Review of 'Christmas at Kew 2015'

http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/whats-on/christmas-at-kew-2015

We wanted to see this last year so we were more than happy to go this year particularly when we had discounted tickets but, even so, it is not expensive anyway (£16 for adults, £10 for children). At Christmas time every year Kew open their gardens at night for a magical light display in their grounds. Simply put, it is amazing. Very well done. Seasonal food and drink is offered at reasonable cost at stalls throughout the one-way walk around the grounds (around about a mile in length). This includes places where you can purchase fresh marshmallows then roast them at the end of long sticks over hot braziers.

There are several spots where actors are present for the children including Father Christmas (though you can't actually visit with him). There is also a “Victorian Fun Fair” with rides for the young ones as well - Here there is also an indoor seating area with café (as well as souvenir shop).

Highlights from our visit included the “Singing Holy Bushes” - A series of large cylindrical holy bushes that each sing a particular part in a song and light up when they do so. Very pretty.

Singing Holly Bushes

The “Fire Garden” was also quite special - An open area with small bushes surrounded by small tins containing flame. Something magical about this.

Fire Garden

Another fun bit was where you get to walk through a cube with strings of light hanging from the top - You part your way through the lights as they continually change.

Hanging Lights Walk

A more standard “tunnel of lights” is also here…

Tunnel of Lights

An exhibit outside of the Victorian Fun Fair is of a field of flowers and peacocks beautifully lit.

Peacock and Flowers of Light

There are some more interactive exhibits such as the “tree of wishes” where you can hang a lantern on a tree and make a wish…

Tree of Wishes

The attention to detail is all around you on the walk. Trees everywhere are lit up in different colours and often decorated as well.

Lit up Trees

The end of the walk is the light and sound show in the lake in front of the glasshouse. A wood platform set on the opposite side of the lake allows you to lean and enjoy the show. Beautiful with the synchronized water fountains…

Glasshouse with Music, Light and Water Show

Really worth a visit though can be very crowded. Take your time as you make your way around. It really put us in the Christmas spirit.

Logistically, it is best to take the train to Kew Gardens though they do offer parking at a small car park on the river. Remember to dress warmly as it does get a lot cooler outside at night. They advised bringing a torch (flashlight) but we found this unnecessary as it was easy enough to see where you were walking throughout the trail.

Rating:

Review Date: 2015-12-23



Kew Gardens

Location: London (England)

Address: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB

Public Transport: NRLOGO Kew Gardens TUBE Kew Gardens

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8332 5655

URL: http://www.kew.org/

Wonderful place to visit with extensive gardens as well as the famous pagoda, the lake, and greenhouse with a very long history. The new treetop walk is also a great thing to do. Worth spending a good amount of time just wandering around - A day well spent.

There are a number of annual events held here including the Orchid Festival, “Kew the Music”, “Write on Kew” and,“Christmas at Kew”.