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Celebrating 10 years of Glow Wild at Wakehurst

Sussex’s original winter lantern experience returns in 2023 with an awe-inspiring anniversary trail that celebrates the power of community and collaboration.

This year there is a host of new installations and highlights including:

  • One of the UK’s largest outdoor art installations Planet Wakehurst by Catherine Nelson brought to life through a series of mesmerising projections created by Colour Project and a 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
  • A stunning sea of stars and epic thunder clouds from lantern experts Same Sky celebrate the vastness of the skies
  • A towering woven tree from Brockman & Page forms an 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 Dufaur’s
    delicately crafted seahorse lanterns highlight the beauty of the minuscule
  • UK’s tallest living Christmas tree heralds the festive season standing at 37m tall adorned
    with 1800 energy-saving light bulbs
  • Opening week special ticket promotion plus a new flexible ticket offer allows date swaps and upgrades up to 72 hours before a visit.
  • Series of new sessions for adult-only nights, quiet experiences, and relaxed slots adapted for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Glow Wild at Wakehurst, James Ratchford ©RBG Kew
Glow Wild at Wakehurst, James Ratchford ©RBG Kew

A major milestone for Glow Wild

Marking a milestone of some 10 years, Glow Wild lights up Kew’s wild botanic garden, bringing festive magic and wonder to the Southeast with new installations and a myriad of 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 milelong 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 the 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.

New Quiet Sessions now available

Quiet Sessions are available every night at 4.15 pm, 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 8 pm 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. The new flexible ticket offer allows bookers to swap or upgrade tickets up to 72 hours before their visit – available for new and existing bookings.

Find out more about Glow Wild and events at Wakehurst here. 

  • Members of Boundless receive unlimited complimentary access to Wakehurst, with 50 per cent off for one additional adult and admission for up to five children per visit.
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