An illuminated themed wonderland awaits you at The Magic Lantern Festival. Held in Chiswick House Gardens and only in its second year, this bright festival has grown extremely popular in its short history.
As you wander through the soft dusk light to the park gardens, there will be no mistaking the flickers of multi-coloured light
through the trees before an oriental lantern gate appears at the entrance before a pathway lined with lantern displaying the symbols of the Chinese zodiac. The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Explore the Silk Road’, taking visitors on a journey of the trade route from Europe to China, through the various cultures and cities along the way.
The tour is set in the sizeable gardens with a mixture of lanterns and wire art installations adorning the path side. Displays are laid out with ample space for photographers to snap away without blocking the view. Dual nationality storyboards provide explanations for each area in both Chinese and English and were a nice touch, bringing together to the pieces on show.
The mix of fun and tradition used in the tour provide an all-round representation of the cultures found on the route. The lanterns themselves are vividly coloured and beautifully detailed with coloured lights giving an extra flair to the scenes. Also to be found are a few very special pieces dotted around the grounds plus some impressive scenes that you will not want to rush by.
Average visiting time for the lantern display is 75 minutes which is about right for busier times, so choose a later visiting time if you seek a more relaxed environment. The pathways are a little muddy, but not enough to cause any real problems.
The finale of the tour is not the end of the evening’s fun, as a fairground, stall and food stands await you. An Ice Bar and VR game experience are two of the treats in store, with international food menus for those finding themselves a little peckish after their walk.
The event has the nostalgic feeling of good old-fashioned fun fair festivities often lost in our modern-day pastimes. This with the twist of the lantern tour makes for an entertaining night and as long as you wrap up warm, it is something for visitors both old and young to enjoy.
The Magic Lantern Festival runs in Chiswick House Gardens, London until Sunday 26th February 2017 and returns bigger and better each winter.