Illuminated trails in Surrey for Christmas 2014

Christmas at Kew

Christmas at Kew - Credit: Archant

Explore some of Surrey’s most spectacular attractions as you’ve rarely seen them this festive season, with illuminated trails set to spring up all around our county

Hampton Court Palace lights up

Hampton Court Palace lights up - Credit: Archant

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Alice Holt Forest, near Farnham

Saturday November 22 to Wednesday December 24

A festive walk at Kew

A festive walk at Kew - Credit: Archant

On arrival at Alice Holt Forest this Christmas, you will be greeted by elves who will whisk you along an illuminated trail into the heart of the woods. There, you will discover the elves’ toy factory – a 30-foot yurt, beautifully adorned with wooden toys and festive trinkets. Father Christmas and his reindeer will also be taking up residence. Tickets: £22 per child (adults free).

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Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey

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Friday December 12 to Tuesday December 23

The world-famous maze at Hampton Court Palace can be baffling at the best of times, but this Christmas you’ll have the chance to hunt for the centre after dark! A series of interactive light trails will take visitors through the historic palace’s gardens and trees this winter, responding to the people walking by. The pièce de résistance will be the stunning spectacle of the iconic East Front of the palace lit up. Tickets: Adults £10; children £5 (entry free with a valid day ticket to the palace after 4.30pm).

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RBG Kew, near Richmond

Wednesday November 26 to Saturday January 3

Last year, over 120,000 visitors enjoyed Kew at night over the festive period and this year features a brand new trail of illuminations, installations, and a theme of snowflakes and sparkle. It will include a glittering tunnel of lights, glowing gardens, giant snowflakes, and romantic mistletoe moments, and will also unveil the iconic Palm House and pond bathed in light. The illuminated trail features artist commissions and innovative technology to light this vast landscape. Tickets: Adults £15/£17; children £10/£12; under-fours free.

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Painshill, Cobham

Wednesday December 3 and Thursday December 4

Surely one of the most magical places to visit Father Christmas in Surrey is the crystal grotto at Painshill’s famous 18th century landscape garden in Cobham – and on two of the dates this year, visitors will be able to enjoy a night-time walk to the grotto past colourfully lit up follies and trees. Tickets: Adults £8; concessions £7. • More details at

RHS Wisley, near Woking

Saturday December 20 to Sunday January 4

Okay, so admittedly this one is daytime only, but we couldn’t resist the thought of leaping into the magical world of Narnia at RHS Garden Wisley. Discover a land of fantastical fauns and busy beavers, where only the most intrepid of children can save Narnia from the White Witch’s spell. For our Narnia special, pick up December's Surrey Life magazine. Tickets: Adults £12.20; children £5.25.

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Watts Gallery, Compton

Friday November 28 to Saturday February 28

Enter a magical wonderland of porcelain sculptures illuminated against the winter skies. Designed by artist Mary Branson, Supernature celebrates Surrey landscape and wildlife through sound and light. The exhibition has been made possible by IGuzzini lighting systems. Tickets: Free.

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• For a more traditional set of winter walks, pick up a copy of December’s Surrey Life magazine