Chiswick Magical Lantern Festival

On Saturday night we wrapped up warm against the cold and set off into the dark night.

Our destination?

Chiswick – the land of lanterns.

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Deep in the heart of residential London (decidedly off the beaten tourist track) quiet Chiswick Gardens have been transformed into a brilliantly lit international wonderland with the opening of the Magical Lantern Festival.

From the website:

The Magical Lantern Festival – an annual event to mark the end of Chinese New Year – floats back to Chiswick House and Garden for a second year. The theme for 2017 is the Silk Road, and visitors can follow a mini-trail mirroring part of the Road, featuring over 50 dazzling illuminations. These include the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, plus colourful scenes from India, Asia, the Middle East and the tale of Aladdin featuring a giant lantern genie.

A ‘spectacular fusion of art, heritage and culture’ this festival of light and illumination sees visitors following a trail around the park and gardens where they can explore ‘amazing giant lanterns in all shapes and sizes from wildlife and nature to animals and architecture’.

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As we shuffled along the marked path alongside everyone else on earth I began to rethink my ‘great’ idea of going at 7:15pm on a Saturday. (Pro Tip: If you value your sanity, go at 10pm on a weeknight when the majority of baby buggies, screaming children and post-supper meanderers have called it a night)

We had no problem seeing things but with the weather that cold you really need to be moving at a significant clip in order to keep your appendages from freezing completely!

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^ Is it just me, or did Aladdin miss a step while getting dressed in the morning?…

Thoroughly chilled, we stopped to warm ourselves by the open fire and devour some delicious roasted marshmallows.

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^ Wearing all of the layers and snuggled up in my new shearling coat and an old scarf from Asos.

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Continuing on we came to not one but TWO herds of camels (do you call a group of camels a ‘herd’? Is that right? Personally I feel a ‘cluster’, a ‘contingent’ or a ‘coup’ of camels would be better. Let’s go with ‘coup’) The camel coups were both gorgeous and quickly jumped to the top of my list of favourites.

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Continuing on, we followed the Silk Road, passing some truly spectacular displays.

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^That feeling when the Magic 8 Ball says ‘Ask Again Later’ – you had ONE job!

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^ This guy is officially my spirit animal.

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^ Celebrating the Year of the Rooster.

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^ I can’t look at this and not see Jack Black.

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In a city like London there’s always tons to see and do and this experience was definitely unique. It’s refreshing to see and do something so out of the box! It’s worth a visit if you’re in the area and as it’s on until 26th February you still have lots of time. Find out all the details and purchase tickets here.

Happy trails!

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