The Christmas season is now well under way and last weekend me and my family kick-started our 2015 festivities with a visit to Christmas at Kew. We have never been before (which is crazy considering how close we live) so I didn't really know what to expect. Well, I most certainly wasn't disappointed: from start to finish the whole trail was a spectacular feast for the eyes and I would highly recommend a visit.
We booked our tickets in advance online. Adult tickets are £16 per person and children (aged 4-16) are £10. Under 4s go free. You can also buy a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for £48. Entrance to the event is timed, with the earliest slot starting at 5pm and the latest at 8.15pm.
The one-mile trail winds its way around the famous botanic gardens and is packed with so many unforgettable moments. For me, seeing the magnificent Palm House sparkling in an ever-changing show of lights was a definite highlight, although the fire garden - with hundreds of flames flickering in the darkness - was a very close second.
Our two year old daughter was enchanted by all the magical lights, music and colours, and she simply adored the vintage fairground that was about half way round. We spent ages there sipping on mulled wine, while she rode the helter-skelter and carousel. The rides are extra, at £2 a go.
The easiest way to get to Kew from central London is by tube - Kew Gardens station is served by the District Line and London Overground. From there, the main entrance at Victoria Gate is just a short walk away. There is limited parking available but this has to be booked in advance.
The event runs until January 2nd 2016, so there is still plenty of time to experience the magic. It is something truly unique that the whole family will enjoy.