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Visiting Christmas at Wimpole

Whilst away for a festive break with family we paid a visit to the National Trust's beautiful Wimpole Estate and saw the Illuminated Trail in December 2021.

The after-dark illuminated trail through festive gardens is a sparkling outdoor experience. We set off a bit earlier than expected and got there early but it was fine to go in. Thankfully it was a nice evening with no rain.

The lights were really lovely to see. They were placed around the ground's huge trees and placed strategically among its gardens. The trail is created by Culture Creative.

From colourful trees to twinkly lights and mistletoe, there was lots to see. Features such as huge glowing baubles, a laser grid and other sights to see.

Unsurprisingly, as the experience is by Sony Music (in partnership with the National Trust), the music accompanying the light trail is fun and festive. A particularly nice touch was snowflakes dancing across the front of Wimpole Hall, set to music from The Nutcracker.

The illuminated trail makes great use of the incredible setting. Set around the grounds of the largest house in Cambridgeshire, Wimpole first opened to visitors in 1979, considered the finest country house in Cambridgeshire bequeathed to the National Trust by Mrs Elsie Bambridge, daughter of Rudyard Kipling.

The trail is suitable for visitors of all ages and is accessible to all to enjoy. There is a path to follow along the way. As someone who walks with a stick, and with my Father who did too, we did find it quite uneven and a long way. It says to allow 1.5 hours for the trail but it easily took us 2 hours with quite a lot of people on the trail so just bear that in mind if you find it harder to walk. There were some seating areas along the way but not many.

The highlight for me of the experience was the neon tree, which was stunning.

Picture: Copyright Sony Music

At the start (and end) of the trail is an area where you can go on a carousel and buy food and drinks from independent street food vendors, including toasted marshmallows, and mulled hot drinks. We enjoyed the carousel - me more than the children I think, I love them! We didn't have any food but the children enjoyed toasting marshmallows halfway around the trail. All in all, it's a really festive and enjoyable evening out for all the family.

When is it on and how much?

From 26 November 2021 – 2 January 2022. Open from 4.30pm, last entry 8pm and closes at 10pm. The festive trail is open on selected dates. Advanced tickets cost from: Adult £18, Child £14, Family £60 (2 adults & 2 children). Free entry for carers and children aged 2 & under. Parking £8 per car.

Pictures: Copyright Sony Music

Did you know?

It took the crew 2,872 hours to build with an average 20,975 steps or 8.5 miles per day. (48 National Trust scones were also consumed in the making)

Other Christmas trails

For more ideas for great seasonal days out go to: Other chosen partners for Sony Music illuminated trails include: Blenheim Palace; The National Trust; Forestry England; The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh; Botanic Gardens and more.

Picture: Copyright Sony Music

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