Lantern Festival, London

Magical Lantern Festival 2017, Chiswick House, London

It’s the Chinese New Year this Saturday. And it was my birthday last weekend. What better way for us to celebrate both events than with a trip to the 2017 Magical Lantern Festival in London.

Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House

This is the second year of the London festival. From my perspective it’s a much more relaxing way to celebrate the Chinese New Year than getting squished at the festivities in London’s Chinatown. Although a lot of other people have the same idea.

Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House

The 2017 festival theme is ‘Explore the Silk Road’. One of those exciting sounding places that I have always wanted to travel along. The marketing blurb promises a journey through Central Asia, India and China. Via Aladdin and the Houses of Parliament.

Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House

The trail, through the grounds of Chiswick House, took us about an hour to walk round. It’s flat and accessible for all but there were bottlenecks at some displays. Each lantern is accompanied by a couple of lines of explanatory text in Mandarin (I presume) and English.

Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House

It sounds really obvious but remember to dress for the outdoors. It was freezing during our visit, although we’d probably not helped the situation by roaming the Richmond Park tundra until sunset. The upside of the weather was the frozen lake. I love how it blurred the reflections of the lanterns around it.

Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House

The lanterns are not the floating fire starters that you imagine. In fact, impressive though they are, I wouldn’t think of them as lanterns. More like giant illuminated sculptures. I’d love to know more about they how they were made.

Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House

One of the surprising highlights for me was Chiswick House. I’ve never visited in the daylight but loved the glimpses of statues, architectural details and the villa itself. I’m not usually one for historical houses but I am inspired to return.

Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House

The lanterns are very well displayed and make the most of their setting. It’s hard to pick out favourites but I enjoyed these pandas. They weren’t the biggest or most intricate, I just like pandas!

Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House

At the end of the trail there’s a group of food and drink stalls, including an ice bar. There’s also an ice rink which looked much smaller than the advertised 600 square metres. As I had no desire to celebrate my birthday with a broken leg we didn’t try it out.

Magical Lantern Festival, London
Magical Lantern Festival, London

Overall we were really impressed. If you’re looking for something a little different to do in London over the next few weekends I’d definitely suggest checking this festival out.

More info:

  • The Magical Lantern Festival runs in London until 26 February. It’s open Thursday-Sunday evenings, and throughout half-term. Buy your ticket and book a timed entry slot in advance on the festival website. An advance purchase weekend family ticket costs £56.
  • Chiswick House is a 10 minute walk from Turnham Green underground station.
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13 thoughts on “Magical Lantern Festival 2017, Chiswick House, London”

  1. Happy Birthday Christine! What a fantastic way to celebrate. I really want to take the kids to see this and I love the panda. Thanks for sharing with us on #FarawayFiles

  2. Great photos. I love events like this, seeing the lights is of course fabulous but I also really like exploring these places in the dark when that’s something you wouldn’t normally experience.

  3. I love the pandas! And those illuminated gates are gorgeous. What a fun way to get the kids into the spirit of Chinese New Year! Here’s to the Year of the Rooster! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

  4. Wow. That does look amazing. I’m impressed with how the structures are so well done. (I would be looking at how they are made, wouldn’t I?!). I like the idea of it being a trail. It ooks like a suitable setting too.

  5. Impressive lanterns! And also very impressive photography – whenever I try to take photos like this in the dark they generally end up blurred messes. We have a similar festival in Luxembourg – the “Nuit des lampions” in Wiltz – which is apparently brilliant (no pun intended) but I’ve never been…

  6. Hi Christine, I’m not big into Birthday celebrations (or New Year for that matter), but I would enjoy a saunter around a light festival (if it’s a good one). The ‘lanterns’ do look impressive, but I wonder why they are called lanterns and not light statues?

    xx

  7. I really love the idea of going here – we’ve never been to Chiswick House either, but this seems a very special way to have a glimpse and I also like the idea of the frozen lake (as long as I’m wrapped up well) and seeing something different. Thank you!

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