearl Boyd

Kew Gardens is set to transform into a magical after-dark explosion of festive colour this month. The annual Christmas spectacle is a breathtaking display of more than 60,000 lights in a mile-long illuminated trail inspired by the gardens themselves.

Visitors will begin their journey through a botanic wonderland via two giant Christmas trees festooned with ribbon as the sweet aroma of mulled wine, hot chocolate and roasting chestnuts fill the air.As they head off into the night, visitors will meet a carpet of lights, gently swaying like blossom in the breeze, made up of a whopping 1,700 delicately flickering lights, before warming themselves at the scented Fire Garden inspired by Five Gold Rings from The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Glittering trees dripping with giant crystals will bring the Gardens to life, as colour-changing reeds rise high into the night sky and visitors pass through a Tunnel of Lights animated by a staggering 63,000 pixels creating patterns and pictures to a well-known Christmas soundtrack.

Along the trail, the whole family will get the chance to enjoy Kew karaoke at the Christmas Juke Box, before coming face to face with an avenue of floral installations creating a shimmering Crystal Lawn. There’s a chance to pause at Mistletoe Moments before the woodland walk dotted with larger-than-life clusters of candles comes into view.A spectacular finale will see the Palm House Pond burst into life with an explosion of brightly coloured laser beams, streams of light and flickering orbs that dance in time to much-loved Christmas classics.

The North Pole village is home to Santa and his elves, while a Victorian carousel and helter skelter at White Peaks will fill the younger visitors with joy.

As the winter trail comes to an end, visitors will finish the trail under the stars while toasting marshmallows, before admiring a stunning range of Christmas gifts for all the family at Victoria Plaza.kew.org

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