Sussex’s original winter lantern experience returns with awe-inspiring anniversary trail celebrating the power of community and collaboration
New installations and highlights include:
- One of UK’s largest outdoor art installations Planet Wakehurst by Catherine Nelson brought to life through series of mesmerising projections created by Colour Project and carpet of fire from And:Now
- Giant illuminated whale with 3m high tail by OGE Group crafted in collaboration with Camelia Botnar Foundation metalwork apprentices
- Stunning sea of stars and epic thunder clouds from lantern experts Same Sky celebrate the vastness of the skies
- Towering woven tree from Brockman & Page forms ancient mother tree to 17 ‘offspring’, all handmade by local schools
- Kerith Ogden’s ‘It’s a small world’ series of enchanting tiny villages and Michelle Dufour’s delicately crafted seahorse lanterns highlight the beauty of the miniscule
- UK’s tallest living Christmas tree heralds the festive season standing at 37m tall adorned with 1800 energy-saving light bulbs
- Accessible-priced tickets in opening week plus series of new sessions for adult-only nights, quiet experiences, and relaxed slots adapted for children with special educational needs and disabilities
Marking a milestone 10 years, Glow Wild lights up Kew’s wild botanic garden, bringing festive magic and wonder to the South East with 10 new installations and myriad hand-crafted lanterns. Celebrated as a must-do Christmas experience, the 2023 edition of the winter lantern trail marks a decade of mesmerising memories and community spirit.
This year’s theme invites visitors to reflect on the awe-inspiring moments in the natural world – from epic examples of wildlife to delicate details of plants and fungi. In true Glow Wild tradition, over 1000 lanterns are handmade by local volunteers and community groups, with the tenth anniversary mile-long trail also boasting eight brand new bespoke installations from leading artists.
This year offers a new interactive experience with Wakehurst’s ‘Starkeeper’ from Long Nose Puppets. Visitors young and young at heart are invited to make a wish on a star to hang in the ‘sky forest’ before they continue their journey. Other friendly faces can be found in giant parading peacock, Percy who gives a glowing welcome to all entering the gardens.
Beyond the dazzling creations, new to Glow Wild this year is a refreshed catering offer, with pop-up stalls throughout the trail offering comfortable dwelling points to admire installations whilst enjoying hot drinks and snacks. Crackling fire pits located close to the Starkeeper form the perfect spot for toasting marshmallows, whilst festive grab and go options can be found under the UK’s tallest living Christmas tree, the towering 37m stalwart of Wakehurst’s festive offer adorned in 1800 energy-saving bulbs.
Quiet Sessions are available every night at 4.15pm, whilst a series of Relaxed Sessions offer gentle performances adapted especially for children with special educational needs and disabilities. For those looking for the perfect date-night, adult-only slots will run each Friday at 8pm offering a quieter, more intimate experience.
In recognition of the strains faced by many during the ongoing cost of living crisis, Wakehurst has released accessible priced tickets from £11.50 for the opening week of Glow Wild and hopes this, combined with its free tickets for under 4-year-olds, helps families as they prepare for the festive season.
Select evenings: Thursday 23 November 2023 – Monday 1 January 2024
Entry slots available between 4.30pm and 8.20pm
Tickets from £15.50 adult/£12 child; Children under 4yrs free
Tickets on sale now: www.kew.org/glowwild