The Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt is once again embracing the festive spirit with the much-anticipated return of its magical Enchanted Christmas event.
Taking place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from the last weekend of November until the weekend before Christmas, the spectacular illuminated trail through the trees creates a magical experience for the whole family.
The 45-minute trail itself is pushchair and wheelchair friendly and features exciting interactive displays throughout the enchanting woodland walk. The packed programme includes Christmas themed entertainment, festive goodies, classic carols, enchanting stilt walkers and a traditional children’s carousel.
Aspiring carolers can sing their favourite festive tunes to light up Savill Glade – the louder the singing, the more lights will illuminate! Keen drummers can try the kit in Pool Avenue – give the base drum a go to illuminate the trees!
Visitors can watch the magical misty smoke rings and glittering bubbles as they walk along the path or challenge their friends and family to the wire buzzer in the learning centre.
Don’t miss Father Christmas and his festive elves too. They’ve made the long trip to Gloucestershire from the North Pole and will be giving children an early Christmas present each. For the first time, Mrs Christmas will also be joining the festivities and keeping the little ones entertained with storytelling time in the restaurant – while mums and dads warm up with a hot drink. Keep an eye out for Jack Frost and the Christmas fairy too!
Children can enjoy Christmas crafts and make willow stars, glitter cones or reindeer trees in the Learning Centre at the end of the trail – a festive little something to take home with them.
And grown-ups looking to do a spot of last minute Christmas shopping – or add a touch of sparkle to their Christmas tree with traditional decorations – are catered for as well. The Westonbirt Shop will also be open, selling Christmas cards and gifts, foodie treats and all things festive!
For those with a rumbling tummy there’s festive fare galore with lots of delicious treats to tuck in to while enjoying a magical evening amongst the trees. Foodies can feast on a hog roast, gourmet burgers, pulled pork and jacket potatoes, all washed down with warming hot chocolate (with or without a dash of Baileys). There’s tea, coffee and spiced mulled wine – all available at the snack stops along the route. Big and little kids alike can treat themselves to sticky toffee apples, roasted chestnuts and toasted marshmallows – all guaranteed to fill the air with the smell of Christmas. This year, the Westonbirt Restaurant will also be open, selling a variety of cakes, sandwiches and hot drinks.
Simon Hough, Recreation Manager, said:
“Enchanted Christmas is a really magical event. It’s great to see that it’s become a tradition for many families in the build up to Christmas and it’s hard not to see why! It’s the perfect way to get into the festive spirit. Visitors can enjoy our magical illuminated trail through the trees with interactive features that will amuse all the family, followed by Father and Mrs Christmas, festive food, seasonal crafts and much more! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Westonbirt now that our world-famous site has been transformed with the explosion of illuminated colours, so join us on a spectacular twilight experience this winter.”
The Enchanted Christmas trail opens between 27 November and 20 December from 5pm, with last entry to the car park at 7pm.
Due to such popular demand, Saturday evenings will be online booking only and no tickets will be available on the day.