Visit to Richmond and Kew Gardens Christmas Lights 29 November 2017

It was a cold morning for our visit today. When the coach arrived it was warm inside and we had a good journey to Richmond. The town is on a meander of the River Thames; it has a number of parks and many protected conservation areas. Many of the buildings are listed architectural or heritage status. Although cold several visited the parks and enjoyed a walk alongside the riverside. In the summer it would be very appealing to spend longer relaxing and watching the boats sailing by. Many enjoyed the shops and were laden with bags when they got back to the coach. It was only a 15-minute drive to Kew. We were a little early so we sat on the coach in the warm until our allotted entry time. The sparkling trail had over one million twinkling lights illuminating heritage trees and buildings through the Gardens. It was fairy-tale meets fantasy in a world of singing trees, larger-than-life flora, ribbons of light, giant baubles, and a flickering Fire Garden. The Palm House leapt into life with a dazzling show of laser beams, jets of light and kaleidoscopic projections. A very creative 11 metre tall Christmas tree made from 365 illuminated wooden sledges made a “sledgetree”, this had a cycle of changing colour, soundscape and motion. The children caught a glimpse of Santa and his elves at the North Pole village and a vintage fairground ride could be enjoyed. The adults could warm up with some mulled wine or hot chocolate and toast marshmallows around the fire. The shop was well stocked with plants and Christmas gifts. Our journey home was good with plenty of chatter on board. Pam

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