Review of 'Christmas at Bolesworth'

https://bolesworth.com/christmas/

Having recently moved to the area we are determined to visit the local attractions including “Christmas at Bolesworth”, a short drive down some rather windy roads in the middle of no where which is particularly interesting in the dark with very few lights. The event features a light show and a Christmas fair (not so much market) but is quite pricy with advanced tickets costing £27 for an adult and £18 for a child (£69 for a family of two adults and two children) while at the door tickets are 20% more than this. It should be note that the event is accessible for the disabled with wheel-chair ramps throughout (yes, including through the light trail in the woods).

Light Trail

Our slot was booked for 6:30 pm on a Friday with the event closing at 9:00 pm (there appears to be fireworks on some evenings at 8:00 pm but this was not when we visited). When we arrived the massive car park, accessed along a rather long and bumpy road through the grounds, was quite full and it was quite a walk to the entrance particularly with the windy, cold weather.

Light Tunnel

After passing through a long light tunnel you enter the fair area which has a series of rides, places to eat, stalls selling various Christmas goods and fire pits to warm yourself on. There are only a small number of rides split between those for older people and younger people. The food offerings are unsurprising: Burgers and hot dogs (both from Fordhall Farm) and a few other fast-foody options. There were only a couple of stalls selling Christmas things such as baubles and cookies.

Rides

Fire

Stalls

Off to the side is “The Alpine Lodge” which is heated and contains a bar which is a great place to get out of the weather and enjoy a drink (their deluxe hot chocolate is quite good and the bartenders are very friendly). If you have purchased a ticket to visit Santa's Grotto this is where you end up.

Bar

The light trail begins at the far side of the fair ground area and conveniently has toilets right at the beginning. The trail curls back along in front of the castle itself which has a music-synchronized light show on it complete with lasers (the music to match is played near the end of the trail). Many large trees on the lawn are also lit and look magnificent.

Tree

The start of the trail is marked by a section of light pyramids and a massive Christmas tree of lights leading you into “The Enchanted Forest” which has to be a highlight for us - Disco lights and well-placed light cables lighting up the trees.

Pyramids

Christmas Tree

Enchanted Forest

The trail follows around the lake and continues with the dazzling disco theme while the lake itself features “The Dancing Fountains” - A series of five water jets with lights and music. There are a series of interactive light games as well including a series of tubes that light up different colours when you press a button and another where pressing a button sends a colour along a light strip.

Light Tubes

Trail with Disco Lights

At the far side of the lake is “Rudolph's Rest”, a small area with a few (five) reindeer in a pen and more places to eat and drink.

Rudolph's Rest

Reindeer

Drinking and Eating at Rudolph's Rest

Moving on from “Rudolph's Rest” the trail passes by “Champagne Island” where you can rent a plastic globe seating about 8-10 people for drinks. It looked pretty cool in there to me with condensation making the globe not terribly transparent.

Champagne Island

The trail passes over a small bridge and winds through a tree border up a hill when it finally drops back down to the lake with a much better view of “The Dancing Fountains” than from earlier on the opposite side. This is also where you can finally hear the music.

The Dancing Fountains

Continuing around the lake you arrive very close to the castle (where you can hear the music the lights are synchronized to) and the “Rainbow Bridge” which evoked a snicker from me and my companion (being the titular bridge you pass over when you die on your way to heaven). It is quite pretty with garish lights across the bridge leading to another extra experience, the “Lakeside Champagne Bar” which is a teepee serving alcohol.

Rainbow Bridge

That is about it for the trail.

While the entrance price I feel is quite expensive they have done a great job and have excellent facilities. There are a lot of extras that can make it even more expensive. Having said that, it was nice just walking slowly along the light trail and soaking it all in the countryside well away from the noise and distractions of any city. Though it was busy with many children, as you might expect, everyone is generally quite polite and it was a pleasant experience all around.

Note that if you want to visit and it is cool you would be well advised to dress warmly as it was quite breezy there with lots of exposed areas making it cooler still.

Hot Chocolate

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2022-12-16



Bolesworth Castle

Location: Cheshire (England)

Address: Old Coach Rd, Tattenhall, Cheste, Cheshire CH3 9JJ ENGLAND

Telephone: +44 (0) 1829 782210

URL: https://bolesworth.com/

This country house is close to Tattenhall, 8 miles south-east of Chester (yes, pretty much in the middle of no-where). The grounds host events throughout the year including “Christmas at Bolesworth” and Bolesworth International show jumping.