It wouldn’t be the festive season without another spectacular Christmas event at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. We went along to discover how this year is brighter, and even more stunning, than ever.
Steaming hot mulled wine warming cold hands, toasting marshmallows over the fire, chestnuts roasting in the background. Yes, officially feeling festive. And it’s hard not to be after marvelling in the wonderland that is the Christmas trail at the magnificent UNESCO site in Woodstock.
The one-mile route winds beside tranquil waters and Parkland, landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown and transformed into a magical winter world, complete with waterfalls, fountains and the ever-popular Tunnel of Light, adorned with thousands of twinkling fairy lights.
Giant snowflakes projected on to the pathway against the backdrop of the palace make for the perfect welcome to the trail. The most popular stop for the youngest member of our party was the children’s favourite, Santa’s bustling Toy Factory. In fact, it was a task getting him to move on to the next attraction, round the corner, fixated on the thought of the elves busy beavering away at all the presents inside the hut, drenched in sparkling lights.
My personal favourite was seeing the Great Lake alight with brightly-lit bobbing boats, a wonderful addition to the trail; you could quite easily spend a few hours taking in the lovely colour lights and seeing how they perform with the music.
Water and fire again make the perfect combination for a festive treat – the Cascade of Fire dancing in time to Christmas classics. A great setting for a pit-stop; time to toast those marshmallows over the fire pit and for a mulled wine refill.
With the supermoon lighting up the skies, and the giant water fountain spraying into the atmosphere, there was a surreal and magical feeling as we made our way round the trail and up to the Mistletoe Moment, throughout the glittering ancient woodland.
And just when you think there can’t possibly be any more lights, you come across another twinkling display, this one you walk through, surrounded by beautiful coloured baubles, another favourite for the younger ones in our group. That’s as well as the stop off to see actual Father Christmas, who had just about enough time for a quick sing-song with the visitors before tending to his reindeer.
I won’t spoil the surprise finale but I will say this; make sure you stay a few moments at the end of the trail, you’re in for a treat. Christmas mugs in hand and out past the traditional fairground rides, we left with a spring in our step and a twinkle in our eye. And full of the Christmas spirit, job done! Santa hats off to the team at Blenheim, they really have set the bar high and we look forward to seeing what’s in store for visitors next year.
Christmas at Blenheim – in numbers
Seven months of pre-prep goes into the festive event, which includes the following:
- 30 giant snowflakes
- 40,000 lights in the Tunnel
- 14 artists
- 50 giant baubles
- 10,605 metres of power cable
Christmas at Blenheim runs until 2nd January 2018 and group rates are available.
Review: Keeley Rodgers