Fairytale World Of Magical Lantern Festival

Magical Lantern Festival

Hi there you lovely gang, hope you’ve been doing well! Today I’d like to tell you about the Magical Lantern Festival which, let me say it, is called magical for a reason! I know it’s quite late to be reviewing the event as it’s going to be on for one more week only, but if any of you still get a chance to visit- take it! Yes, whatever the others say, it is worth it!

Magical Lantern Festival

The festival is an annual event to celebrate Chinese New Year and takes place in Chiswick House and Gardens. The park is quite a way from the tube station (with the nearest one being Turnham Green) so be ready for a walk. If you arrive early, there are lovely cafes and restaurants just outside the tube station so you may want to try some of them. There are also nice shops and pretty houses all over the show so be ready for some window shopping and picture taking on your way!

Magical Lantern Festival

When you finally get to the park (with a little help of Google maps- there are no signs pointing towards the gardens before you actually get there), you’ll see a beautiful lantern gate which is impossible to miss. This is, however, the entrance to the park which is around 10 minutes walk from the actual exhibition. You’ll still be able to see a lot of pretty little lanterns on your way- illuminated Chinese zodiac signs, flowers, shoes and the Houses of Parliament.

Magical Lantern Festival

Then you’ll see the main entrance when the real fun begins. This year’s theme is the Silk Road, which is a road trade between China and other countries and you’ll be able to see over 50 beautifully crafted lantern installations showing scenes from Chinese culture but also from Asia, India and the middle East. A walk through the lantern town is absolutely mesmerising, especially when you get to the basins and see how beautifully some of the installations reflect on water. After 45 minutes you’ll probably be a little less excited as the scene tend to be slightly repetitive and there’s nothing to surprise you which is a shame as the whole experience is still something out of this world.

Magical Lantern Festival

Magical Lantern Festival

Magical Lantern Festival

Oh, I should also mentioned there’s  marshmallow toasting happening on your way- being vegetarian I didn’t take part but people who did say it’s amazing with the hot chocolate living up to its ridiculous price.

Magical Lantern Festival

At the very end of the trail there’s also a mini entertainment area with some food and drink stalls, an ice rink and ice bar but unless you’re with children crying for a candy you can skip it- your local Weatherspoon probably serves food of a better quality.

Magical Lantern Festival

Magical Lantern Festival

But hey, don’t be one of those grumpy people letting the small things ruin your experience, do your research instead 🙂

If you consider visiting, I’ve got a few tips for you:

Take the camera, there will be plenty to photograph! This one may be obvious but I’m saying it as someone who didn’t. I took over 300 pictures on my phone, and they don’t actually show the real magic of the place, especially with most of them not being the quality I’d wished for.

Take wellies! Or any other shoes you don’t mind getting dirty as the trail is quite muddy.

Take warm clothes– the walk takes around 90 minutes and is in the evening, you don’t want to be freezing.

Magical Lantern Festival

Eat before you get there– there’s not much in the park (unless you’re fine with overpriced fast-food not to be picky about) and it also take around 15-20 minutes to get to the park from the tube.

Use the toilet before! There aren’t many of them around and the queues are pretty bad!

Magical Lantern Festival

The best time to arrive is between 6 and 7:30. You don’t want to come too early so it’s properly dark; arriving too late on the other hand you may not have enough time to see all the installations.

Magical Lantern Festival

Have fun! Lots of fun!

Have you ever been to the Magical Lantern Festival? Or is there maybe something similar happening near you? Would love to know!

  • Tiffany Bailey

    This looks so cool and I think your photos came out brilliantly! it’s so difficult to take photographs at night, I can’t believe you managed to get those just on your phone 💜 it sounds like you walked miles to see everything, what a fun and different thing to be able to go to!

    • Thanks so much Tiff, I’m not 100% with the pictures as I think they didn’t really capture that magic but like you say, considering the fact that they are from my phone it probably could have been worse 😉

  • Preschool2Teen

    Very nice. Sounds like a great experience. I’ve done a festival of lights for Christmas.

  • Candy Kage

    I can’t attend so looking at your beautiful photos will have to do. Something really great if ever get a chance to see.

  • What cool photos! I’ve been to something like this in Texas. It was so neat.

  • Spectacular lighting effects, and what a fun idea for a festival. We have the christmas lights here locally, which is the closest to what you are describing.

  • Chloe

    This looks stunning, it reminds me a little of when Christmas lights are out- but even more beautiful and spectacular! You took some amazing photos as well.

  • I love it! It looks like a magical place kids and adults would enjoy spending time walking through. Your photos are gorgeous:)

    • Thank you Andrea! And yes, there were couples, families with young children, groups of friends and even grandparents- everyone seemed to be having fun! 🙂 x

  • The lovely pictures say it that you sure had a great time. Taking a camera is a must here.

  • Girl @ girlintherapy.com

    Wow I’m super impressed!! My jaw dropped when I saw the first one with the panda! We have Chinese New Year celebrations here too for sure (I’m in Southeast Asia), but this Lantern show is nothing short of amazing! Would bookmark this down if I ever visit the UK during CNY!

  • This is so pretty! I’ve never heard of a festival like this before but now I’m going to have to look it up. Your pictures are amazing and so colorful.

  • Wow, what a beautiful festival! I’ve never been, but if I ever get the chance I’ll definitely go take a look.

  • Aireona93

    We had something similar in my home town not to long ago. I really loved it! I never knew lanterns could be so cool and intricate!

  • These photos are so cool. I love to experience it again. Last time I’ve seen a lantern festival was in the Philippines about 5 years ago.

  • Krysti Jaims

    Wow that would have been amazing to go to! Absolutely love all of your photos.

  • My 2 year old is sat next to me reading this post. As you can imagine she is pointing at all the colours! I think this place would be great for kids!

    • Awwww, you just made my day!!! Yes, children would definitely have lots of fun there! 🙂

  • Sasha

    This looks so cool. As I live in London I had heard whispers of this but not actually seen any pictures and it looks way cooler than I was imagining so I may have to visit myself. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks for all the tips and info! I’ve had my eyes on this for the past two years and really wanted to go in 2016, but it didn’t happen – hopefully this winter! I had no idea it was that crowded and far away from the tube, though, so thanks for the heads up!

    • Glad I could be helpful! You should definitely try and give it a go next winter, it’s so much fun! 🙂 x

  • I have never been to the Magical Lantern Festival, but I really want to go. I especially love the House of Parliament, Taj Mahai, and panda. Your tips are also very useful. I’m glad to know that the toilet situation isn’t great especially. But that wouldn’t stop me from going to see the magic lanterns.

    • It shouldn’t, I’m sure you’d enjoy the festival a lot! Glad my tips were helpful! x

  • woody world packer

    Wauw Mal! That looks amazing! Stunning photography and lovely informative story! Would love to go there one day! This reminds me a bit of Carnaval, which is currently going on in the Netherlands. We have this light tour around the village were i come from going on on Tuesday Night ( tonight in this case ) have a little look here to see why it reminds me of it 🙂 https://www.flickr.com/photos/rtvoost/sets/72157650479251008/

    X Jo

    • Thank you darling! I’m sure it would be a lot of fun for the whole family 🙂 But hey, the light thing going on in Netherlands looks rather epic too! Plus it seems more interactive so I’d be happy to give it a go- love the pictures! x

  • Sandy & Vyjay

    The magical lanterns, true to their name are mesmerizing. The vibrancy and colour of these lanterns and the lovely designs are unbelievable. i can very well imagine the dark night transformed into a brilliant and bright night resplendent with these magic lanterns.

    • Reading this comment is like reading poetry! Thank you! 🙂 <3

  • This looks like such fun! The colours and lights are so vivid and bright, you really did such a good job capturing that on camera! “your local Weatherspoon probably serves food of a better quality.” – I laughed out loud at this! I bloody hate when you go to a really cool event like this and it’s ruined by having to pay £5 for a box of super noodles. Can’t go wrong with a Wetherspoon’s Mexican burger either.

    • Thank you so much for this lovely comment Rhiannon <3 Oh, and now (midnight) I desperately want a Mexican burger! And 12 onion rings!!! x