dragon-magical-lantern-festivalIf you’re looking for something a little different to do in the next couple of weeks, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a better evening of entertainment than visiting Chiswick House and Gardens, who are hosting the Magical Lantern Festival in the UK for the first time, to celebrate Chinese New Year 2016.

This spectacular event boasts a huge range of beautifully crafted lanterns, ranging from animals and birds, to abstract shapes and buildings. flamingoesThe event runs until Sunday 6 March 2016. (Closed Tuesday 23rd Feb & Monday 29th Feb). Ticketed entry every 15 minutes from 5.00pm to 8.45pm. Tickets: 0844 844 0444

zebras chiswick houseOf course there’s much to be seen at Chiswick House during the day, too. These historic gardens underwent a £12.1 million restoration project, which saw them returned to their former glory in 2010. Originally created by Lord Burlington and William Kent in 1729, the 65 acres at Chiswick House are considered to be the place in which the English Landscape Movement was born; where the desire for naturally inspired vistas and planting replaced the more formal Renaissance inspired gardens that had come before.

chiswick cameliasHighlights of the modern garden include the conservatory filled with camellias (click here for more on the camellias, which are at their best until 13th March), the Italian garden and the walled garden (below), to name just a few.chiswick house walled garden

The gardens are open all day from 7am until 4.30pm – and best of all, entry is free.

To find out more, see the website at www.chgt.org.uk