3 magical winter wonderland light trails to enjoy in Kent
- Credit: Glow Arts
On a cold, bright night there's something especially lovely about wandering through some of the county's loveliest outdoor spaces, seeing them sparkle and marvelling at the interplay between shadow, colour and light. Here are three magical Kent trails to explore this winter.
A familiar favourite (but with something new to enjoy every year) is the after-dark illuminated wonderland at Bedgebury, near Goudhurst, where the pinetum is a-dazzle with over a million lights, sparkling on the trees and reflected in the water. On the one-mile magical winter trail expect to encounter giant colour-changing lilies, fields of light and burnished lantern trees filled with flickering flames. Neon strings will stretch between towering trees and there'll be larger than life colourful flora to admire. If you've worked up an appetite, the cafe will be open, and there will be plenty of stalls offering food and drink to keep you going.
Bedgebury Nov 19 - January 3 (excluding Christmas Day) Tickets: adults £28, children, £13.50 Family ticket 2 adults 2 children and parking £72 forestryengland.uk/Christmasatbedgebury
Coming to beautiful Cobtree Manor Park in Maidstone for the first time is an immersive illumination trail from events company Glow Arts that aims to be as inclusive as possible. The historic park and former zoo will be transformed into a twinkling, magical place complete with thousands of fairy lights, art installations and projections. Talented walkabout street performers will guide visitors through the Fairy Village and Wonderland Walkway, with a market along the way offering seasonal food and drink, with locally-made stocking-fillers gifts for sale. Importantly there will be special sensory evenings as part of the event, created specifically for families who need a calmer experience are on offer, allowing them to enjoy all the magical attractions but with fewer people and a quieter, less stimulating environment.
Says Glow Arts' founder Lisa Carpendale, "It's really important to me that this event is as accessible as possible. My team and I have worked really hard to create a spectacular experience that feels cosy and intimate, rather than overwhelming.
"lt's also why, as well as the sensory evenings, we're planning a recce by a wheelchair user, so we can give accurate feedback to people with mobility needs.
"We could all do with some extra festive cheer this year and our event will give people an affordable and wonderful night out under the stars. There really will be something for everyone at the beautiful Cobtree Manor Park."
December 15-31 Tickets adults: £15.05, children £9.68, family ticket (2 adults 2 children) £42.47 glowarts.co.uk
Hever Castle and its grounds makes a majestic setting for a Twilight Christmas experience, which begins as its glorious gardens are transformed into a festive haven, with up-lighting, colour washes and sparkling lights capturing the spirit of Christmas. Twilight evenings will take place on each evening of the Christmas event - which this year features rides, a trail and a puppet show, all on the theme of the magical little wooden boy, Pinoccio.
Dec 8-24, Dec 27- January 3Twilight tickets adults: £23, children: £13.50 hevercastle.co.uk