Enjoy the magic of Christmas at Kew Gardens

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The Christmas at Kew festival is back for 2013, with the iconic gardens set to be transformed into a winter wonderland between November 28th and January 4th.

Visit during the daytime or late at night for a magical experience with your loved ones that is bound to put you in a festive mood.

New this year is the Christmas After Dark enchanted trail, which will take you on a one-mile journey through the outdoor space illuminated by twinkling lights.

Marvel at the gardens' hidden gems, under tree-top canopies and lakeside views, casting a never-seen-before light on some of the most beautiful landmarks in the city.

Other festive activities taking place at Kew include the Christmas village, where you will find a boutique market selling all kinds of tasty, seasonal treats being sold by local eateries and handmade gifts from London craft traders.

You can also meet Santa Claus in his woodland grotto and sample a variety of family rides being erected around the gardens. The Victorian carousel in particular is a winner among visitors.

If you fancy learning more about Kew and its place in London history, you're able to join a guided tour of the area led by an expert. Alternatively, you can explore the gardens and take in the magnificent greenery at your own pace.

There are also lots of fantastic London hotels nearby if you feel like extending your trip to see more of the capital.

Entrance to Kew Gardens for the Christmas Village and the markets, which are open from 4.30pm, is free, but you will be charged to take part in the illuminated trail. Admission costs £12.50 for adults and £8 for kids aged five to 16, or you could purchase a family pass (for two adults and two children) for £38.