Introducting the Bolesworth Christmas Light Trail 2021
What I loved about it:
Despite the wind and rain, last night we layered up and headed to Bolesworth Castle to experience their first ever Christmas light trail. With so many illuminated walks popping up all over Cheshire, and the wider North West, I was intrigued to see how the Bolesworth Christmas light trail compared to others in the region.
Bolesworth Castle, a rolling 6,500-acre estate in Tattenhall is a short 20-minute drive from Chester and maybe best known for its equine events; this December it has thrown open its gates to the general public for Christmas at Bolesworth. The Bolesworth Christmas light trail is running from the 3rd to 24th December 2021 with family tickets costing £56, under 3 years free, and dogs welcome.
From a fairground to a laser show, Christmas markets to an ice rink; there are so many elements to the Bolesworth Christmas light trail, in addition to the illuminated walk itself that will please the whole family. Bolesworth certainly offers a great all-round experience that is centered on good old-fashioned family fun. I also appreciated that the event was well spaced out and it did not feel rushed at any point. Top marks for not feeling like you were on a conveyor belt!
Tickets are still available for selected dates/times; for more information head to the website to book (linked below)
Value for money (out of 10):
What to expect at the Bolesworth Christmas Light Trail
In the shadows of the stunning Bolesworth Castle, the 1.2 mile illuminated woodland light trail, Christmas Market, Ice Skating rink, Santa’s grotto, and fairground feel vast, with so much to see and do.
Well-spaced throughout, on entry you are greeted by the food and shopping stalls in the Christmas Market. There are savoury and sweet options available all taking card payments; from hog roast to churros, marshmallows to toast on the open fire, and a bar to enjoy a festive pint.
On dry days, there are plenty of benches to sit at and a few undercover tables in the ice skating marque if it’s raining. In this area, there is also a first aid room, toilet facilities, and entrance to Santa’s grotto. Both this and the ice skating, require pre-booking in advance and are an additional cost to the general ticket price.
From here you begin the Bolesworth Christmas light trail, and at this point, it is worth making a note of the Light and Laser showtimes. Taking place every half an hour, this 5-minute show centered around the illuminated Christmas tree in front of the Alpine Lodge, maybe short but it’s a real treat and can be watched more than once. Set to festive music, with the backdrop of Bolesworth Castle, enjoy this show at the start or end of the illuminated trail, or both if time allows.
After watching the Light and Laser show, follow the pathway through the giant flowers to enter the Enchanted Forest. Greeted initially by a snow machine, a myriad of glitter balls, and coloured lights; the woodland pathway takes you to an interactive illuminated tree before opening up into Rudolph’s Rest. Here you can grab a drink, use the toilet facilities and stop to greet the beautiful reindeer, before carrying on along the Festive Sculpture Trail that wraps around the lake.
This section of the trail, celebrating the history of Bolesworth with some interesting information boards, definitely delivers something different to other light trails. From giant stiletto shoes, a couple of bronze alligators and a herd of elephants, this part of the Bolesworth Christmas light trail was unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere. With the colourful lights shining on the lake, the fire-lit walkway wraps around towards the bridge, complete with its own giant glitter ball suspended underneath.
The pathway takes you over the bridge and past the pretty domes on the VIP Champagne Island. Again offering something exclusive to Christmas at Bolesworth; these private covered domes can be prebooked to enjoy a private champagne experience with the best views in the house. Ideal for a celebration, you can book for 45-60 minutes to enjoy a couple of glasses of bubbly while taking in the castle views. Suitable for children aged 12 years and over, soft drinks are also available.
Let’s face it, we all book a Christmas light trail to get that sought-after tunnel of light photo! What I loved most about the Bolesworth Christmas light trail was the fact that there was a huge light tunnel with plenty of opportunities to get the perfect shot. We visited on a Thursday night and it felt quiet so there was plenty of time to stand and photograph without feeling rushed to move on. Throughout the trail, including the tunnel, there was festive music blasting away so my girls danced the whole way round!
It’s hard to avoid the neon-lit fairground that greets you at the start and end of the trail. From traditional hook a duck, waltzers, trampoline bungees and pick n mix; you are guaranteed to leave penniless! Take cash for the rides, with most costing £3-5. Although a pricey addition, my girls loved this section and it felt exciting to be able to incorporate a fairground into the overall Christmas experience at Bolesworth.
Top Tips when visiting Bolesworth Christmas Light Trail
1. Come in waterproof warm clothing, sensible footwear (wellies advised) and a torch.
2. It is easy to avoid Santa’s grotto if you haven’t booked however the fairground is another matter, bring a pocket full of change!
3. The trail is relatively accessible with a pram and mostly hard pathway throughout, however wheelchairs and those with walking difficulties will struggle.
4. Parking is plentiful but please note, the surrounding countryside roads are incredibly dark so drive carefully and take your time.
5. The time on your ticket, is the time to arrive at Christmas Bolesworth, you can however begin the trail anytime after you arrive. Last admission is 8.40pm with the event closing at 10.30pm