Christmas at Kew 2023: New installations to enjoy at beloved festive trail - how much and when it is open

"With an incredible range of brand-new installations and some returning favourites, this year’s trail is guaranteed to be a seasonal spectacle like no other.”
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Kew Gardens' world-famous grounds are once again being lit up for its annual festive light trail, with several new installations for 2023.

Returning visitors will recognise many of the favourites on-show, from the decorated trees and canopies to the Christmas Cathedral, which Kew describes as “a twinkling tunnel of light inspired by arched church windows”.

Among the new installations this year is One Small Thing, a collection of illustrations encouraging people to make a change to help protect the environment.

The Christmas Cathedral is a favourite at Kew Gardens. Credit: RBG Kew, Jeff Eden.The Christmas Cathedral is a favourite at Kew Gardens. Credit: RBG Kew, Jeff Eden.
The Christmas Cathedral is a favourite at Kew Gardens. Credit: RBG Kew, Jeff Eden.

Lili by TILT, a series of abstract illuminated flowers, and Candles, a commission involving the suspension of 100 candles, are also new to 2023’s festive season.

For the first time, The Hive, a 17-metre-tall multi-sensory installation on which 1,000 LED lights glow and respond to a bespoke soundscape, will also be part of the light trail.

The team at Kew add they are making progress on the sustainability of the event, with 75% of lights used being LED, and all generators now run on renewable-sourced biofuel.

The first Christmas at Kew trail was organised in 2013. Credit: Raymond Gubbay Ltd, Richard Haughton.The first Christmas at Kew trail was organised in 2013. Credit: Raymond Gubbay Ltd, Richard Haughton.
The first Christmas at Kew trail was organised in 2013. Credit: Raymond Gubbay Ltd, Richard Haughton.

Sandra Botterell, director of marketing and commercial enterprise at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said: “Christmas at Kew is a magical celebration of Kew’s natural landscape, offering sparkle and festivities during the winter months.

"With an incredible range of brand-new installations and some returning favourites, this year’s trail is guaranteed to be a seasonal spectacle like no other.”

Rosie Hanley, director of marketing at John Lewis, which is supporting the trail, said: “John Lewis is delighted to be part of this iconic trail which over the years has become a new Christmas tradition for many to enjoy together.

"As the only brand partner to have ever been integrated into Christmas at Kew, we are excited to unveil our installation for all visitors to enjoy.”

When is Christmas at Kew, and how much does it cost?

Christmas at Kew begins today (November 15) and runs until January 7 2024.

The gardens will be open on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, November 15 – Sunday, November 19
  • Wednesday, November 22 – Sunday, November 26
  • Tuesday, November 28 – Sunday, December 3
  • Tuesday, December 5 – Sunday, December 24
  • Tuesday, December 26 – Sunday, January 7, 2024

Time-wise, visitors will be able to enjoy the gardens from 4.20pm to 10pm, with the last slot at 8pm.

Tickets need to be booked in advance, with prices for adults starting from £22.50, family from £69, and children (four to 16 years) from £15.