Glow Wild lantern festival > Wakehurst > What's on at Wakehurst > Glow Wild winter lantern festival

Glow Wild winter lantern festival

Join us for a magical after-dark walk through Wakehurst’s beautiful botanic gardens and majestic woodlands - brought to life with glowing, handcrafted lanterns. Booking opens on 29 August.

Event details

30 November to 3 December, 7 to 10 December and 14 to 17 December 2017


  • Adult: £13
  • Friend of Wakehurst/Kew: £11
  • Child: £7 (age 4–16)
  • Family: £38 (2 adults and 2 children)
  • Family (Friend of Wakehurst/Kew): £36
  • Under 4s/Carers: free

Event overview

Join us for a magical after-dark walk through our beautiful gardens, as Wakehurst’s historic landscape and Mansion are brought to life with glowing lights and handcrafted lanterns.

Tickets available exclusively to Friends of Wakehurst/Kew from 22 August 2017 at 10am (Friends will be notified by email with details of how to book)

Become a Friend of Wakehurst

Tickets on general sale on 29 August 2017 at 10am

A magical after-dark walk...

Festival highlights

A magical trail

Wind your way along a path lit by glowing lanterns, through the botanic gardens and out into the woodland.

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Wakehurst's woodland during Glow Wild

Festive food and drink

Toast marshmallows over giant fire pits and enjoy winter warmer meals in The Stables restaurant.

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Toasting marshmallows at Glow Wild


Enjoy creating and decorating a lantern inside our cosy Mansion - and take it home to add sparkle to your own festivities.
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Dates and times

Glow Wild will take place on the following dates:

  • Thursday 30 November
  • Friday 1 December
  • Saturday 2 December
  • Sunday 3 December
  • Thursday 7 December
  • Friday 8 December
  • Saturday 9 December
  • Sunday 10 December
  • Thursday 14 December
  • Friday 15 December
  • Saturday 16 December
  • Sunday 17 December

Choose from seven time slots daily, at half hour intervals between 4.30pm and 7.30pm. 

How to book

In advance

We strongly recommend early booking to secure the date and time slot of your choice. Glow Wild has completely sold out in advance of opening night for the last three years.

Tickets available exclusively to Friends of Wakehurst/Kew from 22 August 2017 at 10am (Friends will be notified by email with details of how to book)

Become a Friend of Wakehurst

Tickets on general sale on 29 August 2017 at 10am

Useful information for your visit

Length and accessibility of trail

  • The trail is just under one mile long and takes about an hour to walk round. It is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
  • Wheelchairs are available to borrow on a first come, first served basis. One mobility scooter can be hired per evening - book in advance on 01444 894070.
  • Children's scooters are not permitted.
  • Only guide dogs or registered disability assistance dogs are allowed.
  • Accessible toilets are in the Visitor Centre, Stables Restaurant, and Kangaroo Penn (about half way round the trail).

What to bring and wear

  • The event is outdoors and there are no covered areas on the trail, so ensure you have warm and waterproof clothing. Whilst all paths are hard surfaces, sturdy outdoor footwear is essential.
  • In some areas the lighting will be low level (this is part of the experience).
  • The lantern-making activity, outdoor food and drink and some retail options are cash-only - so please plan accordingly.


  • Present your tickets at the Visitor Centre to be scanned. You should start the trail within half an hour of the time stated on your ticket.
  • It is a 10 minute walk from the Visitor Centre to the start of the trail.
  • You are welcome to take part in our festive activities before or after your trail time.
  • Please arrive at Wakehurst no earlier than 4pm if you have a 4.30pm trail ticket.
  • Last entry to the trail is 8pm. Visitors cannot start the trail after this time.
  • The Stables restaurant closes at 9pm. The Seed Café and Visitor Centre shop close at 9.30pm when the event finishes. Festive crafts finish at 8.30pm.
  • Your Glow Wild ticket does not include day visitor entry to the Gardens.
  • Daytime visitors will need to return to the Visitor Centre when the Gardens close at 3.30pm (last entry 3pm). If you have a ticket for Glow Wild the same evening, then re-enter at 4pm. The Seed Café at the Visitor Centre will be open throughout.

Ticket information

Tickets and booking

  • All visitors (including children under 4 yrs) must have their own ticket, which must be produced to gain entry.
  • After purchasing tickets online, you will receive a confirmation email, which is your entry ticket. The square QR code on the email will be scanned on entry.
  • Bring a printed copy of your booking confirmation email, or show your QR code on your mobile phone to gain entry.
  • Your ticket can only be scanned once, so all members of your party must enter at the same time. Do not duplicate the email ticket as second and subsequent scans will fail.
  • Your event ticket does not include day visitor entry to the Gardens.

Friends of Wakehurst / Kew

  • Friends of Wakehurst / Kew receive a preferential rate for tickets. You will need your membership card to book.

Additional chargeable activity

  • The lantern making activity costs £4 per child. This is not bookable, and is cash only.

Terms and conditions and important information

  • Glow Wild is an outdoor event and the weather may be inclement. We advise you to wear appropriate outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear.
  • For safety reasons, no naked flames (e.g. candles, night lights, flares and lanterns) are allowed.
  • As per our ticket terms and conditions, we would like to remind you that as a ticket holder you are consenting to photography and filming by Wakehurst, that may be used for promotional purposes.
  • Last entry for ticket holders for the 7.30pm time slot is 8pm. There will be no admittance on the trail after this time.
  • Leave quietly at the end of the event out of consideration for our neighbours.
  • Place all litter in the bins provided.
  • If you have a query relating to your ticket purchased by phone or online, please contact SEE Tickets customer services or call them 0115 896 0220 (standard call charges apply).

Refunds / event cancellation

  • Wakehurst/Kew and its ticketing partners See Tickets and Ticketmaster are unable to exchange tickets once purchased. We are also not able to offer refunds/duplicates on unwanted/lost tickets.
  • Inevitably bad weather can affect any open-air event. If we have to cancel the event as it is unsafe to proceed, visitors will be offered an alternative date/time in a priority booking period for Glow Wild 2018. No refunds will be offered simply if the weather is inclement. Any decision to cancel will be taken at midday on the day of an event and communicated via email and text by SEE tickets.
  • If the event is cancelled by us due to unsafe weather conditions and visitors are not able to redeem a replacement ticket for the 2018 event a refund will be considered.

How to get here

Our address is: Ardingly, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 6TN

Get directions to Wakehurst by road, rail or bus


Our shop is full of gift ideas to delight your loved ones this festive season, and will be open until 9.30pm during Glow Wild.

Browse our beautiful range of products, including homeware and gardening gifts.

If you are looking for a festive tipple we can offer Kew gin, as well as the fabulous new sparkling wine produced for Kew by The Bolney Estate.

Bolney Estate Wine (Image: Jim Holden)

Sparkling wine that evokes the Sussex countryside (Image: Jim Holden)