We had the absolute pleasure of spending an evening enjoying the stunning Spectacle of Light Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, and it more then lived up to all our excited expectations! The Spectacle of Light is on until the 30th of December and is 10% cheaper when booked online. For a family of 4, (2 adults, 2 kids), it would cost £44.55 if booked in advance or £49.50 on the entrance. Tickets are timed entry, please check their website for full details. There is a video of our experience at the bottom and a competition to win a family ticket to go yourselves.
Set to music, the experience starts as soon as you arrive with the trees around the brilliant all weather car park lit up in different colours. There was plenty of parking and attendants to keep it all organised and the matting meant that there was no mud to wade through. Always a bonus! We saw lots of people with buggies and the path was fine, I wouldn’t recommend high heels but on the night we went (dry) we would have been fine in any sensible footwear.
The staff were all very friendly and efficient with plenty of festive cheer, they were genuinely happy and jolly and were situated along the trail to help direct where it wasn’t immediately clear which way to go, not that there were many spots like that as the path was incredibly well marked out. Timed tickets means that there isn’t a crush on arrival and the trail isn’t too busy to enjoy, although there were plenty of people there enjoying the event too, which adds to the atmosphere with all the children running around together in the lights.
I must admit that I have a thing about castles anyway, I have always loved them and even did my thesis about them at A-Level, I’ve visited so many but Sudeley is one of the nicest we’ve been to with so much still intact and the most beautiful ruins. It really is somewhere very special! It wasn’t open for this event but there is a fabulous dressing up room and the most amazing play area that is worth a visit for that alone.
The trail was fairly long, snaking throughout the grounds but not too long for the children (5 and 7) and with so many music and light changes along the way to keep you occupied that it didn’t feel long although we were there for well over an hour! Very well placed food and drink stands kept little ones going with hot and cold drinks and excellent quality filled brioche rolls including two vegetarian options! The menus are in the video with price lists.
There was plenty of space for running around and the children were kept busy in the hedge maze hunting for magpies. Near the end was another food and drink stop, this time with what I think was a pudding caravan, (the queue was too long to get near!) and a gin wagon. Really catering for everyone!
We all absolutely loved it, especially the smoking dungeon with the roaring dragon inside and the enchanted tree roots! The children were enthralled and the only reason we didn’t stay longer was due to cold hands, our fault for forgetting gloves. I would actually have liked to go with Dave and leave the children behind so we could have sat and enjoyed the Spectacle a little longer. It really was that lovely and I could have watched the colour changing castle walls for hours! It was really a magical experience and one of the nicest things we’ve done.
We loved it so much we made a video. It’s my first attempt at a video like this so please ignore the slightly clunky editing in places, I was trying to do it with two ‘helpers’!
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*We did not pay to attend this event, we were invited along free of charge but the review is totally honest!*