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  • Writer's pictureManasa Mynampati

Glow Wild - Wakehurst Gardens Review

We visited Glow Wild for a couple of years. Let's start with the 2021 visit.

In 2021, during the Christmas holidays, we were only comfortable visiting outdoor attractions due to the Omicron variant. I searched the internet for any nearby (from Brighton) venue with Christmas lights and decorations as we could only afford half-day trips with my kid.

I came across the Wakehurst Gardens website, one of the Royal Botanical Gardens, and immediately, my eyes fell upon the picture of the Glow Wild event. It was very attractive. Usually, I don't go to places just by images posted on their websites. But reviews from previous years were good. They decorate the gardens from mid-December till the new year. We booked tickets for 31st December late evening as early slots were unavailable.

Well, winter is not a time to enjoy for many of us. With its gloomy and dull evenings, nature appears to be on pause. But as the darkness fell, this garden was brought to life. It was a beautiful sight at the entrance to see the colourful lanterns and glowing trees. We picked green and orange lanterns and started our night trail.

Glow wild Wakehurst

We reached there by 7 p, and these magical gardens had a surprise for us on New Year's Eve. The glowing mushrooms, worms, and many nocturnal creatures reflected the natural habitat. Trees were decorated with glowing flowers. A hanging moon along with stars, deer peeping around the corners of the trees, glowing moths flying on a water pond, and small trees with night creatures hanging on their branches made us feel like we were in some Avatar world. Light music along the trail from the immersed soundscapes in the ground was an excellent addition to the tranquil twilight gardens.

Glow wild Wakehurst

There was a tall Christmas tree decorated with 1800 lights and its reflection on the water was eye-catching. An animated projection of the journey of the seeds onto natural screens among the trees with special sound effects was good. There were real fire torches arranged spirally on mansion laws with a tabla music track in the background.

The attraction which I most enjoyed was the seedheads on the water pond. The trail went around the pond. The reflection of the seedheads on the pond and the lanterns carried by visitors around it seemed to be a natural trail of fireflies, which was spectacular. This picture-postcard view made our magical evening.

We revisited Glow Wild again in 2023 with our cousins. This time, they had a different theme with sea life. I must say, this time it seems more crowded and there are a few noticeable differences.

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