West London’s Kew Gardens glow with magical illuminations for the festive period
Kew's incredible gardens get another magnificent seasonal makeover in 2018, as Christmas at Kew brings illuminations to light up the buildings and plants. The mile-long, twinkling trail promises to be bigger than ever this year. Feast your eyes on over a million sparkling pea-lights, thousands of laser beams and tree canopies flooded with festive colour.
New for this year is a moonlit Laser Garden hidden in the woods and a festive flotilla of hundreds of glowing boats bobbing on the lake. They'll sit along side the usual fire garden and glorious Palm House Pond lights, which dance along to Christmas classics.
Santa and his elves will also be in attendance, while grown-ups can take advantage of the festive shopping, seasonal snacks and warming mulled wine.
Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London
|Venue name:||Kew Gardens|
Royal Botanic Gardens
|Opening hours:||Mar 27-Aug 29 Mon-Fri 10am-6.30pm, Sat, Sun and bank holidays 10am-7.30pm; Aug 30-Oct 29 daily 10am-6pm; Oct 30-Feb 10 2017 daily 10am-3.45pm; Feb 11-May 25 2017 daily 10am-5.30pm. Closed Dec 24 and 25. (Last entry 30 minutes before closing, some attractions close earlier, check on arrival.)|
|Transport:||Tube: Kew Gardens/Kew Bridge rail|
|Price:||£18.50, £12 concs, free under-4s|
Average User Rating
4 / 5
- 5 star:12
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:3
Had a lovely, magical time - a bit nippy but the wonder of it all took our minds off the cold. A brilliant effort and what a delightful thing to do - enjoy the splendour of Kew gardens in the dark winter leading up to Christmas.
Highly recommended and well worth the effort - very well organised and a joyful experience
It's very misleading almost fraudulent to say meet Santa. Or santas groto. As you can not meet Santa and he doesn't have a groto. It's a cheep 5 minute stage preformace whic is repeated every 5 mins. My son was so upset last year as this was the only reason we went. Virtually every parent I spoke to there at the time was so disappointed and angry. DO NOT go it you want to MEET Santa. Only go if you want to walk through the gardens. You children will not enjoy the experience if they want to see Santa or meet him.
I wasn't quite sure if this would live up to the hype, but I had the absolute best time! Really really enjoyed myself. The lights were stunning and cleverly executed and even the fairground was fun! Very pleased I ended up going!
(I wrote a little about my experience here: https://soupandchampagne.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/christmas-at-kew.html )
This was my first time at Christmas at Kew (and inside Kew Gardens as well), and we must have picked one of the coldest nights of the year to venture through the gardens, but it was still a very festive night out all the same. We went in a group of 6 and had no issues with wandering around as part of a larger group. I loved all of the christmas carols that were playing along the way as well, definitely got us all into the Christmas spirit! You could purchase mulled wine and cider along the way for £5 a glass, but the highlight for me was the marshmallow roasting station! They had big flavoured square marshmallows, the coconut was a winner for me. Overall I am glad I went but for £16 a ticket I probably won't be heading back as it was a bit pricey for what it was.
very disappointing ,as it is in a garden more of the trees should of been lit up with more color and lazer lights ,I had already been to Syon park which was brilliant they had used the lake to reflect the lights and lasers glitter balls etc for great effect, then the brilliant show inside the glass house there ,the management at kew should have gone to Syon park to see how its done
As part of our 60th birthday treat, my partner and We took our four grandchildren, 12, 9, 6 and 4
(all girls) to ‘Kew at Christmas’ 2017 and we treated ourselves to VIP tickets; so glad we did - worth every penny! We walked straight in at 5:00pm, greeted by a friendly, informative young lady who explained a little about the artists and the displays and chaperoned us to the VIP reception room. There, we were warmly welcomed with drinks and mince pies and later watched, from the viewing balcony the amazing laser light show and the beautifully illuminated giant greenhouse across the sparkling pond accompanied by well chosen music. One thing we would advise: the sophisticated VIP food and drink at the end of the trail is wonderful but more suited to adults - may be worth packing their favourite drinks and some small sandwiches (keep it classy!) if you are including children in the VIP experience. The trail was stunning with so much to see and hear with light-sound displays, a pantomime and sweet, sticky toasted marshmallows on the way! Wrap up well, take gloves and cover your ears with hats or muffs and brace yourselves for a truly amazing, multi-sensory experience. Advice: pack snacks and drinks for children - the burger stalls are good quality but expensive for a large group; take a big pack of wet-wipes; it can be a long day with the travel there and back on top - better suited to older children 6+. The VIP upgrade was well worth the extra, especially for adults.
Zero Christmas experience! Not one single Christmas carol singer, no festive music, all tree houses closed, no elves, no Santa (well except the very tall very skinny very young father xmas?!), no area to rest and absorb the little Christmas spirit available, completely overpriced food and drink... and all that for 18 quid entrance fee! Oh, almost forgot, you do get a random karaoke stage in the middle of the park, dunno what that has to do with Christmas but its there. Never again and very very disappointing. The organizer of this should be fired. One star is too much but I had to give one in order to post this review. Folks, don't go. Take your kids somewhere else
So, what a night we had! The kids had looked forward to the trail for weeks and it didn't let us down. So much to do and we got lucky with the weather too. As Christmas nights go it was up there with the best we have had as a family. Bravo Kew
I went to this tonight it is really good fun, stunning lights, great trees, music, food and gin. Highly recommended it. Its so good to go to something designed for cold dark nights.
I have to say it's almost ok - which is a shame - because it has huge potential. We went there afternoon 2nd Jan 2016. It was a beautiful evening but the park closed at 4.15pm, so we never saw the lights and the displays which are a bit sparse rely on lighting. It was just not very exciting or seasonal - and the children were bored and 'let down'. It really needs a major re-think to promote this as a 'must do' for 2017. With the amount of space and the trees and buildings, it could be a thronged out exciting Christmas Fairyland that would bring millions more in revenue and visitors all year round.... This poor excuse to fool 'fleece' the public has already resulted in a 'run down' look and feel to these beautiful historic gardens - we left disappointed ....get cracking for 2017 and we'll be back..
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...