Christmas at Kew - the illuminated trail
See the Gardens in a whole new light.
- Adult: £12.50
- Children (5yrs -16yrs): £8.00. Children under 5 go FREE
- Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children, 5yrs -16yrs) £38.00
Trail dates and times
* Thursday 28 November – Sunday 1 December 2013
* Thursday 5 December – Sunday 8 December 2013
* Thursday 12 December – Sunday 15 December 2013
* Thursday 19 December - Monday 23 December 2013
* Thursday 26 December 2013 - Saturday 4 January 2014
The illuminated trail opens at 4.30pm and closes at 10pm. Visits are timed at 30 minute intervals from 4.45pm. The full trail takes approximately 75 minutes.
Let the magic begin
We invite you to explore the superb setting of the Gardens through the eyes of specialist outdoor event producers Culture Creative, who have taken inspiration from Kew’s vast landscape and history. The route they have devised takes you through the heart of the Gardens, and on your way you will encounter light, sound, performance and interactive installations that will delight and amaze the whole family.
The story of Kew through the illuminated trail
The Gardens will be presented in a whole new light, playing with structure and shadow and celebrating the story of Kew. The illuminated trail will architecturally illuminate our key specimens inspired by unique characteristics like their spectacular structure, their place in the garden, their age or their type.
Kew after dark… the trees will light your way
This extraordinary experience is a must for all the family. From the Christmas village at Victoria Gate you’ll make your way to the Mediterranean Garden. You’ll find yourself strolling over stony paths through an intimate grove of Cork Oaks, Stone Pines and Italian Cypresses conjuring up warmer climes in contrast to our cool winter. Here the sounds of the Mediterranean drift through the Gardens and magical patterned lanterns light the way.
The shimmering lakeside will beckon, with reflections playing across the water at the Sackler Crossing. You’ll get to play with light and sound at the secret interactive cluster of beech trees, feel the warmth at the Garden of Fire, seek out the surprise hidden inside the Waterlily House and see the iconic Palm House as you’ve never seen it before.
Mysterious goings on…
Especially for children and the young at heart there is a mystery to be solved …. You’ll bump into colourful characters around the Trail, who will bring the Garden life through the telling of their own stories and version of events!
The Royal Association of Plant Whisperers have always operated throughout the night at Kew Gardens under the cover of darkness and out of sight.
The Association is working alongside the Glasshouse team to help with the dispersal of plants as part of the closure of the Temperate House – but this has led to the escape of some seeds. There is also some disquiet amongst the plants as to who has been moved where, a hierarchy in good plants and bad plants is emerging!
The Association will ask for your help to discover seeds that may be hiding along the route.
Culture Creative - the team behind the design
Culture Creative have previously worked with English Heritage, the National Trust, Forestry Commission, and the National Trust for Scotland. Developing trails that celebrate the heritage and landscapes of stunning locations across the UK has become their signature. From Cragside Estate in Northumberland, where Northumberland Lights illuminated the home and grounds of Lord Armstrong, the first place ever to be lit by electric light bulb, to Bedgebury Pinetum in Kent, one of the country’s greatest collection of trees and celebrated by The Electric Forest.
Christmas at Kew is presented by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Raymond Gubbay Ltd, one of the UK’s leading entertainment producers.
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