We were kindly invited to return to Westonbirt Arboretum this weekend to experience Enchanted Christmas, an illuminated celebration of Westonbirt’s tree collection. During our last visit in autumn, the attraction was stunning with bright coloured leaves. Tonight’s experience gave us the opportunity to see the National Aboretum in a whole new light (literally!)
We arrived and made our way to the start of the one mile illuminated trail, stopping en route to buy some hot roasted chestnuts. The website recommends it will take 45 minutes to walk the trail. It took us close to two hours with a long stop to chat with friends over a delicious hot chocolate, topped with cream and marshmallows. (Bailey’s and mulled wine are also available for those who need something a little stronger!)
The illuminated trail was truly spectacular complete with enchanting music, mystical fog, gigantic disco balls, bubbles, fairies, Christmas trees and several interactive light displays which my eldest son absolutely loved!
Upon exiting the trail we were greeted by a charming Christmas Fairy stilt walker before heading over to take part in the Christmas craft activities. This area was very popular with families making willow stars as a memento of their evening.
There were many other festive activities taking place at the event including story telling by Mrs Christmas, meet and greet with Father Christmas and a choir performance (all included within the entrance price). We decided against meeting Father Christmas as we have recently visited a grotto and do not wish to spoil the Christmas magic by overdoing it however, friends who visited him at Westonbirt last weekend were very complimentary of the traditional and friendly Santa:)
Tips for visiting Enchanted Christmas
Tickets need to be booked in advance. See note at top of article, this years event has now sold out.
Wear your wellies and wrap up! Although the trail is pushchair and wheel chair friendly it is very muddy. Be prepared with bags to put your wellies in for the journey home! It is of course predominately an outdoor event so layer up and pack hats, etc. (I had my youngest son wrapped up snugly in his pushchair wearing his new travel Grobag. I was quite envious of him to be honest, as it was rather chilly!)
Arrive for 5pm. To experience all the festive activities and enjoy refreshments from the Christmas stalls we would suggest starting the trail as it opens at 5pm. Meeting Father Christmas is on a first come first served basis and not guaranteed and so you may choose to visit here first. The choir performances take place at 5.45pm & 6.45pm and so you may wish to schedule your trail walk around these times. The last entry to the trail is 7.30pm.
Take note of where you park you car. We spent half an hour on our last visit trying to locate our car… we did not make the same mistake this time!
Need to know – Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum is taking place every Friday, Saturday & Sunday night until the 20th December. Tickets are £10 per adult, child 5 – 18 £5, under 5’s free.
Disclaimer – We were provided with complimentary tickets for our visit however, as always, all opinions are our own.