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Christmas at Kew will return to the Royal Botanic Gardens between 23rd November and 2nd January.

Group bookings are now being taken for the event, which will see more than 60,000 lights illuminating a mile-long trail through the gardens.

The route will begin with two giant Christmas trees decorated and covered in ribbons.

Visitors following the trail will then be greeted by a carpet of light made up of 1,700 flickering lights, before they visit the scented Fire Garden, which this year has been inspired by the Five Gold Rings from The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Next, parties will be faced with woodland and trees illuminated by giant crystals and colour-changing reeds, before they walk through the popular Tunnel of Lights which will be animated by 63,000 pixels.

Giant candles will decorate a woodland walk leading to this year’s finale at the Palm House Pond, framed by sparkling hedges. Here, coloured laser beams, streams of light and flicking orbs will move in time to much-loved Christmas classic songs.

The evening event also boasts Kew karaoke at the Christmas Juke Box and Mistletoe Moment, where groups can pause for reflection or for some optimum photo opportunities.

Groups will also find a North Pole village, vintage rides, Christmas gifts and a traditional festive fair at Kew this Christmas.

For peckish visitors, plenty of festive treats to eat and drink will be on offer, including spiced cider, mulled wine, hot chocolate and marshmallows which groups can toast themselves.

This year’s event will run between 23rd November 2016 to 2nd January 2017 and the trail opens at 5pm and closes at 10pm.

Discounted rates apply to groups of 15 or more.

Make a day out of it

Groups wanting to make a day out of their visit will also find plenty on at Kew during daylight hours.

Visitors can explore the grounds, glasshouses and even a rainforest landscape to see coconut, vanilla, mango and coffee grown in the wild in the Palm House.

Alternatively, a visit to the adjacent Kew Palace is an option, which includes The Royal Kitchens – untouched since 1818, Queen Charlotte’s chair and the Princesses’ bedrooms.

For more information visit