As a family we love the run up to Christmas as much as the big day itself. We have events that we look forward to every year… our visit to see Santa, our trip to the theatre to watch a panto and of course a mooch around our local Christmas markets for gift shopping and an obligatory Bailey’s hot chocolate! I’m always on the look out for new festive events to try and so jumped at the chance to review the Spectacle of Light at Sudeley Castle during its grand reopening at the weekend.
Last year was the first time the event took place and I remember unsuccessfully trying to rearrange our calendar to squeeze in a visit after local friends raved about it. Of course when you’ve built something up in your head there is always the danger that it’s not going to live up to expectations. So what did we think about the light trail at Sudeley Castle? Is it truly spectacular and worth a visit over the next two weeks?
Our first impressions – Spectacle of Light at Sudeley Castle
We (my husband, kids, brother and sister in law) arrived at Sudeley Castle in record time and didn’t experience any of the traffic or parking issues we had anticipated. After wrapping ourselves up warm and showing our passes at the front desk we started our walk in the castle grounds along the illuminated trail.
After saying on the journey that I wouldn’t take many photos as we could share our best ones among us all I couldn’t help myself and snapped away taking photos throughout the hour we were there. The first main scene was a field of parasols in different colours, with Sudeley Castle and surrounding trees lit up in the background.
The trail then lead us to an angel and devil which were perfect spots for photos of my boys. My youngest had been particularly grumpy over the weekend so the devil photo was rather apt to be honest.
From there we headed through the illuminated gardens and towards the music coming from inside the castle chapel. We couldn’t actually go inside the chapel but instead took a peak of the beautifully decorated chapel from the door.
It was around this time that my youngest decided he needed a wee and I had to go running frantically through the paths in search of a toilet. (He hasn’t been potty trained very long so when he has to go he HAS to go!) It was at this point, (after passing several couples who looked like they were enjoying a lovely relaxing stroll), it occurred to me that the event would be a perfect place for a romantic date. It was fun to go as a family of course, but it certainly wasn’t a relaxing or romantic occasion chasing my boys around and listening to them pointing out loudly every illuminated feature that caught their eye!
Highlights – Spectacle of Light at Sudeley Castle
My youngest particularly enjoyed searching for the hidden magpies in the hedges and my eldest son was convinced that the smoke and occasional roars he could hear from the dungeons were real and had to be reassured that there are no dragons living at Sudeley Castle!
The illuminated feature I enjoyed the most was based around an enchanted tree which reminded me of the Tree of Souls in the Avatar movie. We stood for a while and watched the lights coming to and from the tree and along its roots in time to music. It was magical and even my boys were quiet for a few moments whilst they watched the light show as shown briefly here in this new video –
Explore the new Spectacle of Light at #sudeleycastle this December! #magical Thanks to @squashedrobot , squidsoup @slx @pyritecreative #spectacleoflights #love #instagoodnight #ourchelt #votd #lovewhereyoulive #snowday #lights #castle #cotswolds #food #throwbackthursday #night #beautiful #drone #film #festive #glospotd #cheltenham #worcester #gloucester #gloucestershire #lighttheworld #glospotd
So would we recommend the Spectacle of Light?
There is no denying that £44.50** for a family pass to an event that takes roughly 60-70 minutes, is expensive, especially if you buy hot drinks at an additional £2-3 per person. However, to put it into perspective. This is a similar amount of money that we spend on a family ticket to attend our local cinema with refreshments and I know that my boys will remember our magical night running around the Spectacle of Lights for much longer than they will remember the movie we watched at the cinemas last week! So yes I definitely recommend the event for families, (and couples looking for a unique date night) and cannot wait to return again next year.
Tips for visiting the Spectacle of Lights at Sudeley Castle
**Book your tickets online in advance to save 10% –
Wrap up warm and wear sensible footwear. The trail is really easy to follow and it’s all on good solid ground so pushchair (and wheelchair) friendly.
Take some money to enjoy a hot chocolate, mulled wine and snacks from the retro vans parked at the beginning and about 3/4 of the way around the trail.
Dates – The Sudeley Castle Spectacle of Light runs until the 30th December on selected nights.
Disclaimer – We were provided with complimentary tickets to review the Spectacle of Light. All thoughts and opinions are, as always, our own.