Christmas at Kew 2021
Explore a botanical world filled with seasonal cheer at Kew Gardens this winter.
Release date: 17 August 2021
Wednesday 17 November 2021 – Sunday 9 January 2022: 4pm – 10pm (advance booking only)
- New installations feature innovative video design and scenescapes inspired by Kew collections
- Highlights include 12 Days of Christmas tree installation, much-loved Christmas Cathedral, and LED light spheres illuminating night sky 200 metres over-head
- Visitors can keep warm with seasonal street food, mulled wine and hot chocolate, or enjoy a Christmas dinner at The Botanical restaurant
- Trail is supported by Montezuma’s Chocolate
This November, Christmas at Kew, a much-loved highlight of London’s festive calendar, returns for its ninth year. This year’s trail features a host of firm seasonal favourites alongside pioneering new light installations, illuminating Kew Gardens’ UNESCO World Heritage landscape with vibrant bursts of colour and over a million twinkling lights. A celebration of nature by night, and the wonder of biodiversity, this is an enchanting seasonal experience like no other, for visitors of all ages.
New installations for 2021
This winter, Christmas at Kew incorporates spectacular new shows which will light the iconic Temperate and Palm Houses, as well as a first-time collaboration with Novak, the innovative video design studio. Using a selection of spectacular trees from Kew’s arboretum as their canvas, Novak will create a brand-new piece for Christmas 2021, using a stunning combination of video design, projection mapping and light to bring Kew’s archived botanical illustrations to life, alongside a host of heart-warming festive imagery.
Acclaimed creative house Mandylights will bring a brand-new installation to Christmas at Kew for 2021. Spheric, a fifteen-metre-wide dome of light covered in over 2,000 individually controlled LED pixels, sits on a reflective water pool, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in this unique mirrored illusion as they cross the lake. Set to a synchronised music track, Spheric promises to be an unmissable highlight of this year’s seasonal spectacular.
Sound and light artists Ithaca will return to Christmas at Kew for 2021, creating Aurora; a new and ambitious installation for Holly Walk which will illuminate the night sky for over 200 metres overhead, replicating the enchanting visual phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis. Visual Artist Amelia Kosminsky will also create a new work for this year’s trail.
Immersing themselves in Christmas at Kew through the welcome wreath archway, visitors will encounter a botanical world filled with seasonal cheer and mood-boosting bursts of colour. Featuring thousands of fairy lights, the much-loved Christmas Cathedral returns for 2021, affording guests the perfect opportunity to capture this quintessential Christmas moment on camera.
Botanical treasures from Kew’s living collections will be accentuated along the route, allowing guests to explore new perspectives on nature, and reinforcing the essential part that plants have to play in all of our lives. Singing neon trees, sprawling branches illuminated with stars and seasonal festive projections illuminating Kew’s array of heritage trees all promise to enchant visitors this winter.
The 12 Days of Christmas will be brought to life with a vibrant rainbow tree illumination running along Syon Vista, and a spectacular Meadow of Light will burst into vivid life as visitors explore the magical seasonal surroundings of Kew at Christmas. The ever-popular Fire Garden also returns for 2021, alongside On the Wings of Freedom, a technicolour LED installation inspired by the unique transformative ability of butterflies. The final stop of the trail, the panoramic Palm House finale will welcome guests with a series of stunning projections across the historic glasshouse and adjacent lake, set to a memorable soundtrack of much-loved Christmas classics.
To add an extra flourish to the Christmas at Kew experience, visitors can book a delicious traditional Christmas dinner at The Botanical restaurant, or simply pick up a treat from a selection of independent street food vendors along the route. Visitors can make for a very merry Christmas and indulge in a spiced cider, waffles, mulled wine, or hot chocolate to keep warm.
Sandra Botterell, Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said: “It’s wonderful to be able to welcome visitors back to Christmas at Kew for 2021. As well as some much-loved festive favourites, this year’s trail also encompasses some enchanting new installations, taking inspiration from Kew’s wonderful living and archive collections. With over a million lights illuminating Kew’s spectacular botanic gardens, Christmas at Kew really is a seasonal spectacular unlike any other.”
Debbie Epstein, Marketing Director for Montezuma’s Chocolate said: ““We’re delighted to be supporting Christmas at Kew for a second year and what better way to experience a world filled with seasonal cheer than with chocolate? It’s such a natural partnership for Montezuma’s as we’re all about the extraordinary, with our imaginative flavour combinations, and chocolate made to amaze. This year visitors will be able to enjoy the spectacular displays with a heart-warming Montezuma’s hot chocolate and cookies, as well as choose from an extended range of our best-selling bars and buttons.”
What we are doing to keep visitors safe
The safety and wellbeing of our visitors is of the upmost importance to us and we are continually monitoring and responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are adhering to government advice in our planning to ensure visitors and staff remain safe while enjoying at Christmas at Kew.
Christmas at Kew admission:
Tickets on sale now: www.kew.org/christmas
Entrances at Victoria Gate, Lion Gate and Brentford Gate.
Advance booking only.
Adult from £21.50
Family from £65
Child 4 – 16 from £14
Under 4s free.
Transaction fee applies.
Christmas at Kew runs from Wednesday 17 November 2021 to Sunday 9 January 2022 and is open on the following dates:
Weds 17 Nov 2021 – Sunday 21 Nov 2021
Wednesday 24 Nov 2021 – Sunday 28 Nov 2021
Tuesday 30 Nov 2021 – Sunday 5 Dec 2021
Tuesday 7 Dec 2021 – Sunday 12 Dec 2021
Tuesday 14 Dec 2021 – Fri 24 Dec 2021
Sunday 26 Dec 2021 – Sunday 9 Jan 2022
Christmas at Kew is open 4-10pm with timed entry slots. Last entry 8pm.
Notes to Editors
About Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international and a top London visitor attraction. Kew Gardens’ 132 hectares of landscaped gardens, and Wakehurst, Kew’s Wild Botanic Garden, attract over 2.5 million visits every year. Kew Gardens was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 260th anniversary in 2019. Wakehurst is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. RBG Kew receives approximately one third of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needed to support RBG Kew’s vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales.
About RGL, a division of Sony Music
Leading events promoter, RGL (Raymond Gubbay Limited), a division of Sony Music, has been delivering illuminated Christmas and Lightscape trails for over seven years. The chosen partners for national and international heritage and prestigious venues including Blenheim Palace; The National Trust; The Forestry Commission; The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Botanic Gardens, Chicago, USA and Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne, Australia. Each trail is designed to showcase the natural and unique environment of the individual location. RGL also presents over 500 concerts annually throughout the UK and worldwide.
Raymondgubbay.co.uk | FB @RaymondGubbay | Twitter @RaymondGubbay
About Culture Creative
Culture Creative is a creative project and production management company based in Scotland and the North East of England. The Company works across a wide range of cultural fields including art, sport, heritage, tourism, festivals and events, developing projects from concept to delivery. Since 2013, Culture Creative has worked closely with leading entertainment promoter Raymond Gubbay Ltd. a division of Sony Music, to create Lightscape and Christmas themed trails in various venues across the UK and overseas.
www.culturecreative.co.uk | FB @culturecreativeltd | Twitter @CCLCreative | Instagram @culturecreativeltd
About Montezuma’s Chocolate
Britain's Greatest Little Chocolate Company, Montezuma’s, was founded by Helen and Simon Pattinson in 2000, following a whistle-stop tour of South America, where their taste and passion for chocolate was first discovered. The trip changed their lives and they returned to the UK with a dream to create extraordinary British chocolate that boasted an innovative range of fun flavour combinations. 20 years after setting up their first shop in Brighton, Montezuma’s has never compromised on quality or taste across every single chocolate product. Having always traded fairly, the brand is known for using the best quality, ethically sourced cocoa from plantations that meet its strict ‘Business Done Properly’ policy. It also places the environment at the heart of how it does business and the packaging of every new product is 100% recyclable, biodegradable or compostable. Montezuma's creates extraordinary chocolate that can be enjoyed by everyone and the company continues to expand the range of chocolate to include many organic, gluten-free, vegan, keto and sugar-free options. This includes its popular made-without-milk chocolate, Like No Udder, and its 100% cocoa, sugar-free option, Absolute Black.