This weekend felt like the official start of the Christmas build-up for me. We put up the Christmas tree, I did my biggest Christmas present shop yet (and absorbed the smell of real Christmas trees along the way), but most importantly I went to Christmas at Kew.
Every year Kew Gardens illuminate a mile-long path with a collection of colourful lights and its usually a sell-out event. I missed out last year after hearing about it too late and discovering it was completely sold out, so this year I persuaded a group of friends into a Christmas get-together and booked tickets a few weeks ago.
We decided to make the evening into a full-on festive event, put on our Christmas jumpers, raised a glass of prosecco and delved into a roast dinner at the Coach & Horses Hotel. Lucy and I swapped stories of childhood trips to Walsall Illuminations (it was a the Christmas event for children in Birmingham in the 90s), before wrapping up and venturing into the gardens in darkness.
The singing bushes at the start of the trail put us into good spirits.
I was too busy snapchatting to get a good video to share, but here’s Lucy’s!
I’m the one in the bobble hat! 🙂
I was surprised that despite the crowds, it was quite relaxing wandering around and seeing the gardens in a different light.
The scented fire garden was both beautiful and mesmerising.
It smelt amazing too, a mixture of scent and burnt out candles (which I love the smell of).
After every corner that attracted a crowd, there were a few places of pretty peacefulness.
But for the colour-hunter, there was no shortage of bright lights on this mile-long walk.
The wall of lights that changed colours provided a great selfie spot.
Followed by the tunnel of lights.
My only attempt is a pretty poor quality one I’m afraid!
(Luckily I managed to find my friends to get a better group shot for the 2015 Christmas collection.)
The showstoppers of the night were these brightly-coloured peacocks amongst a field of neon flowers.
Whilst I really enjoyed all of the displays I have to admit that I didn’t quite get that heart-warming festive feeling until I saw the HUGE twinkling tree.
And sang along to the festive finale.
A great warm up for the Christmas sing-along sessions to come!
At various points in the route you can buy hot drinks and marshmallows that you can toast over fireputs. I don’t often get dessert regret but as I had no room for a sweet treat (thanks to demolishing a warm chocolate brownie at the pub), I was sad to miss out on the hot chocolate from Beltane & Pop.
Next time maybe!
Christmas at Kew is a lovely way to warm up that lurking festive feeling for the weeks ahead (16 days to go! Eek!). I definitely recommend it whether you’re a group of adults or a family with children, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Tickets cost £16 per adult, £10 per child. It opens at 5pm and you can book tickets to visit until the event closes on 2 January 2016 here.