VIDEO & REVIEW: Sneak peek first look as Christmas At The Botanics opens at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
HARK! The herald conifer trees really do sing at Christmas At The Botanics - a spectacular new festive light and sound trail which has magically transformed the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
More that 30,000 families have already gone Christmas crackers and snapped up tickets for the dazzling after dark experience, open now until December 30.
And they won't be disappointed as we discovered on a sneak peek first look - see our review below, with links to more exclusive content, including an amazing 360 degree video and 360 degree photos.
TICKETS: Entry is by ticket only, with advice to book early to secure a chosen time slot - prices are from £14 for an adult and £8 for children under 16. Family tickets are available from £38. Under 4’s and carers go free, but still require an event ticket. For full details and to pre-book see www.rbge.org.uk/whats-on/home/christmas.
The venue has been turned into a mile-long winter wonderland walk, brought to life with 20km of cable, powering thousands of lights. Real flames are also used to create this enchanting adventure of hypnotic beauty.
Inspired by the Garden itself, the mesmerising choir of nine singing Christmas trees are just one of nine key moments.
Starting at John Hope Gateway, on an anti-clockwise 1 hour tour, first stop is Inverleith House to see an art work called Bloom, by Squidsoup. It's a Crystal Lawn with 1,000 spheres on stalks which light up, each bobbing gently around.
360 PHOTO: Check out our 360 degree photo of the Bloom installation lit up at twilight outside Inverleith House - CLICK HERE.
Journey on through a UV lit tunnel of bubbles, with familiar Christmas tunes played out like you've never heard them before. then to the Choir of Trees.
360 VIDEO: Watch our exclusive 360 degree video of the Choir Of Trees - the amazing singing conifer trees - move the screen around to take an immersive look around, as though you are standing right in the middle of them. See it on YouTube - CLICK HERE.
MORE VIDEO: Watch the Choir Of Trees interacting as they wow visitors with their heavenly voices in our other traditional video of the performance on YouTube - CLICK HERE.
Next attraction is the flickering, scented Fire Garden, with real flame torches lighting up metal Christmas trees and other festive art work behind a fenced off area the Garden.
360 PHOTO: Check out our 360 degree photo of the Fire Garden - CLICK HERE.
The trail continues past a striking and huge tree-like sculpture, called Echinodermus. The 11m tall art work was created by French artist studio TILT.
Marvel at the lights and sounds used to light up the Glasshouses before taking a pause at the 'Mistletoe Moment', then the magnificent Beech Hedge, draped with a 140 meters long blanket of 100,000 lights.
Head back to John Hope Gateway and you'll also catch a show featuring Santa and his elf.
Along the way glittering trees are colourfully lit and festooned with giant baubles.
Christmas bells and festive music fills the air,along with the mouthwatering smells of roast chestnuts, toasted marshmallows, spiced cider, mulled wine and hot chocolate.
Creative Producer Zoe Bottrell promised an immersive attack on all the senses and the new attraction delivers it in spades. Snow spades.
Zoe, who is Director of Culture Creative, the company overseeing the project promoted by Raymond Gubbay, revealed: "We've sold 30,000 tickets already. It's just a lovely family evening out.
"People are sometimes concerned they are going to come into a landscape that is decorated like a shopping centre and that's absolutely not what we do.
"We drench the venue in appropriate and tasteful content that allows us to highlight some of the buildings and natural landscape in these locations. It's a cheesy phrase but it puts the venue in a whole new light."
MORE VIDEO: Watch our video chat with Zoe in our embedded YouTube player above - or CLICK HERE.
IN DEPTH PREVIEW: Creative producer Zoe earlier chatted in depth to Graham Walker to preview this first Christmas At The Botanics and gave us a virtual walk through preview. Read Check it out for more details - CLICK HERE.
LISTEN: Listen to the interview on Audioboom - CLICK HERE.
* Christmas At The Botanics is now open from 4.45pm daily, with last entry at 8pm, closing at 10pm. Entry is by ticket only and visitors are being advised to book early to secure their chosen time slot.
Tickets are from £14 for an adult and £8 for children under 16. Family tickets from £38. Under 4’s and carers go free, but still require a ticket.
For more and to book visit www.rbge.org.uk/whats-on/home/christmas.