Kew Gardens Christmas lights: Can Kew Garden stay open after Tier 3 announcement?

Kew Gardens: Daffodils sway in the wind in London

London is going into Tier 3 from 12.01am on Wednesday, December 16. In this Tier, the rules are stricter and the main difference between Tier 2 and Tier 3 is where you can meet people who you don’t live with. Kew Gardens is a popular destination at this time of year, and Londoners are gutted at the prospect of missing out on seeing the beautiful festive lights.

For the eighth year in a row, Kew Gardens has opened its doors to visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of its magical Christmas lights.

The Kew Gardens winter trail features over one million lights, and visitors are free to stroll down the trail in awe.

Normally, the trail is open from late November until early January, and this was intended to be the case this year.

Can Kew Garden stay open after the Tier 3 announcement, or will the gardens be forced to close to the public?

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What are the rules in Tier 3?

In Tier 3, no mixing is allowed with people indoors – except for those you live with, or people in your bubble.

You cannot meet others in a private garden either, but up to six people from different households can meet outside in public parks and playgrounds.

Hairdressers, beauty salons, and shops can stay open as long as they are Covid-secure, but cinemas, pubs, restaurants, bowling alleys, theatres, nightclubs, and casinos must all close.

Travel should be as limited as possible and people should work from home if they can.

Can Kew Garden stay open after the Tier 3 announcement?

Yes, Kew Gardens will be staying open.

A spokesperson for the Gardens told Express.co.uk: “I’m very happy to say that Christmas at Kew is permitted to continue within Tier 3 under government guidance as it is an entirely outdoor trail.

“We have in fact just extended the run to January 24 to meet demand.”

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The trail will be totally Covid-secure, and the new measures in place include:

  • Adding extra time slots and additional gates to manage visitor flow
  • A Revised trail route to manage visitor flow
  • Thorough and extensive cleaning across the route each night
  • Additional staffing to manage social distancing
  • Reiteration of the importance of social distancing in pre-visit emails and signage/recorded messages around the trail

The food normally on offer will still be available, thankfully. The spokesperson said: “Food will continue to be available on the trail via takeaway at our Pavilion Bar and Grill and our Victoria Plaza café.

“There will also be pop-up food stalls along the trail serving food and non-alcoholic beverages.

“And of course, our Victoria Plaza shop will be open for Christmas shopping.”

If you don’t fancy visiting the trails, you can still visit Kew Gardens in the daytime.

You’ll need to pre-book your visit, and the glasshouses and restaurants will be closed.

A statement from Kew Gardens said: “Winter is a really magical time to visit Kew, from the bright red berries along Holly Walk, to the festive smell of the evergreen trees, it’s a real chance to discover hidden gems in the Gardens and, at this time of year, to walk off all that festive food!”

Tickets to the trail can be found here.

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