The essential guide to Glow Wild at Wakehurst

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Glow Wild Lakehurst visitors

Discover everything you need to know about the Glow Wild Christmas lights show that's taking place at Wakehurst in West Sussex until January 2024

Glow Wild at Wakehurst is a dazzling light show on the grandest of scales, and goes from strength as it celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2023. Year after year, delighted visitors post rave reviews about their experiences amid the winter lanterns. Here’s a round-up of all you need to know to get the most out of a magical evening at Kew’s magnificent gardens in the West Sussex countryside.

The Boundless Members' Day at Glow Wild sold out quickly, but members can still enjoy this enchanting event with specially discounted tickets. Boundless members also receive year-round, unlimited access to both the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, and Wakehurst. Find out more about joining by clicking here.

What can you see at Glow Wild?

Glow Wild Christmas tree

The winter trail

This festive light extravaganza sees over a thousand handcrafted lanterns illuminating Wakehurst’s wild botanic gardens. You’ll also encounter much larger sculptures, including glittering insects, flaming torches, quivering flowers, bolts of lightning, shimmering raindrops and many more.

New for 2023

The theme of this year's event is the natural world, and among the new installations are a magnificent, lifesize, illuminated whale; The Woven Grove (pictured below), which features an ancient mother tree and her 17 offspring; a herd of graceful seahorses; and Starkeeper, where you can make a wish on a star to hang in the Sky Forest before continuing along the trail.

See the UK’s tallest living Christmas tree

This festive giant (pictured above) is decorated with 1,800 twinkling lights – stretching for 600m when unravelled – and is a stunning landmark on the lantern trail. At 37m high, it takes two 70m cherry-picker cranes to take the lights to the top of it. Thought to be around 125 years old, this tree is a record-breaker in every way!

Essential information about Glow Wild

Woven Grove Glow Wild Lakehurst

When is the event on?

The light display is open now and runs until 1 January 2024. You’ll need to book an entry slot between 4.30pm and 8.20pm.

Quiet sessions take place every night at 4.15pm. There are also relaxed sessions on selected nights at 4.15pm (50 tickets available per night), providing gentler experiences for those with special needs. You can find out more about the event details here

How to get to Wakehurst*

The gardens are in the heart of Sussex, just shy of the West and East Sussex border, north of Haywards Heath. By car, Wakehurst is 25 minutes south of the M25, and 30 minutes north of Brighton. If you travel by bike or public transport, you’ll receive a 50% discount on your ticket. The nearest train station is Haywards Heath, six miles away – there will be shuttle buses running from there to the event. More details on getting to Glow Wild can be found here.

How long does it take to walk around the Glow Wild trail?

The mile-long trail takes about an hour to walk around, and the route is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs – but not for four-legged members of the family, as dogs aren’t allowed unless they’re assistance dogs. Do wear warm clothing, as there’s no shelter and the walk is entirely outside.

Food and drinks at Glow Wild

To add to the magical experience, there’s plenty of tempting food and drink. Among other classic dishes, steaming hot chocolate, loaded roast potatoes, hot dogs and sweet treats such as gourmet marshmallows – you can toast your own over a roaring fire pit! – are available from chalets that can be found under the gaze of the Christmas tree.


Allow time for some festive shopping – the Visitor Centre stocks a selection of botanical-themed gift ideas and will be open until 9.45pm each day.

Admission price and bookings

Jellyfish Go Wild Lakehurst

Adult tickets cost £19, child tickets (aged 4–16) cost £12, a family ticket is £60, and children under 4 go free. There are cheaper tickets for Wakehurst or Kew members, and Boundless members enjoy a special discounted rate as well – see below.

Discounted Glow Wild tickets for Boundless members

Unfortunately, the Boundless Members’ Day at Glow Wild (7 December), with its heavily discounted tickets, has sold out – but you can still enjoy up to 23% off tickets* for the event until 31 January.

Another benefit for Boundless members is access to a free online lantern-making workshop with Glow Wild’s own lantern curator, Katherine Morton, so you could even take your very own lantern on the trail. The workshop took place in early October, but it’s available to rewatch. It’s just one of a wide range of online events that bring new skills, fascinating stories, and first-hand insights into extraordinary times and places, right into your home.

Unlimited access to Kew Gardens and Wakehurst for Boundless members

This is one of the many benefits of Boundless membership, and also includes: 

* 50% off for one additional adult per visit

* Admission for up to five children per visit

* 10% discount in Kew's shops

* Up to 25% discount on unique experiences at Kew and Wakehurst

Do more with Boundless

If you're working or retired from the public sector or civil service, and you're not yet a member, why not join Boundless? Members get free entry to top attractions, discounts on restaurants and savings on high-street brands, plus dozens of other deals on holidays, experiences and more! Discover more about Boundless membership here.

*Glow Wild ticket discount is valid until 23.59 on 31 December 2023. Subject to availability. Members must use their email address used for their Boundless membership to book Glow Wild tickets. They must also be logged in.

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