Christmas at Wollaton Hall - Visit Nottinghamshire

After the stresses and strains of 2020, you’d be forgiven for feeling more Scrooge than Santa’s elf this festive season. So, when we were invited to check out the brand-new socially-distanced illumination trail at Wollaton Hall I was more than a little excited to shake off the seasonal blues and embrace the Christmas spirit.

Christmas at Wollaton Hall - Visit Nottinghamshire

As we arrived at the grounds of the spectacular Elizabethan mansion I could feel my anticipation building as the twinkling lights came into view. Masks on and tickets checked, we rounded the corner to be greeted by a magical illuminated woodland scene which felt like we were stepping into a fairy-tale. The trees stretching up above us, carefully adorned with thousands of twinkling lights, transformed the familiar grounds into a breathtaking spectacle, and we gazed out with a sense of child-like wonder and excitement to see what the discovery trail had in store for us.

Christmas at Wollaton Hall - Visit Nottinghamshire

The illuminations are divided into several distinct areas to explore, beginning with ‘Winter Wonderland’ – an enchanting woodland trail with cute critters and creatures dotted amongst the greenery, created by community artist Becky Bryson. The atmospheric soundtrack transforms the stunning light installations into an immersive, multi-sensory experience.

Christmas at Wollaton Hall - Visit Nottinghamshire

Soon we enter the Laser Garden where dancing light beams cascade to create pretty patterns all around, which felt a little like walking into a disco ball. It’s reassuring to see plenty of marshals dotted along the route to ensure everyone is wearing a mask and maintaining a safe distance between households. After a quick pit-stop at a conveniently located refreshment stall for a cheeky hot chocolate, we join a short queue to snap a selfie by the beautiful Windswept Trees – a stunning steel and copper sculpture set amongst a carpet of candles.

Christmas at Wollaton Hall - Visit Nottinghamshire

We wander on through light tunnels and past stars suspended in mid air until we reach the Camellia House, a rare early example of a Georgian cast and wrought iron glass house and one of the oldest of its kind. The building brims with antique charm on an average day, but is now transformed with the warm glow of hundreds of incandescent lightbulbs suspended from a spider’s web of black wires.

Christmas at Wollaton Hall - Visit Nottinghamshire

We emerge into the formal gardens to find them aglow with flickering firelight full of flaming sculptures and burning torches. We follow the winding path, aware that the expressive soundtrack is building to a crescendo and we approach the grand Elziabethan mansion transformed with dazzling projections in an awe-inspiring display.

The trail took us around an hour to complete (with plenty of photography stops) and was a truly magical experience. After so many months spent mainly indoors staring at the same four walls and with so many of the annual events and seasonal outings we would normally enjoy not an option this year, it was wonderful to do something a little different which captures the magic of the season while still feeling safe.

Christmas at Wollaton Hall runs until early Janurary 2021 - click here for more information and to book tickets. 

This blog was written by Claire Jones - Marketing Assistant at Visit Nottinghamshire. 


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This festive season, Wollaton Hall will host its first magical Christmas lights trail, as the formal gardens are transformed once again into an enchanted light spectacle - Christmas at Wollaton Hall



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