Glow Wild after-dark at Wakehurst

glow wild lantern festival Wakehurst PlaceHow often can you take your kids for a walk outdoors at night? Well, we had this magical experience following a circular mile-long trail at the Glow Wild lantern festival at Wakehurst Place in West Sussex. Near the start of the trail we were given a lantern to carry with us during our walk. Only one lantern per family so, of course, there was a bit of twilight squabbling over who’s turn it was to carry it.

multi colour lanterns Wakehurst

Theo lantern Wakehurst winter festival

Wakehurst Place is known as ‘Kew in the country’ – a National Trust site managed by Kew Gardens. The 465 acres country estate includes formal gardens, woodlands and a nature reserve.

Thousands of lanterns,  their shapes inspired by seeds, lit our way.

seed pod lanterns Wakehurst

Luce and helicopter seed lanternsWe passed lanterns floating in the mansion pond near the estate’s Elizabethan manor. Moon and stars reflected in the water as we followed the illuminated route around Wakehurst’s gardens.

Lanterns mansion pond Wakehurst

mansion pond lanterns Wakehurst

moon stars Glow Wild festival Wakehurst

A field lit up with a spiral ring of burning torches. A formal courtyard garden with lantern sculptures and another filled with more flaming torches.

spiral ring fire wakehurst

Lantern sculptures Wakehurst Place

garden burning torches Wakehurst

Then near the end of our walk we began glimpsing Britain’s largest living Christmas tree – a Giant Redwood next to Wakehurst’s Elizabethan mansion. The lights had been turned on during our walk.

Lanterns and Christmas tree Wakehurst

Wakehurst Place Christmas tree

caravan christmas tree WakehurstI had bundled my two children up in winter gear but we were lucky as the skies were clear. Still we rewarded ourselves with hot chocolates (for the kids and my husband) and a mulled wine (for me) in the outdoor café next to the Christmas tree. I managed to get tickets for this year’s family-friendly Glow Wild lantern festival before they sold out.

lanterns in tree Glow Wild WakehurstNext year I’ll definitely be pre-booking tickets again for the next annual winter after-dark festival at Wakehurst Place as it really was rather spectacular – even sometimes surreal.

18 thoughts on “Glow Wild after-dark at Wakehurst”

  1. Wow, it looks absolutely stunning. And something a bit different. Such a treat to be out in the evening for children.

    Amazing photos too.

  2. Kriss this is amazing! If I lived anywhere close I would love to take my gang, it looks absolutely spectacular lit up. I’ve never seen such a wonderful light display. No wonder you will be booking again for next year. thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids

  3. This looks magical-we used to have a couple of these kind of activities nearby but over the years they’ve stopped and it’s such a shame. My two would love this kind of thing. Great images too.

  4. Wow, that looks amazing, I wish there was something near to us like that (although I have just had a quick look to see how far away we are). #countrykids

  5. Molly @ The Move to America

    This looks so beautiful! It reminds me of Tom Bawcock’s Eve in Mousehole, Cornwall (although that is on a smaller scale)! Beautiful photos! #pocolo

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