Got the winter blues? Tired of dark days already? We at 20 the Barons always look for ways to brighten up the darkest afternoons, and have gathered a few of our favourite winter events to share with you. There’s so much going on in the area at this time of year, there’s no need to be glum! Many parks and stately homes now boost their winter visitor offerings by opening special seasonal events and experiences. Here’s our Top 5, gathered by Emma, one of our team, who loves nothing more than a bit of Christmas sparkle.
1: Kew Gardens is once again having its Christmas at Kew Illuminated Trail. Many of the team go every year to this event, and we just love it. Whether with children or just adults, this will bring out the inner child in everyone. As well as the gorgeous display of lights for you to enjoy, the trail takes you around a different area of the gardens each year, with singing trees, giant illuminated flora and a fire garden among other delights. There’s mulled wine, hot chocolate and spiced cider, toasted marshmallows, funfair rides, delicious food and even Santa to spread some Christmas magic. Don’t miss the Palm House lit up in a dazzling light-show set to music – or the artisan marshmallowsl Delicious!
This year the trail begins 22/11/17 and ends 1/1/18, so there is plenty of opportunity to get there yourself. It’s open from 5-10pm with timed entry and costs £16 for adults with family packages available. Visit Kew Gardens for more.
2: Chiswick House has its Magical Lantern Festival in the grounds of this wonderful English Heritage Palladian home. It was designed by Lord Burlington to look like a Roman Villa and is thought to be possibly the finest example of Palladian architecture in London (suggesting he was a pretty good architect). At the magical lantern festival you will find spectacular displays depicting lots of exciting and wow-inducing scenes. This year the lights are promised to be bigger and better, with dragons, pandas, reindeer and many more in a fusion of culture and art – in light. They also have a food area of course and some fairground rides for the younger visitors. If you want to make a dark day bright, head here! It’s on from 24/11/17 to 1/1/18, open from 5-10pm and costs £18.00 for adults, with family packages available. Visit Chiswick House for more.
3: Syon Park’s Enchanted Woodland offers a great opportunity to enjoy this park after dark. The illuminated trail takes you through woodlands, around the ornamental lake and ends at the historic Great Conservatory. With its colour-changing trees, twinkling lights and laser displays to cheer you up it’s huge fun. if you want to go to this one you had best hurry – it ends on November 26th (which we think is a bit early!). Even if you miss this you can do some festive shopping there. They have a huge range of gifts in their shop and lots of opportunities to ‘try before you buy’.
It’s on weekends only until 26/11/17, from 5-9pm with timed entry and costs £10 for adults, £5 for children (free under 3). Visit Syon Park for more.
4: Christmas Craft Fair, Church Street, Twickenham. Church Street is a lovely quaint lane which often has seasonal events which are always fun. The street is lit up beautifully and there are pubs and restaurants down its length, as well as interesting boutiques and knick-knack shops. We always try to get to the events held here, and the Craft Fair is on several times a year, focussing on hand-made, local items. This one will be a great place to buy those elusive Christmas gifts for your loved ones. It’s being held this year on 2nd December from noon ‘til 6pm. As well as the craft fair, there will be Santa in his grotto, face painting, live music, food and drink and a Punch and Judy show!
2nd December, Twickenham Church Street. Free entry. Visit website for more.
5: Hampton Court Palace Skating – There is so much going on in Henry VIII’s fantastic historic palace in the winter months. But ice skating is our particular favourite. This is an ice skating session like never before. The palace is the truly stunning backdrop and the River Thames is right next door. From 24th November – 7th January 2018 you can book 45 minute sessions. Some of the Barons team are red hot skaters, but Ali not so much! She will be enjoying the spectacle with hot chocolate or white wine in hand, having hurt her back and her pride last year on the ice! But there’s even more to enjoy through the season: Tudor style wreath or Treasure Box making, story-telling and candle decorating, carol singing, BBC’s Good Food Feast and Elizabethan Christmas activities. All this is going on around the palace. Who said winter is bleak? Check out their website for what’s on.
And that’s just for starters! Bring on the winter bling!