Kerrie Lloyd-DawsonChristmas lights at Kew Gardens

The iconic Palm House at London’s Royal Botanic Garden is the stunning finale on a magical Christmas trail around Kew gardens, adorned with over one million twinkling lights to get you in the mood for the festive season. As befitting for the most famous botanical garden in the world, this is not simply some lights draped around trees, but a series of imaginative light and sound installations.

Even the ticket booths set the tone for the spectacle to come.
Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

Just under 37 kilometres of lighting and power cables have been laid around the trail to supply 15 unique displays, some of which are accompanied by powerfully evocative music. You will also happen across cabins selling festive food and drink, and there is even a Victorian fairground to entertain the children. I defy anyone not to be enchanted.

So wrap up warm, grab yourself a hot cup of mulled wine, and join me on a virtual tour.
Photographs courtesy of Pete Stevens Creative Empathy

It takes at least an hour to amble round the trail taking in all the installations, but you might get waylayed by the tempting roast chestnuts and champagne!

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

An arch with 4000 baubles marks the entrance to the trail.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

A sea of illuminated globes dance in time to the captivating music, Carol of the Bells.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

365 wooden sledges arranged into the shape of a Christmas tree, a staggering 11 metres tall with a multicoloured light display.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

Gnarly branches are highlighted with beautiful colours.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

A magical woodland walk, with projections, lights and sparkling giant snowflakes.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

Each post of the Sackler Crossing bridge, which winds its way over the lake, lights up in shimmering waves in time to angelic music. Lights on the islands ebb and flow, and the water twinkles.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

A welcoming pit-stop for a glass of fizz.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

Twirling Christmas trees dangle lanterns from their branches in a river of flaming torches.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

32 illuminated icicle shards, each seven metres tall, edge the pathway.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

Santa Claus makes an appearance to delight the children.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

A tunnel of fairy lights.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

A carousel in the Victorian fairground.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

The paper petals of giant peonies rustle in the breeze, surrounded by multi-coloured reeds.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

 

The huge glasshouse, built in 1844 to house tropical plants, is the backdrop for a dazzling display of projections and lasers, accompanied by Christmas music classics.

Christmas lights at Kew Gardens, London. 2017 © Photography by Pete Stevens

I hope you enjoyed your virtual tour and are feeling suitably festive, but there is no substitute for seeing and hearing it first hand if you can.

Christmas at Kew runs Wednesdays to Sundays until 1 January 2018.
5pm to 10pm (timed entries between 5pm and 7.40pm).
Adults £18.50 (£16 off peak), Children £12 (£10 off peak).

 

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Kerrie Lloyd-Dawson

About Kerrie Lloyd-Dawson

Passionate gardener, plantaholic and garden blogger. Kerrie gardens in England and, with the assistance of her partner, cats and chickens, has turned an ordinary medium-sized garden into a something much less ordinary; described by one visitor as a beautiful botanic garden in miniature. Kerrie is always looking for plants that are rare or unusual, trying out new planting combinations and visiting other gardens for inspiration. Kerrie writes about plants and projects on A Garden Less Ordinary

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