Last year’s Xmas Trail at Kew Gardens was so inspiring that we decided to go again and true to form they have upped their game to provide an even more spectacular and innovative experience.
We used the car park and began the trail at the Brentford Gate entrance. Thus our walk began with an avenue of illuminated seasonal flowers such as Poinsettia and Crocus. There were lots of bright colours here, combined with black veining, representative of stained glass but I liked the cool white and green of these Snowdrops.
In a similar vein, later on, we encountered groups of these stretched fabric towers. These were much more playful, reminding me of the fantasy world of Dr Seuss, light and flexible they danced and swayed with the breeze.
The trail wasn’t just about lights; there was plenty of sound too. Fountains in the lake danced in time to classical music and behind the palm house legions of Holly bushes formed a choir, each bush singing a different part. My favourite, musical area was this field of fire, created from a sea of tin cans, each filled with burning oil. Simple gold stars bedecked the trees and glowed in the light of the flames. Overseeing it all, a majestic phoenix slowly spun in the wind, at the top of a spiraling Xmas Tree.
There were plenty of extra activities aimed at kids but mine enjoyed the interactive Xmas Tree with Steam punk style control panels. They were able to control the speed, colour and pattern displayed on the spiraling light rope.
Finally, my favourite part was the immersive walk through installation, featuring hanging droplets of light. The lights were in delicate shades of colour and gently changing patterns formed, as they turned on and off, in blocks or as individual strings.
We had an enchanting evening at Kew; I think that this seasonal event is destined to become a favourite family tradition.