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A Magical Christmas at Kew Gardens and Hampton Court

  • The Fire Garden at Kew Gardens ©Jeff Eden, RBG Kew

    The Fire Garden at Kew Gardens ©Jeff Eden, RBG Kew
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, London - Two Turtle Doves in Kew's Fire Garden © Jeff Eden, RBG Kew

    Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, London - Two Turtle Doves in Kew's Fire Garden © Jeff Eden, RBG Kew
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, London - Bloom by Squidsoup © Jeff Eden, RBG Kew

    Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, London - Bloom by Squidsoup © Jeff Eden, RBG Kew
  • Squid Soup illuminations at Kew Gardens ©Jeff Eden, RBG Kew

    Squid Soup illuminations at Kew Gardens ©Jeff Eden, RBG Kew
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, London - Three French Hens in Kew's Fire Garden © Jeff Eden, RBG Kew

    Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, London - Three French Hens in Kew's Fire Garden © Jeff Eden, RBG Kew
  • Temperate house in the snow © RBG Kew

    Temperate house in the snow © Kew Gardens
  • Hampton Court Palace © Courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces

    Hampton Court Palace © Courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces
  • Hampton Court, London ©

    Hampton Court, London ©
3 day tour (2 day tours also available)
From £159 per person - minimum 20 passengers

Includes entrance to Hampton Court and Kew Gardens Illuminations

Be transported back to Elizabethan times at Hampton Court Palace this Christmas, with plenty of festive fun under the watchful eye of Queen Elizabeth I.

The magnificent Palace is transformed into Christmas as it would have been in 1592, with live drama and musical performances befitting of the perfect Twelfth Night celebration. Plus, go behind the scenes in the Tudor kitchens to watch the Queen’s cooks prepare a festive feast.

With carolling in the courtyards, musical performances, Tudor cookery, an elaborately dressed Christmas tree and even skating in the shadow of King Henry VIII’s famous pleasure Palace, there’s something for everyone.

The ice-rink takes up residence outside the Palace’s iconic Tudor façade, offering the chance to enjoy the magical surroundings while taking a turn on the ice. The popular rink-side Ice Bar and café also returns, offering mulled wine and hot chocolate perfect for keeping out the cold as well as hearty hot pies and filled crêpes.

Continuing in Hampton Court’s great musical tradition, on selected weekends in November and December, the Palace will be brought to life with seasonal music and carols throughout the ages, performed by a host of celebrated musicians and vocalists. From the English and German carols known and loved by the Georgian monarchs and their court to Victorian carols in regal brass arrangements which still define Christmas today, this timeless programme of music is the perfect way to get into the festive spirit.  

The magnificent gardens at Kew get a beautiful seasonal makeover once more in 2019 as Christmas at Kew brings illuminations to light up the buildings, trails and planting. The mile-long trail will lead visitors past two huge Christmas trees, a scented garden and all kinds of nature-inspired lights. Santa’s Snowflake Grotto returns and there’ll be a vintage carousel, Christmas gifts and traditional festive nibbles and drinks.


Late November and December 2022 & 2023

Suggested itinerary by coach

Day 1

Travel to London and arrive at your hotel

On route to the hotel why not stop at one of the many attractions in the area, such as The Musical Museum, the Water & Steam Museum, the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum or maybe Windsor and the Castle. We will be delighted to make the arrangements for you, or offer some alternative suggestions.

Continue to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 2

Hampton Court Palace

After breakfast, head to Hampton Court Palace, where you will discover the magnificence of Henry VIII’s favourite royal residence. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the bustling Base Court and marvel at the breath-taking grandeur of Henry’s State Rooms. Tickle your taste buds in the vast Tudor kitchens, stroll through over 60 acres of enchanting gardens, lose yourself in the famous maze and appreciate the beauty of one of the greatest palaces on earth.

Creep along the Haunted Gallery and discover another palace, the Baroque Palace, full of intrigue and gossip from the Stuart and Georgian era.

Kew Gardens, and as twilight falls, the magic begins…

Now in its sixth year, Kew’s 2019 winter trail is a botanical wonderland inspired by the gardens themselves, as the trees, temples and glasshouses of Kew are playfully lit and all aglow.

There’s something for everyone at this festive time of year as the sparkling path winds its way through the world-famous gardens in a magical after dark experience, with brightly coloured laser beams dancing over water, a Tunnel of Lights, scented Fire Garden and fairy-tale avenues of flora. As you make your way around the mile long trail, you’ll be tempted by the aroma of roasting chestnuts, toasting marshmallows, and other traditional fare.

The trail is very popular and entry is by timed entry ticket. The trail opens at 5pm and closes at 10pm. You can choose from eight session times. Visits are timed at 30-minute intervals from 5pm until 8pm and the last session starts at 8.15pm.

Day 3

Windsor or other area attractions and return home

Enjoy a traditional English breakfast; you then have some free time to explore.  We have lots of suggestions in the area for you.

Take the short drive to Windsor, and maybe a visit to the Castle? Or feeling sporty? Maybe a visit to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. Take a 90-minute tour of the grounds with a qualified Blue Badge Tour Guide, plus access to Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, including the virtual reality experience and free audio guide for the museum. The London Museum of Water & Steam, where you will be amazed by the massive historic engines that pumped Thames water to London’s taps, and follow in the footsteps of Charles Dickens to explore London’s exciting watery past.

Leave London at your leisure to return home.

Suggested Hotels

We offer a selection of 3 and 4 star hotels in the area, including the Holiday Inn Shepperton,  Novotel Brentford, Hilton Croydon, Jurys Inn Croydon, Hallmark Croydon, Crowne Plaza Hotel Heathrow, Ibis Hotel Heathrow and Holiday Inn London M4 J4.

Short of Time?

This tour is also available on 2 day/1 night itinerary, visiting the Illuminations at Kew Gardens on the first day before dinner at the hotel, and visiting Hampton Court Palace and Gardens the following morning.

Prices start from £89.00 per person

Please enquire for further details and information.

Dates 3 days / 2 nights
Winter Weekends in 2022 From £159.00 per person
Winter Weekends in 2023 From £169.00 per person

A single room supplement will apply and this varies between hotels – details on request.

The Christmas Illuminations at Kew commence on the last week of November and run until 1st January.

All prices are per person based on sharing a double or twin room and with one free place for a coach driver or group organiser in a single room, both are based on a minimum 20 full fare paying passengers. Prices do not include coach hire or travel insurance. Dates are subject to availability. Smaller groups can be quoted for on request. Pictures are for illustrative purposes only. Our website policy is to use only copyright free images or images which have been authorised to us for free use by the owner. If you consider an image to be unauthorised or to be your property, please contact us immediately and if invalid we will have the image removed. If your image requires crediting or is missing a copyright statement then we will be pleased to add this to the webpage, contact us at

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