Wakehurst Place, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex, is hosting its annual Christmas event, Glow Wild, from 23rd November to 1st January 2024. This year’s event celebrates its tenth anniversary with a never-before-seen route, brand-new installations, and a variety of festive activities.
As darkness falls, the gardens are brought to life with beautifully hand-crafted winter lanterns and captivating light installations created by leading artists. Visitors can follow the trail to discover magical moments in nature, including a giant illuminated snowflake, a forest of glowing mushrooms, and a river of light.
In addition to the light trail, Glow Wild also features a variety of other festive activities, including:
- Winter Lodge: A new addition to Glow Wild this year, the Winter Lodge is a luxurious dining experience located in the Elizabethan Mansion. Visitors can enjoy a four-course festive feast in the spectacularly decorated hall.
- Christmas Market: The Christmas Market offers a variety of stalls selling seasonal gifts, decorations, and food and drink.
- Santa’s Grotto: Children can visit Santa’s Grotto to meet Santa Claus and receive a gift.
- Festive Storytelling: Enjoy festive storytelling sessions in the Mansion’s cosy library.
- Live Music: Enjoy live music performances from local musicians throughout the evening.
Glow Wild is a perfect Christmas event for all ages, and it is sure to get you into the festive spirit.
I visited the Glow Wild winter lantern trail last year and took part in a magical after-dark walk through Wakehurst’s beautiful botanic gardens and majestic woodlands. All of this was brought to life with glowing, handcrafted lanterns. The walk was just under 1 mile in length and it took around 1 hour to walk around.
Illuminated deer lanterns could be found in the woodland.
Over 1,000 lanterns adorned the trail in all shapes and sizes.
Lanterns taking the form of foxes, badgers and various other animals were also lit up and placed strategically along the trail.
As I neared the end of the trail, shadowy silhouettes adorned the Elizabethan mansion making it look magical.
If you’d built up an appetite by the end of the walk, some marshmallows could be warmed by fires in the courtyard along with stalls selling items such as hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts – yummy! All of this could be enjoyed whilst admiring the UK’s largest living Christmas tree, which was adorned with Christmas lights.
A truly magical experience – I’ll definitely be purchasing tickets for the 2023 trail.
Wakehurst Place is well worth a visit and I suggest that, if you are close by, pop in – it won’t be a disappointment.