This year, the Chinese Magical Lantern Festival returned to Chiswick for the holiday period. Held in various cities such as Birmingham and Manchester, the festival was held again in London due to its popularity in previous years. Chiswick House and Gardens became the home to a huge number of hand-crafted, beautiful sculptures made out of lanterns - ranging from relatively small to vast and larger than life. It is open from 5pm to 10pm resulting in prime darkness to experience the glowing sculptures at their prime. 

The award winning event has been very popular since it first came to London. A highly popular Christmas evening out for families, it also includes many food and drink options and other entertainment including some fairground attractions including dodgems and various rides for younger children and a Santa's Grotto.

As for the lanterns, you follow a trail which allows you to experience all of the incredible sculptures. Highlights include an interpretation of Noah's Ark, an enlarged Santa and his reindeer drawn sleigh and a recreation of an ancient city of the Song Dynasty. However, ever where you turn there is an exciting collection of characters all created by the lanterns.

As a whole, the experience is, as suggested by the name, magical. The beautiful sculptures are enticing for all ages and the general, festive feeling of this years event added to the wonder. In companionship with the various entertainment and food options (including an exciting gourmet marshmallow stall complete with a large fire/ toasting pit), a visit to the lanterns certainly make for an enchanting, holiday evening!