As Christmas gets ever closer, London is bursting with light. Here are some spectacular illuminations within easy reach of Wimbledon.
Christmas at Kew, Kew Gardens’ phenomenally successful Christmas lighting extravaganza is now in its seventh year. More than a million lights and thousands of laser beams go into the production of Christmas at Kew. There is a fire garden, flotilla of tiny illuminated boats, a light tunnel and vintage fun fair rides, as well as plenty of food options, including a marshmallow roasting pit.
New for 2019 is a change of route and plenty of fresh installations, including a magical waterfall of lights. If you fancy checking it out, don’t hang around. Tickets went on sale in June and only limited slots are available.
Nearby Syon Park will once again create its enchanted woodland. Aimed at families, this mile-long trail takes you around the ornamental lake, lined with multi-coloured, illuminated trees. The walk ends at the park’s historic arboretum. You can buy drinks and snacks from the restaurant, including hot chocolate and mulled wine.
Light shows aren’t just about Christmas. Lightopia at Chiswick House and Gardens aims to spread some brightness in the January gloom with light installations, musicians and acrobats for an interactive, family-friendly show. Look out for angels, a rainbow tunnel, and a giant peacock. It runs from 22 January to 1 March 2020.
If you’re looking for a very different Christmas activity, what about a moonlit swim at Hampton Pool? The tropically heated pool is open all year round and has special night swims between 10pm and midnight each Friday from 29 November to 3 January 2020 – glow sticks are provided. The November event includes switching on the pool’s Christmas lights. Booking is essential.