Get in quick and see Borealis in Greenwich. The Northern Lights have come to London thanks to artist Dan Acher and the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival (GDIF). To top it all, it's a free event!
This event popped up on social media a while ago and I meant to book a free time-slot - but when I went to do this every date and slot had been "sold out" for Borealis, in both Greenwich and Woolwich. Please don't be put off, they are excepting walk-ins and we only queued for around 10 minutes. As I mentioned it is a free event on from August 27 - September 5, 8.30pm until 11.00pm in Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College and Woolwich Barracks from September 9-11, 8.30pm until 11.00pm.
If you are travelling on the DLR, be warned, there are closures at the moment, I hadn't checked and we ended up walking around a mile and a half, thanks to my daughter's navigation skills, we walked through Millwall Park and under the Greenwich foot tunnel. We could have just changed at London Bridge and got a direct train (two stops) to Greenwich station.
We turned up at the Royal Naval College at 8.20pm after watching the sunset by the Cutty Sark.
There were two queues, the left hand side were for people who had booked tickets and the right hand side for people who had no tickets. I would say that when we arrived there were maybe 40 people in front of us. They let the left hand queue in and then the rest of us slowly trickled through. It is a fully outdoor event so to be honest you can see it from across the barriers anyway, but I recommend going in right underneath it.
This spectacular installation, by Dan Acher, is inspired by the experience of the Northern Lights, something I have always wanted to see. The lights are projected into a smoky sky, in the most beautiful rainbow of colours, with the backdrop of the Old Royal Naval College to one side and the skyscrapers over the Thames on the other side. All of this is set to tranquil, zen style sounds. You can lay on the grass and just look up at the colours. It was mesmerising.
I have a video saved on my Instagram feed if you want to see the full effect, look here.
The GDIF 2021 are putting on plenty of immersive events and performances at the moment. There is so much going on for all of the family during they day.
The kids were happy that they'd come along with me, it was a sensory mind-bomb and we all loved it. We spent 30 minutes watching Borealis before walking back to Greenwich station and getting a train to London Bridge. Our train home was at 10.17pm and we were back indoors by 11.00pm.
We have visited Greenwich many times and it is worth following pages such as GDIF and The Old Royal Naval College for events throughout the year.
This is a memory I will hold on to - the time the Aurora Borealis came to London.