13 December 2021

Enjoy the magic of Glow Wild

Get into the festive spirit with a trip to Glow Wild

By Ellen Reid

Illuminated windows of mansion house and glow of fire torches on lawn

Make memories on our beautiful winter lantern trail, when darkness comes to life with forest animals, sparkling trees, flickering flames, and colourful handheld lanterns to light your way.

Festive magic

The real magic of the festive season is spending time with family and friends and enjoying the crisp change in the air.

Glow Wild is the perfect winter activity with a touch of magic, a lot of wonder, and plenty of winter warmers to keep you cosy along the way!

Couple lit by soft glow of brazier, toasting marshmallows
Couple toasting marshmallows © James Ratchford

Created by a range of artists, the installations along the trail reflect on the past year and the positive impact that less human activity has on the natural world.

This inspiration has resulted in an enchanting trail that turns the night into a place of special discovery and wonderment.

Five cute bird lanterns at Glow Wild
Bird lanterns at Glow Wild, © James Ratchford

Willow and paper are transformed into lifelike deer, ethereal moths, birds and other animals which you can find throughout our woodlands.

Bright moth lanterns reflected in Mansion Pond
Glow Wild 2021 SameSky Moths © James Ratchford

Lighting up the night

A whisper of moths dance through the air, reflected in the Mansion Pond and seeming to dive into the water, forming a circle of fluttering wings.

This echoes the inspiration behind the installation – the cycle of transformation that moths go through from caterpillar to chrysalis to winged creature.

A herd of deer in lantern form shining at Glow Wild
SameSky's deer lanterns in the Pinetum © James Ratchford

They were created by SameSky, a community arts project who also made the deer lanterns, which can be found in the Pinetum.

A time of wonder

The Tree of Life, another collaborative art piece, is ‘growing’ in the Pleasance. With its gnarled trunk and oversized, illuminated leaves, it seems to have appeared straight out of a fairytale.

Still in leaf despite the season, co-creators Brockman and Page say that the tree ‘breathes light and wonder onto all who walk beneath its bows’.

It also represents the Millennium Seed Bank with the hope and promise of life it holds.

Explore a Twilight Garden lit by digital glowworms, and enjoy the welcoming warmth of the Mansion lit up with plant fronds, and the lawn ablaze like a trail of underground fungi.

Majestic tree made of willow with illuminated leaf lanterns
Tree of Life © Jeff Eden / RBG Kew


Follow the journey of a seed in The Colour Project’s vibrant animation, projected on to the UK’s largest natural screen: our dense conifers. This beautiful and truly stunning short film will wow visitors of all ages.

Don’t miss the spectacular seedheads which seem to be floating above the Black Pond. Despite looking lighter than air, the seeds took a long time to make - the effect is stunning!

Be amazed by our majestic 122-year-old Christmas tree. Adorned with 1,800 lights and standing at 37 metres tall, it is the UK’s tallest living Christmas tree, soaring into the night sky as a beacon of hope and happiness.

Wish upon a star

Overlooking the Glow Wild trail are our iconic moon and stars, guiding us along paths old and new.

Moon and star lanterns beneath tree
Moon and star lanterns © Jeff Eden, RBG Kew

A star is integral to the nativity story, with the importance of being together as a couple, a family and community in the darkest months of the year.

Don’t miss out on an excellent evening of winter magic and memories, book your tickets for Glow Wild now.

Mother and child enjoy glow of handheld lanterns
Child enjoys Glow Wild © James Ratchford

Read & watch