Sudeley Spectacle of Light
Last year we visited the Spectacle of Light held at Sudeley Castle for the first time. We were blown away by the experience. It was top of our list of priorities to do again this year, and once again we were really pleased to be invited to the opening weekend.
This year, there is an Alice in Wonderland theme to the trail. We really enjoyed how the trail itself, including the actual route it took through the grounds (and a building) was very different to last year. It felt like a completely different experience. The girls loved the Alice in Wonderland theme, and enjoyed spotting characters like Alice, the White Rabbit, Caterpillar, Tweedledee and Tweedledum throughout the trail. We also saw the Mad Hatter and The Queen of Hearts – who at the mention of “off with their heads” had my two scurrying round the corner rather than stopping for a photo!
Just as last year, there were plenty of twinkling lights around the trail, lanterns along the paths and buildings lit up in stunning colours.
One of the things that I really love about the Spectacle of Light at Sudeley, is how the trail really makes the most of the features that are already there. St Mary’s Church within the grounds looked so pretty lit up in different colours, but I think the fountain at the centre of the Queen’s Garden was particularly stunning. We haven’t visited Sudeley during the day, but I can’t imagine how this garden could look any more beautiful than it does lit up at night.
The trail had plenty of other amazing features. There was a huge heart which was proving very popular to be photographed, and I loved the swathe of red globes on one part of the trail, reminiscent of a field of poppies.
Near the start of the path, there was a “wishing tree” where children were enouraged to write a wish on the back of a piece of CD and hang it on the tree. As these wishes danced from the branches in the breeze, they caught the light and made a really spectacular feature. It was nice that we had contributed, in a small way, to this.
The piece de resistance of the 2018 Spectacle of Light had to be the giant moon which appears to be rising above the water. The colours of the buildings behind and the reflections of these in the water, make the huge, white hemisphere really stand out and shine.
I honestly couldn’t recommend Spectacle of Light enough. It is a truly stunning way to spend time together on a wintery evening. It is on at Sudeley Castle near Winchcombe, Cheltenham on 13th to 23rd December and 27th to 30th December 2018. There are five entry time slots from 5pm. I feel this really helps in making sure that visitors are spread throughout the trail, as it never felt really busy like I have experienced on other similar attractions. If you book in advance on the website you can save 10% on tickets, and as some time slots have already sold out, I would strongly suggest you do this if you want to visit.
The trail takes about 60 to 75 minutes to do. We spent just over an hour on the trail, stopping for a few minutes to warm up with hot drinks and a freshly cooked donut. There is a range of hot food and also mulled wine available on the castle terrace, so you could very easily spend more time within the castle grounds. Having visited twice, and experienced two different trails, I wouldn’t hesitate to visit again next year.
Disclaimer: We were provided with tickets for the event in exchange for an honest review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. We genuinely loved the Spectacle of Light and thoroughly recommend a visit!