An illuminated Christmas trail for all the family…
Kim says, “Yes, I know that this is primarily a motoring magazine website, but much of Beaulieu is, of course, all about motor cars, and many visitors to the National Motor Museum there are also interested in the beautiful Palace House and its surrounding gardens, plus the nearby River and Beaulieu Abbey. In any case the Christmas season will soon be here and I think it is good to spread a little extra light at this time of the year”. Talking of which…
There are just over two weeks to go until the stunning new illuminated Christmas trail is unveiled at Beaulieu.
Preparations are underway for the week-long installation, which will see over 1 million lights artfully placed throughout the grounds of the New Forest attraction.
From 23 November – 24 December Beaulieu will, for the very first time, be transformed with over 11 individual installations in a mile-long shimmering festive trail. A series of light features will lead from a scented Fire Garden, highlighting the spiritual tranquillity of Beaulieu Abbey, to a bright, bold projection show on the backdrop of Palace House. The tree-lined Mill Pond Walk along the banks of the Beaulieu River and the National Motor Museum building will be festooned with festive lights.
Specialists Culture Creative will bring Christmas at Beaulieu to life, led by Director Zoe Bottrell who has worked on many successful illuminated trails, including Christmas at Kew and Christmas at Blenheim. Zoe said: “The nature of the installation we would put inside the abbey and the serenity of the Fire Garden is naturally different to the bright lighting show on the front of Palace House. The clever bit is how we connect those rooms and create that magic.”
There is something for everyone as the illuminated path winds its way through the grounds in a magical evening experience. Visitors will be greeted by the sights and sounds of Christmas as they wander beneath tree canopies awash with seasonal colour.
Discover the flickering flames of the scented Fire Garden and make a Christmas wish at the Wishing Tree. Visitors will marvel at the Tunnel of Light festooned by a canopy of over 100,000 twinkling pea-lights. Watch as beams of light dance in time to much-loved Christmas classics, and glimpse Father Christmas and his elves who will be greeting visitors from the roof of Beaulieu’s veteran bus.
Along the Icicle Walk, larger-than-life gleaming shards will guide visitors towards the Meadow of Light where thousands of fibre optic lights sway in unison. There are hidden surprises too – watch out for frosty snowflakes, shimmering stars and gigantic baubles where least expected.
A fabulous finale is waiting at the end of the trail – mesmerising voices of giant Singing Trees can be heard in the distance. Rising high into the night sky visitors will finish the breath-taking trail with a cheerful Christmas blast of colour and light.
Visitors can complete their stroll under the stars with spiced cider*, mulled wine* or hot chocolate* while the aroma of roasting chestnuts fills the air. Toast marshmallows* at one of the fire pits, ride the vintage Carousel* or Ferris Wheel* and enjoy other traditional fare before picking up a Christmas gift or two at Beaulieu’s shop*.
*Please note that additional charges apply to these aspects…
What you need to know:
What? Christmas at Beaulieu, the magical, after-dark, illuminated trail
When? From 23 November – 24 December 2018
Why Visit? Discover a new Christmas light trail set within the beautiful landscape of Beaulieu, New Forest created for all the family to enjoy.
Admission: Advanced From: Adult £14.50, Child £8.00, Family £40.00 under 5’s & carers free
Kim adds: It is a good idea to visit the above website before booking, as much more information is provided there. In particular… You should note that the admission prices given above only apply to tickets ordered ‘in advance’ (it costs £2 more per person if you don’t pre-book and just arrive on the day), and are for ‘off peak’ dates; they rise by £2 per person for ‘peak’ dates (for full details please see the ‘Dates and Tickets’ section). Note also that on top of the admission fees, there is an additional car parking charge; £6.50 per vehicle; this must be booked in advance when you order your tickets. The website also advises, “All tickets are subject to a single transaction charge. For tickets booked via SEE tickets there is a £2 per transaction fee for print at home tickets, £2.50 for tickets sent by first class post. Charges vary by agent.”
More about Beaulieu:
Beaulieu, in the New Forest, is home to the National Motor Museum housing a collection of over 250 stunning vehicles from every motoring era. Daytime visitors to Beaulieu can also explore Palace House, home of the Montagu family since 1538 and see the 13th century Beaulieu Abbey, once home to the Cistercian monks. beaulieu.co.uk