Tuesday 3 December 2013

On Saturday, I spent the evening in Kew Gardens for their illuminated trail across the gardens. There was a vibrant mix of light, sound and colour to create the perfect wintery atmosphere.

The lighting amplified the reflections in the lake
The walk is approximately 75 minutes long, and takes you on a journey through Stone Pines, Cork Oaks and Beech trees. The latter had buttons nearby to change the sound and lighting illuminated on the trunks - it resembled the noises you might hear in Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory!

The interactive nature of the walk was fun for all; as well as the buttons near the Beech trees, there were hoops on the lake for you to throw marbles in. When you were successful there would be a plopping sound like a frog jumping into the water. I was too excited to get my marble in the hoop, much to other peoples' amusement!

The lanterns hanging from the trees made the walk seem magical. I felt like I was in Disney's Peter Pan, living atop a tree with the Lost Boys (well that's what they did in the film Hook!) The lights lit our path and the trees came to life with lanterns hanging from their branches. I began to see them differently, and I took the time to properly read the signs detailing their features.

Shape of Mandala
The most fascinating part was the torches signifying the shape of Mandala - a spiritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism to represent the Universe. People flocked to see the torches and feel some of the warmth after the bitterness of the walk. There was a sign that associated the Mandala to the plant cycle.

Throughout the walk, there were a number of gramophones, which I believe were all connected to The Royal Association of Plant Whisperers. There were some colourful characters popping out of the trees, who worked for the organisation and stopped to chat about the plants.

The Waterlily House
The Waterlily House was another favourite of mine! There was a giant lotus flower hanging above a shimmering pool, casting a reflection (which I couldn't capture in this picture). It was incredibly peaceful and my mum was convinced the lotus flower was real until I told her it was fake. The house closes for winter but it will open again in April for more waterlilies and lotus flowers to thrive.

Palm House
Palm House lit up in lots of different colours to show the shadows of the plants. It sounded like there was a rave going on inside, and lots of people started dancing to the music playing from the speakers. The atmosphere was incredible and it was the perfect way to end the walk.

Boutique Christmas Market
After the walk, we looked round the market, which was pretty small, but you could also go into the Victoria Plaza, where we grabbed a hot chocolate. You could buy lots of food in the cafe or buy anything from roasted Norfolk turkey, waffles to Yule log ice cream in the market. 

There are other things to see like the King William's Temple in the Mediterranean Garden and a Santa's Grotto (open from 4:30 until 8:30) but I didn't get to see either properly.

I'd definitely recommend the walk - tickets are £12.50 for adults and you can find all the information you need here.

Hopefully I'll be able to go to other Christmas markets soon! Let me know which markets you've been to in the comments. 

much love, 


  1. I'm off to Kew Gardens this weekend and this post has really get me in the mood for it.


  2. such pretty pictures! looks like it would be a lot of fun! i'm running a giveaway on my blog if you'd like to enter!

    -ariel* xoxo

  3. This is so lovely! I've always wanted to go to Kew Gardens, even more so now because it looks beautiful at Christmas time! xxx