See the Gardens light up for an unforgettable after-dark festive trail of lights. 22 November 2018 to 5 January 2019.
This Christmas, Kew Gardens will once again transform into a magical after dark explosion of festive colour, as visitors embark on an illuminated trail inspired by the Gardens themselves, for the much-anticipated Christmas at Kew 2018. Now a firm favourite in the London festive calendar, this year’s trail will offer an utterly new experience of art, light and sound from a roster of incredible international artists.
The festive voyage will begin, as is tradition, with an incredible archway - a gateway into another world of glistening lights, fire and colour. Visitors will first encounter the Field of Light, created by Brighton-based artists Ithaca. An awe-inspiring expanse of dancing lights spreading towards Kew’s towering Great Pagoda, which has just been painstakingly restored to its former glory, adorned with 80 golden dragons.
300 illuminated origami boats and a cathedral of lights… Next up, visitors will enter the mesmerising laser garden, by Australia-based creative studio Mandylights. They’ll find a revelry of forever dancing beams of light, highlighting for just moments at a time, the natural beauty of the woodland trees.
As they cross Kew’s glistening lake, visitors will be greeted by the captivating sight of 300 illuminated origami boats floating on the water, an installation by Italian artists Asther & Hemera. As the trail continues many more treasures await, including Firework Trees lit up by explosions of coloured light and a walkway of suspended illuminated ribbons that visitors can wonder through and stop for a selfie.
A firm favourite each year, the famous tunnel of lights will be taken to a whole new level, forming a veritableCathedral of Light, reaching 7 m tall and 100m in length - the biggest tunnel of lights ever seen at Kew.
A fire garden and an enchanted walkway…
The ethereal atmosphere will continue with a warm flickering fire garden leading to a huge dome of tubular lights inside which visitors can enjoy a festive drink. They will then enter an enchanted walkway of giant glowing peonies and papyrus, brought to Kew by French artists TILT.
Kew’s Great Broad Walk Borders, the world’s longest double herbaceous border, will be flanked by towering 11m high flower sculptures, and by illuminated benches, where visitors can relax and admire the view along the promenade. Visitors will marvel at the outstanding natural beauty of the Gardens themselves, particularly Kew’s incredible heritage trees.Seen from a totally different perspective, festooned with lights, their majestic forms are a reminder of the importance of trees to all our lives.
And the famous Palm House finale…
Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas at Kew without the show-stopping Palm House finale. The pond and magnificent glasshouse will spring to life with an explosion of colourful criss-crossing laser beams, jumping jets of light, and kaleidoscopic projections playing across a giant water screen.
Christmassy extras…including Santa!
Youngsters will delight in spotting Santa and his helpers performing along the trail, and White Peaks will once again become a festival fairground with a Victorian carousel and other rides for the little ones.
As the winter trail comes to an end, visitors will be greeted by the scent of mulled wine, mince pies and other festive foods from a variety of enticing stalls at Victoria Plaza.