I’m a massive Christmas fan and always looking for magical, festive things to do in December, so I was so excited to be able to preview Dunham Massey’s Christmas Trail. The National Trust property is based in Greater Manchester, and for the second year running they have created an after-dark illuminated experience through their deer park and woodland.
It’s a festive family event from start to finish – before starting the Christmas Trail, you’ll wander through a courtyard where you’ll be tempted by stalls selling mulled wine and Christmas burgers, as well as cute fairground rides for children. There’s also a stage area where Father Christmas and one of his elves welcome you to the trail – the idea is that Santa’s reindeer have flown off into the woods, and as you make your way around you’ll find them all.
The trail itself is a series of beautiful light displays set in the woodland of Dunham Massey, each one accompanied by a different piece Christmas music. You’ll walk through a tunnel of golden light to O Holy Night, wander through misty frozen trees to The Nutcracker, and you’ll even hear some Harry Potter and Disney music. One of my favourite parts was the field of glowing orbs accompanied by a choir singing Carol of the Bells (which I always find a very atmospheric piece of music!)
In the centre of the trail you’ll arrive at the Rose Garden which has been decked out in twinkly white lights and converted into a Marshmallow Toasting point. That’s right! You can buy giant gourmet marshmallows (in flavours such as Gingerbread and Raspberry & Champagne)and toast them over a fire pit! You won’t need more than one as they are huge,but it’s a fun little festive activity as you’re making your way around the trail.
You’ll also see plenty of reindeer created from lights, including some really impressive large ones (look out for their name tags – you’ll recognise them all!) And at the end of the trail are two very lovely displays –a peaceful fire garden accompanied by Silent Night, and a water display with light projections, with one of my favourite pieces of music from a Christmas film – “Somewhere in my Memory” from Home Alone.
I was just so enchanted by this trail and I really recommend getting tickets for it before it sells out. It’s something memorable and a bit different for the festive season. Tickets are £16.50 for adults, £10 for children over 5 and free for under 5s. You can also get a family ticket for £50 for 2 adults and 2 children.