Christmas at Kew 2020

Showstopping illuminated trail returns to Kew Gardens this winter.

Release date: 8 September 2020

Wednesday 18 November 2020 – Sunday 3 January 2021

4pm – 10pm (advance booking only)

  • New route takes visitors through Kew Gardens’ beautifully illuminated Rose Garden
  • Other highlights include a canopy of stars, neon-wrapped trees and another spectacular light show at the Treetop Walkway
  • Visitors can keep warm with street food, mulled wine and hot chocolate
  • Additional safety measures will be in place to ensure an enjoyable experience for all
  • This year’s trail is supported by Montezuma’s Chocolate

Returning for its eighth year, Kew’s sell-out winter trail is back with old favourites and brand new light installations, bringing a touch of magic to the London festive calendar. Visitors can expect bursts of colour and enchanting optics as they explore Kew Gardens’ UNESCO World Heritage landscape after dark. A roster of internationally acclaimed artists is set to adorn Christmas at Kew with a feast of art, light and music at every turn.

This year’s trail

Stepping through the welcome wreath archway, visitors will enter a botanical world filled with seasonal cheer. The iconic Temperate House will spring to life, lit from within by a dynamic light show as a spectrum of Christmas colour envelops the glasshouse.

New this year, visitors can wander through a tunnel adorned with a canopy of starry lanterns, and further along the trail, a returning favourite - the Cathedral of Light – will twinkle with thousands of fairy lights for a truly Instagrammable moment.

Kew Gardens’ own botanical treasures will be accentuated along the route, highlighting the beauty of nature, and the importance of plants in all our lives. Heritage trees illuminated from different angles, branches interwoven with multicoloured neon swirls, a glowing pink cherry blossom walkway, and a spectacular singing Rose Garden are but a few of the features that await.

Proving a hit last year, the Waterfall of light will return to Kew Gardens’ Treetop Walkway, bigger and better than before, with beams of light performing a breathaking aerial dance in a new overhead light show. This year’s Fire Garden will also receive a makeover, as sculptures made from wicker and willow cast shadows among the scented, flickering flames in a multi-artist collaboration.

At the final stop on the trail, the renowned Palm House finale will greet visitors with festive projections played across a giant screen of water in the centre of the lake, and across the iconic glasshouse itself, to a memorable soundtrack of Christmas classics.

To add an extra flourish to the Christmas at Kew experience, visitors can book a delicious traditional Christmas dinner at Kew’s Botanical restaurant, or simply pick up a treat from one of our street food vendors along the route. Visitors can make for a very merry Christmas and indulge in a spiced cider, mulled wine, or hot chocolate to keep warm.

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 as it evolves. We are adhering to government advice in our planning to ensure visitors and staff remain safe while enjoying at Christmas at Kew. Safety measures will include: a one-way system on the trail; the use of additional gates for entry and exit; additional time slots to help spread the arrivals and flow of visitors; and stringent cleaning practices. In addition, rather than a concentrated ‘catering village’ as at previous events, food stalls will be spread across the trail. Visitors can book tickets safe in the knowledge that if Covid-19 developments require cancellations, they can re-book their slot or get a full refund.

Sandra Botterell, Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said:

“In a year that has been challenging for many, we are delighted to host Christmas at Kew, and have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that it will be a safe event for all. I am sure you will agree that we could all do with a bit of festive cheer, and I am confident that a wander through our spectacular Gardens, illuminated by over one million lights, will bring joy to our visitors this winter.”

ENDS

Christmas at Kew admission:   

Tickets on sale now: www.kew.org/christmas

Entrances at Victoria Gate, Lion Gate and Brentford Gate.

Advance booking only.

Advance prices:

Adult                     from £19.50

Family                   from £57

Child 4 – 16          from £12

Under 4s free.

Concessions available.

Transaction fee applies.

Open on the dates below:

Wednesday 18 November – Sunday 22 November

Wednesday 25 November – Sunday 29 November

Wednesday 2 December – Sunday 6 December

Wednesday 9 December – Thursday 24 December

Saturday 26 December – Sunday 3 January

Book a timed ticket, entry every 20 minutes from 4pm. Last entry 8pm.

Contact

For more information or images, please contact the Press Office at pr@kew.org / 0208 332 5607

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.  Almost 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 ‘trading fairly’ 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.

Debbie Epstein, Marketing Director for Montezuma’s Chocolate said:

“We are so excited to bring the magic of Montezuma’s to Kew Gardens this Christmas. Christmas at Kew is the perfect showcase for Montezuma’s and our very own showstopping light installation will act as a great backdrop for that totally ‘Instagrammable’ selfie! We’re hoping that while visitors enjoy the wonder of walking through dazzling light and colour, they will also be able to indulge their senses with our chocolate treats, from delicious bars and buttons to mouth-watering truffles - there’s definitely something for everyone!”