The Handbook
The Handbook

This will brighten up your day. Literally. As the nights draw in, the clocks change and we all turn nominally nocturnal, waking and commuting in darkness, remember there’s an upside… light shows. Sure, it’s not a lottery win, a vaccine or taxpayer funded Pina Coladas for all (free cocktails being a key plank of the first 100 days of my future Prime Ministership), but we’ll take anything right now. Pretty lights? Sign me up, beats talking about coronavirus…

RHS Wisley is putting on their annual festival of lights starting next month, and it promises to be the same impressive extravaganza it is each year, but all the more poignant given how little else we’ve actually achieved in 2020. Leave all that at the gates and wander the gardens, lose yourself in the beauty and see the light…

Wander the gardens, lose yourself in the beauty and see the light...

The trail includes sights of some of Wisley’s most iconic sites, from the cherry tree avenue, draped in sparkles at the entry to installations including a projected light show and a Christmas tree dripping with twinkling lights and towers of poinsettia.

From famed areas of the gardens including Seven Acres and the Rock Garden to Pinetum and the Wisteria Walk, enjoy foliaged to marvel at foliage festooned in spectacular spectrums of light.

Never ones to pass up the chance of a nibble along the way, we’re happy to see various dining options including the Terrace Restaurant, Glasshouse Café (check out the pies) and Wisley Café, as well as a food hall that will be exclusively serving British classics including beef and Guinness stew, sticky toffee pudding and Christmas cake.

For all those people organised enough to do their present shopping before Christmas Eve, there is also the shop and plant centre, which will be extending opening hours to 9pm and is the perfect place to pick up garden centre type trinkets and bits.

The event is a mainstay of our pre-Christmas calendar, it’s something we write about each year, and it’s the perfect event to take a date, child or dog to, but there’s also a serious note. The RHS has, like so many others, had a tough year. Facing up to £18 million in losses for 2020, tickets are a vital source of revenue that will ensure the gardens remain open after coronavirus is no more.

We suspect it’ll book up quickly, so get in there now and lock in some November prettiness. We’ll all need it.

www.rhs.org.uk


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