Inside Christmas at Trentham light trail – a totally magical experience for all the family

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As night falls over Trentham Gardens, a spectacular light trail illuminates the estate, making for a truly magical and festive experience to get you into the Christmas spirit.

With a mulled wine in my hand, wrapped in my hat and scarf, Jake and I embarked on the path around the beautiful, historic landscape at Trentham on Thursday night ahead of the official Christmas at Trentham launch.

The instillation features 15 different light displays, put together by the award-winning events team, Kilimanjaro, alongside partners like Appetite – to take visitors on a journey through the grounds to see it all in a new light.

The £1 million display starts at the bridge, taking explorers to a river of grass and reaching the entrance archway. The Grade II listed Italian Gardens have been glitzed up with cool toned twinkly lights which are simply stunning to look out across from any part of the garden. At the top, you’ll find Trentham’s pulsing red and gold Christmas tree adorned with a star, and it’s a real show stopper.

There are surprises around every corner, as Jake and I found ourselves marvelling at the displays from every angle. One of the most incredible works of art for us was ‘I Saw Three Ships’, which you can see as you look out across the lake, looking like origami ships floating on top of the water.

Follow the trial around the lakeside market and a recreation of the Northern Lights before heading to The Loggia and bewildering laser garden. As you head over the boardwalk through the trees, it feels like a gam of laser tag as beams of light stretch from every angle. Dramatic and atmospheric, each section has it’s own soundtrack to accompany the trail as guests make their way through each section.

In the winter garden, you can toast marshmallows in huge firepits, and grab a refreshment at one of the huts dotted around the garden, with some even selling boozy hot chocolates – the perfect winter warmer.

A frost fairies projection brings the Trentham Church and Porte Cochere to life through silent storytelling before guests venture through the arched trees towards the Love Seat. Under the trees canopy of branches is a beautifully crafted two seater bench that, barely visible from the outside, is illuminated by vintage bulbs like fireflies. This is the perfect place to snap that romantic Instagram photo, like so:

Head past the ferris wheel and helterskelter to the Trellis of Light, which illuminates what remains of summers David Austin roses with a tunnel of warm light. Thousands of lights twinkle along the 100m historic rose trellis for a jaw-dropping finale and a wonderful family photo.

Christmas at Trentham tickets cost £21.50 for adults, £14 for children 3-16, with under threes going free. The event runs from November 30 to January 9, with the exception of Sunday, November 28 and Christmas Day. First entry is from 4, or 4.30pm dependent on dates, with 30 minute time slots. Last entry is at 9.30pm when the event closes at 11pm, or an hour earlier when closing at 10pm.

Read more: The ultimate independent Staffordshire Christmas gift guide 2021

The 2km trail takes around an hour to complete, but you’re welcome to wander through at your own pace and take in the warmth and magic. The event really sees Trentham come to life, and makes for a romantic winter date night. After, you can take advantage of the late night shopping in the village on selected dates, or head to Willow, Trentham for a bite to eat.


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Staffordshire, UK

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