Everything you need to know for Christmas at Kew

For entry times, ticket information including how to book, pricing, parking, access and contact information.

Christmas at Kew

In light of the new COVID-19 restrictions running from 5 November to 2 December, we will sadly be postponing the Christmas at Kew light trail until 4 December.

We have worked hard to ensure everyone who booked can still experience the magic of our after-dark festivities by adding additional dates in January.

We will be in touch if your Christmas at Kew tickets are affected to offer a new date and time. Please see more options available.

Dates

Christmas at Kew runs from Friday 4 December 2020 to Sunday 17 January 2021 and is open on the following dates:

  • Friday 4 December – Sunday 6 December 2020
  • Wednesday 9 December – Thursday 24 December 2020
  • Saturday 26 December – Sunday 10 January 2021
  • Wednesday 13 January – Sunday 17 January 2021

Entry times

Christmas at Kew is open 4–10pm and you choose a time slot for entry (last entry 8pm). 

The main entrance is via Victoria Gate, Brentford Gate if you book a ticket with reserved parking, or Lion Gate for guests travelling from Richmond.

Opening times at gates:

  • Victoria Gate: 4pm opening for 4.20pm first time slot
  • Lion Gate: 4.30pm opening for 4.40pm first time slot
  • Brentford Gate: 4.30pm opening for 4.40pm first time slot

Brentford Gate will close promptly at 7.20pm. Victoria Gate and Lion Gate will close at 8.15pm, and there will be no admittance after these times.

Getting here, we advise you to travel by public transport.

Ticket information

Book tickets

Standard advance adult: Off peak £19.50/ Peak £24.50

Family tickets available

Ticket discount for Kew members

If you opt for standard delivery and your tickets have not arrived 24 hours before you are booked on the trail please contact See Tickets customer service.

Contactless ticket scanning will be taking place. On arrival, please ensure you have your tickets ready to scan – either your printed paper ticket, or from your mobile device. Please only arrive at your allocated session time to ensure there is no unnecessary build-up of queues.

Please be aware that we don’t authorise or have any control over the sale of tickets via third-party websites.

At Christmas at Kew

Access

The trail is approximately 2.6km long and takes an estimated 75 minutes to walk. 

The route is designed so that it can be viewed from the pathways. Some interactive elements may invite the audience onto grass where we will provide additional matting. 

If you have specific access needs please call 020 8332 5655 and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Wheelchairs, mobility scooters and buggies

Christmas at Kew is presented in the natural landscape. Whilst every effort is made to make the trail fully accessible, by its very nature it will cover some difficult terrain with a number of varying gradients. These areas may be challenging during wet weather.

Wheelchairs are available to borrow on a first come first served basis, these cannot be reserved.

Dogs

Registered disability assistance dogs are allowed, other dogs are not allowed.

Food and drink

Enjoy delicious food available in the Victoria Plaza café and hot meals suitable for all the family in Pavilion Bar and Grill. Warm up with tea, coffee and festive drinks.

There will be a variety of independent street food traders along the trail, where you can choose from a range of flavourful street food.

Why not add a delicious Christmas meal to your evening at our iconic Botanical restaurant? Two sittings are available before or after your visit to the trail. You can add this as an extra when booking your tickets for Christmas at Kew.

If you've already bought your Christmas at Kew ticket, you can book your festive dinner as a separate ticket add-on.

Christmas at Kew food and drink guide map (PDF)

What to bring and wear

There are no covered areas during the trail and the paths can get wet so please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather.

The trail is lit, but lighting will be low level in some areas so you may wish to bring a torch. No naked flames (e.g. candles, night lights, flares or lanterns) are allowed.

Photography

Please feel free to take photos along the trail but do be aware of others and keep a 2m distance at all times. If you need to stop along the route please use the designated stopping points provided.

We occasionally use photographs taken at Christmas at Kew for promotional purposes, please talk to a member of staff if you would not like photographs to be used in this way.

Toilets

There are accessible toilets at Victoria Plaza, Pavilion Bar and Grill and Brentford Gate

Fairground 

Due to current guidelines, there will not be a fairground this year. We will continue to monitor the situation and review the decision if we are able to.

Parking 

Parking is now strictly prohibited along Kew Road, due to the recent implementation of cycle lanes on both directions along the length of this road.

Brentford Gate Car Park

Parking at Kew’s Ferry Lane car park (TW9 3AF) is for advance booking only.

You need to buy tickets with reserved parking (additional £10) to guarantee your space. Your entrance to Christmas at Kew will be via Brentford Gate which is next to the car park.

Tickets for daytime parking are valid until 3pm so you will need an additional parking ticket for the evening.

The car park closes promptly at 10pm. Please note there is a longer walk from the car park to the trail this year – please be prepared to add at least 10 minutes to your walking time each way.

National Archives Car Park

If you already have a Victoria Gate or Lion Gate ticket for a 6.40pm session or later, we still have some car parking spaces available at the National Archives parking facility. The car park is accessible from 6.30pm and is an approximate 11 minute walk from Victoria Gate and 25 minute walk to Lion Gate.

If you've already bought your Christmas at Kew ticket, you can book parking as a separate ticket add-on.

Disabled access parking

Parking in Kew’s car park (TW9 3AF) is free to drivers with a disability and displaying the Blue Badge.

You need to buy tickets with reserved parking and select the option for disabled access parking.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) notice

You can book with confidence for Christmas at Kew. Come along knowing that 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 situation as it evolves.

Current plans in place for the comfort and reassurance of our visitors include:

  • Adding extra time slots, using an additional gate and revising the trail route to manage visitor flow
  • There will be fewer visitors at the trail this year as we have limited ticket sales
  • All of our slots are in 20-minute intervals meaning staggered arrivals and departures across the evening
  • Additional cleaning across the route each night

We will continue to review the situation and communicate any further updates with you.

If Christmas at Kew is cancelled, you will be notified and offered an alternative date, if available, or a full refund.

If you are unable to attend because of government restrictions in place due to coronavirus, please contact See Tickets customer service at the earliest opportunity to discuss further.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive or are instructed to self-isolate, we ask that you do not attend Christmas at Kew. Please contact See Tickets customer service to discuss your options, which include transferring to another date, subject to availability.

We also ask that you help us support NHS Test & Trace by downloading the NHS COVID-19 app before you visit and use the QR Codes around the trail to check in throughout your trip.

Our COVID-19 (coronavirus) safety measures

  • Social distancing icon edit
    Social Distancing: Please follow 2m social distancing guidelines at all times
  • Face Coverings: Mandatory in all indoor areas, at entrance gates and queuing
  • Hand Hygiene: Hand sanitising stations are located throughout the trail
  • Cleaning icon
    Increased Cleaning: Facilities, surfaces and touch points cleaned regularly
  • Dwell time icon
    Reduced Dwell Times: Trail designed to avoid build-up of audience
  • Card payment icon
    Card Payments Only: To avoid cash handling, all vendors are card only
  • We are good to go icon
    We’re Good to Go: COVID-19 industry standards have been met
  • Take away icon
    Quick Food and Drink: All food and drink on the trail will be takeaway only
  • Risk assessment icon
    COVID-19 Risk Assessment: We are taking all steps possible to keep you safe
  • We’re Here to Help: Our staff are here to help, please respect them
  • Contactless icon
    Contactless Tickets: Please ensure you have your tickets ready to scan
  • Rule of 6: Visit in groups of 6 or less unless same household/ support bubble

Cancellation, exchanges and refunds 

Please be sure that you have chosen the right entry gate, date and time slot at the time of making your booking, as Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and See Tickets are not able to offer exchanges or refunds once tickets have been purchased. We are also not able to offer refunds/duplicates on unwanted/lost tickets.

Inevitably bad weather can affect any open-air experience. If we have to cancel due to safety concerns, visitors will be offered an alternative date.

No refunds will be offered simply if the weather is inclement. Any decision to cancel that evening's trail will be taken by 2pm.

If we have to cancel due to weather and patrons are not able to attend an alternative night offered, then a refund will be considered on a case by case basis. Where a refund is due, the ticket must be returned within 28 days of the booked trail.

Safety and security 

For the safety and security of everyone at Christmas at Kew we will carry out full security checks at all entrance gates as normal. 

However, this year we would like to make a special request to not bring bags unless absolutely essential. Fewer bag checks will protect both you and our security personnel, and will reduce queueing times.

If you see anything suspicious or any persons acting suspiciously, please tell the nearest member of staff immediately. 

Please do not leave any belongings unattended at any time.

Keep your children with you at all times. Ensure they don’t wander into the unlit areas of the Gardens.

Contact 

If you have ticket related queries please contact See Tickets customer service.

For any other queries email us at christmas@kew.org