Visit Kew Gardens at this time of year and view the historic gardens in a completely different light, literally.

Gone are the panoramic vistas and beautifully manicured green landscapes as you arrive after dark, long after the sun has set.

Once again, and for the fourth time, the famous gardens have undergone a special makeover in time for the festive season.

Usually bright neon lights, large crowds and piped Christmas carols should be avoided at all costs, but not at Kew.

The magic of Christmas has truly arrived at the gardens as tens of thousands of lights have lit up a mile long trail under the cover of darkness.

A visit to Kew at Christmas is the perfect way to get the festive season well and truly under way.

Visitors can enter the gardens through two magnificent Christmas trees and the adventure begins as you meander your way through the various illuminated installations.

One of the first installations we encountered was a sea of lights swaying like blossoms quickly followed by the fire garden inspired by the 12 Days of Christmas.

There were trees dripping with white-light crystals and a tunnel of light that slowly changed colour as you walked through.

All the while, visitors would be greeted by the relaxing sound of classic Christmas carols coming from the roots and branches of the majestic trees that make up the famous gardens.

And at regular intervals as you walked a stretch or turned a corner there was a different display to greet you.

There was even a Kew karaoke at the Christmas Juke Box playing classic Slade that got the crowds jumping and swaying.

And for younger ones there was a mini-panto on a constant 10-minute loop to make sure no one missed out on the festivities.

For a breather, visitors were able to stop and enjoy mulled wine, roasted chestnuts or toast marsh mellows at the various stalls lining the route.

And one of the most spectacular sights was a laser light show projected on to the glass panelling of the Palm House casting a mirror image on to the pitch-dark pond surrounding the building.

And for the kids there is a Victorian carousel, helter skelter and various family rides to distract them from their tired feet at the end of it all while keeping them entertained.

Christmas at Kew is truly a magical experience and one not to be missed.

Tickets for a family of four is £52 (peak) and £48 (off peak) in advance or £58 and £56 on the day respectively. For more ticket details go to

The festive adventure lasts until Monday, January 2.