PREVIEW: Christmas at the Botanics - new details revealed of 'must see' light show at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Promoted by Christmas at the Botanics

LET it glow, let it glow, let it glow...

Edinburgh folk dreaming of a bright Christmas were today given more details of a spectacular new event which will transform a top city attraction into one of Europe's ‘must-see’ festive light shows, say organisers.

Christmas at the Botanics will bring a magical, after dark experience to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, from November 24 to December 30.

Entry is by ticket only and visitors are being advised to book early to secure their chosen slot.

BUY TICKETS: Prices are £14 to £18 for adults, with discounted offers for members, and £8 to £12 for children under 16. Family tickets are available from £38. Under 4’s and carers go free, but still require an event ticket. For further ticket information, pricing and timings, please visit www.rbge.org.uk/whats-on/home/christmas.

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Inspired by the Garden itself, the mile-long illuminated trail is described as a botanical wonderland, including a choir of singing conifers, a fairytale avenue, colour-changing trees “festooned with giant baubles” and a flickering scented Fire Garden.

Christmas at the Botanics is organised by concerts and events promoter, Raymond Gubbay Ltd, which has a successful track record of producing well received Christmas light trails at Kew Gardens in London, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and Berlin Botanic Gardens.

The design team behind the festive lighting display, which also takes its inspiration from Blenheim Palace’s vast landscape and history, is Culture Creative, who have previously worked with English Heritage, the National Trust, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Forestry Commission and the National Trust for Scotland.

Today organisers revealed what's in store for visitors.

They will be greeted by the sights and sounds of Christmas, as they wander beneath tree canopies bathed in seasonal colour.

Christmas at the Botanics

Christmas at the Botanics

A path will lead to the enchanting Crystal Lawn, where they can change the colour of the trees, before heading down to a flickering, scented and mesmerising Fire Garden.

As the path narrows, it will reveal the sight and sounds of the Choir of the Trees, a woodland grove of singing conifers, before continuing towards glittering trees festooned with giant baubles.

The trail leads along a fairy tale avenue of giant glowing structures, rising high into the night sky, with a magnificent Beech Hedge illuminated by flashes of sparkling light.

Santa and his elves will be popping up along the way and visitors can complete their Christmas treat under the stars with spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate and enjoy other traditional fare before browsing the Garden’s festive gift shop.

Christmas at the Botanics

Christmas at the Botanics

Edinburgh-based lighting designers, Simon Hayes and Kate Bonney, have been responsible for the site design and show creation. They will bring several first-time lighting installations to Scotland, including Squidsoup’s Bloom, a thousand spheres of light, each on a stalk, bobbing gently in front of Inverleith House.

Special outdoor lighting technology will allow each spherical unit to listen, respond and communicate together, to form what is being described as a spatialised audio-visual symphony.

French artist studio, TILT, will also make its inaugural visit to Scotland with Echinodermus, an 11m high structure inspired by the echinocactus family. The massive tree-like sculpture will be transported from France and built, piece by piece, in front of the famous Palm House.

Organisers said Christmas at the Botanics will put Edinburgh on a par with other cities like London and Berlin which both enjoy ‘must-see’ Christmas lighting shows.

Heather Jackson, Director of Enterprise at RBGE said: “It will be our most ambitious event of the year. This is such a magical time for everyone we look forward to welcoming visitors in after dark to delight in the magic of Christmas at the Garden.”

Jonathan Marks, Chief Development Officer at Raymond Gubbay Ltd said: “We are thrilled to be involved in the first Christmas at the Botanics event. The Botanics is one of Edinburgh’s most iconic venues, but getting to create a new, magical trail through the Gardens is incredible and we’re really looking forward to welcoming everyone this Christmas.”

Christmas at the Botanics

Christmas at the Botanics

BUY TICKETS: Prices are £14 to £18 for adults, with discounted offers for members, and £8 to £12 for children under 16. Family tickets are available from £38. Under 4’s and carers go free, but still require an event ticket. For further ticket information, pricing and timings, please visit www.rbge.org.uk/whats-on/home/christmas.

Christmas at the Botanics

Christmas at the Botanics