Showing posts with label Dunham Massey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dunham Massey. Show all posts

Monday, 25 November 2019

A Family Visit to Christmas at Dunham Massey 2019 - A Review

On Thursday evening we were invited to the press night of Christmas at Dunham Massey. This was our third year attending and it just gets bigger and better every year. We love this event so much, that it has very quickly become a highlight for the whole family on our festive calendar and never fails to get us into the Christmas spirit.

The magical after-dark illuminated trail is truly spectacular and features the popular favourites that returning guests have come to know and love, such as the Giant Glittering Deer and the Cathedral of Light, in addition to some brand new installations that definitely have that added wow factor.

Our evening began with a welcome reception where we enjoyed some sweet treats and hot beverages in the cafe, before listening to a short welcoming speech about the trail and the huge amount of work involved, which takes place throughout the year. We could hear the Christmas music begin outside and my children couldn't wait to get to the trail and experience Christmas at Dunham Massey 2019.

We made our way to the courtyard and found that there was a new layout to previous years. As you enter through the archway there is a lovely selection of traditional fairground rides, which include a Helter Skelter, Boat Swings, a Carousel and a Merry Go Round. It costs £2.50 per ride if paying on the night, however when you book your tickets online, there is the option to add five rides for a discounted price of £10 when paying in advance.


The food stalls are now located to the right hand side of the courtyard and are placed either side of the walkway. There is a great selection of food and drinks available to buy from the various vendors, which included dirty fries and hot dogs from Diamond Dogs, cypriot cuisine from Cyprus Kouzina, mulled wine and luxury hot chocolate from the Winter Wunderbar and delicious smelling burgers from the Little Heath Farm Shop to name just a few. We also noticed that The Stables restaurant was open selling hot soup and scones, so there is definitely something to suit all tastes and ensure that no one goes home hungry. Prices vary per stall, but the costs seemed reasonable and the food smelt fantastic.

Once you have walked past the food stalls, this then leads the way to the brand new entrance to the start of the trail. This new walkway brings you in facing the magnificent house which is decorated with a festive projection display. I had read in the preview about this and was expecting a few lights going across the front of the building, however I was completely blown away by the highly entertaining display which was absolutely incredible. The quality was amazing and you could see everything really clearly and this immediately created a buzz of excitement amongst the guests.


At the start of the trail there are two giant sized glittering reindeer, along with some large picture frames to help you create the perfect family photo. The reindeer are stunning and have to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. They glisten and twinkle beautifully, whilst standing bright and tall and they are the perfect welcome to the one mile long magical walk.

The Heart Walk installation also grabbed our attention as we strolled past a collection of large floating hearts that created all kinds of colours to admire. The cleverly designed artistic hearts, helped us to think about the love that surrounds Christmas and we thought that they were a great addition to the trail.


My son Ben really enjoyed the Firework Trees, which created a beautiful multi-sensory display. The lights would raise up and down whilst sounds would crackle and zoom as they mimicked a firework effect. My children questioned just how long it would have taken to have decorated the trees with so many bulbs and it made us realise how much hard work goes in to creating this mesmerising christmas trail.


The Sea of Light created a breathtaking moment and uses the combination of sound and light to create the most delightful scene. It was so calming and enjoyable just watching the lights flow in waves of colour, that we all found incredible. This feature could be enjoyed from the walkway, or you could take in the full effect by sitting on one of the bright blue benches and enjoy the immersive experience of the Sea of Light travelling towards you.

In addition to the various installations, we loved how trees would just be simply lit with an attractive glow along the way, creating a warm and inviting environment to be in.

 
As you make your way around the trail, there is also the option to toast some marshmallows on the fire pits. My children absolutely love doing this each year and there are always a great range of flavours to choose from. We chose Vanilla, Chocolate Orange and Candy Floss which were all delicious and cost £1.50 each. There was a lovely red glowing trail around the fire pits and Riley and I took a walk around these and through the tunnels, whilst everyone else finished eating their sweet treats.


Of course no Christmas Trail would be complete without an appearance from Santa himself. This isn't a grotto opportunity, but more a brief show that entertains children (and adults), so there is no meet and greet. Personally I prefer this as it means no queues and instead everyone can enjoy the experience. Santa had guests doing a fun warm up, whilst the rabbit told a little tale which everyone seemed to enjoy.


As we continued on our walk we came to the Light Cathedral. This has been one of the stand-out features of previous years and so I was really pleased that it had made a very welcome return. It really looks fantastic in person and my photos don't really do it justice, but there are quite literally thousands of small lights which create a fabulous effect as well as a stunning feature to walk through.


We all absolutely loved the Rings of Fire, which were located in the lake. Light beams filled the air, accompanied by a great selection of music, which was really stunning to watch. I really could have stood there for several hours just watching the spinning snowflakes and fire glow. My youngest son Riley thought that this was amazing and I would absolutely agree.


Overall we had a wonderful time and would absolutely recommend this event to all. The style and creativeness of this magical Christmas trail, really makes it suitable for visitors of all ages. Whilst it is great for families, it is also equally as good for couples, groups of friends or even solo visitors due to its lovely festive atmosphere. The new installations were superb and we particularly enjoyed the projection show on the front of the main house. Christmas at Dunham Massey is a wonderful experience from start to finish and we will definitely be returning again in the future.

For further information on Christmas at Dunham Massey, please visit their website or social media channels which can be found here:

Website - National Trust - Dunham Massey
Facebook - DunhamMasseyNT - Facebook
Twitter - @DunhamMasseyNT

Event Details

Attraction - Christmas at Dunham Massey, the magical, after-dark, illuminated trail.
Location - Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 4SJ
Dates - Selected dates from 22nd November to 30th December 2019.
Admission - From: Adult £17.50, Child (3-16) £11.00, Family £54.00
Website - For full details and pricing, please visit the Dunham Massey website Christmas at Dunham Massey

*Additional charges apply for vintage rides, food and drink.


*Disclaimer - We were given press tickets for the purpose of writing an honest review of the event. All opinions and photographs are my own, unless stated otherwise. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the events own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Dates for your Diary - Christmas at Dunham Massey 2018

One of our most favourite events last Christmas was the magical, after-dark, illuminated trail at Dunham Massey in Cheshire. Our review also proved to be extremely popular with our readers and was one of our most popular festive blog posts. We were therefore delighted to hear that it would be returning to the historic National Trust property for a second year, on selected dates from the 30th November to the 30th December 2018.

Christmas at Dunham Massey is brought to you by leading events producers Raymond Gubbay Ltd, in partnership with the National Trust. We thought that last years event was absolutely incredible, but this year the magical winter trail is set to be even bigger and better than before.

A larger-than-life glittering deer will greet customers, along with the sights and sounds of Christmas. Features will include a stunning Tunnel of Light adorned with over 100,000 pea-lights, an incredible scented fire garden, Bubbles on the Bridge, playful ribbons of colour-changing lights and the mesmerising voices of the Singing Trees.


Last year, we were treated to an incredible Water Fountain Finale and this year will be no exception. Guests will be able to enjoy this showcase spectacular of water jets and beams of light, which dance in time to much-loved Christmas classics.

The trail is specially designed to appeal to visitors of all ages. My husband and I attended the event last year, with our children aged 4, 9 & 11 at the time and it is safe to say that we all shared the same opinion - It was wonderful!

The historic courtyard will play host to some fantastic festive food outlets*, with the Manchester Food & Drink Festival providing the stalls. There will also be a vintage carousel ride for younger guests to enjoy*. Fire pits will also be placed along the trail where you can gather to toast your own marshmallows. This was one of the highlights for my children last year and they loved picking their flavours and toasting them over the fire.

This year, The Stables Restaurant at Dunham Massey will be serving a two-course traditional Christmas Dinner*. There will be a choice of two sittings, so visitors can dine before or after they visit the trail.

You can read our review of last years event here: Christmas at Dunham Massey Review

For further information on Christmas at Dunham Massey, please visit their website or social media channels which can be found here:

Website - National Trust - Dunham Massey
Facebook - DunhamMasseyNT - Facebook
Twitter - @DunhamMasseyNT

Event Listing

Attraction - Christmas at Dunham Massey, the magical after-dark illuminated trail.
Location - Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 4SJ
Dates - Selected dates from 30th November to 30th December 2018.

Admission

Advance - Adult £16.50, Child (5-16) £10.00, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £50.00
On the day - Adult £18.50, Child (5-16) £12.00, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £58.00

Items marked with * will incur an additional charge.


Disclaimer: Details provided are believed to be correct at time of writing, however are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the events own website, in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Looking Back at 2017 - Our Travel Favourites

Whilst we are looking forward to all our planned adventures for 2018, it is also great to look back and reflect on the travel opportunities we had last year. I therefore wanted to share with you, some of our travel favourites from 2017.

January - Our year began with a trip to the fabulous Bluestone National Park Resort, in South Wales. Although we live in North Wales, we had never actually ventured to the South before and after a very scenic four hour journey to Narberth, we enjoyed a lovely few days in a beautiful lodge and enjoyed the wonderful Blue Lagoon and some other local attractions. Bluestone is a stunning holiday resort, set within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. It has 345 luxury lodges set amongst 500 acres of spectacular countryside. It is marketed as an all year round short break holiday destination, where fun can be enjoyed in all weather conditions and offering guests the chance to enjoy a relaxing break, or an adventure fun-packed holiday. As Bluestone offers so much, it is suitable for families, couples, or groups of adults and caters for all ages, with over 100 activities to enjoy. You can read all about our visit to Bluestone in our review here.


February - This month saw our first overseas trip of the year, where my family travelled to Silvaplana in Switzerland to attend the World Ski Championships being held in St Moritz. This trip actually came about as a result of a competition that my husband had entered on Twitter and we couldn't believe that he had won the family such an amazing opportunity. During the trip my family travelled on the Glacier Express taking in some wonderful sights, enjoyed the fabulous opening ceremony, watched some skilled skiers taking part in the championships and also had the opportunity for a skiing lesson and some sledging fun. You can read more about Silvaplana here.


March - In March my husband and I enjoyed a weekend break at the Shibden Mill Inn for my husband's birthday. This was our first and only time away without the kids throughout the year as I really don't like going away without them, but it was a relaxing time with delicious food. The suite we stayed in was stunning and had been tastefully decorated with a great combination of both modern and traditional furnishings. You can find out more about our stay here.


April - We travelled to a few places in the Easter holidays during April. The first was to Somerset where we visited some wonderful local attractions that included Puxton Park and the Wookey Hole Caves. On our return to the North, we enjoyed a stop at Drayton Manor where Riley had an amazing time in Thomas Land. We also travelled to Yorkshire for some cliff top camping in Filey, where we also spent the day at the fabulous Alpamare Waterpark in Scarborough and had an absolutely splashing time!


May - In the May half term we travelled to Salou in Spain, where we stayed at Sanguli Holiday Park with Al Fresco Holidays. This was an absolutely wonderful break and we spent our days between the onsite Africa themed resort pool and the sandy beach located a short walk away. This holiday resort certainly ticked all the boxes for us and you can read all about our stay here.


June - June saw us head to Shropshire where we enjoyed a weekend break with my parents in Ironbridge. Whilst there we travelled back in time to the Victorian era and visited Blists Hill Victorian Town. My children absolutely loved it here and we had a great experience. You can read more about our time at Blists Hill here.


July - The school summer holidays began in July and we started the six week break off, with a trip to the Lake District. This really is a stunning part of the world and we had a wonderful week exploring and visiting some fun attractions. Some of our favourites included a day out with Windermere Lake Cruises, spending some time at Old Hall Farm and finding out more about transport at the Lakeland Motor Museum.


August - In August we spent two days in Hamburg, Germany thanks to the Come to Hamburg scheme. We only spent a short amount of time here, but managed to fit so much into only two days. The Miniatur Wunderland was magnificent and Hagenbeck Tierpark provided the opportunity for my children to feed some elephants, which is definitely an experience they will never forget. Whilst in Hamburg we stayed at the Appartello Smarttime Living hotel, which offered fantastic apartments with plenty of room for the whole family.


September - In September we had the chance to visit France and stayed with Al Fresco holidays at the La Croix du Vieux Pont holiday park in France. The park offered so much for families that we didn't get the chance to see it all, so it is definitely on our list of places to return to in the future. Ideally situated only 90 minutes from Disneyland Paris, it also meant that we could enjoy a magical day out together before the return back to school!


October - The October half term saw us return to Somerset, where we stayed with John Fowler Holidays at their Sandy Meadows Lodge Park. There is so much to do both onsite and in the local area and we had a lovely day out at Bristol Zoo Gardens whilst here.


November - As the end of the year approached we spent the majority of November and December staying local as there was just so much on offer throughout the North Wales and North West areas. We are very lucky to live right on the North Wales/Cheshire border so this means that we have the lovely North Wales coast twenty minutes in one direction and the great cities of Manchester & Liverpool 40 minutes in the other. Some of our favourite events and days out during November were going to see The Snowman at the Manchester Opera House and meeting Santa at Bridgemere Garden Centre.


December - Well we definitely enjoyed a month of family fun throughout December, with my personal highlight being the Dick Whittington pantomime at the Manchester Opera House. I have never laughed so much at a panto and at one point I was actually crying it was so funny.

My youngest son Riley also had a lovely experience of a theatre production at Waterside where we saw the beautiful performance of The Bear.

Topped off with a family evening of fun at Winter Wonderland and a trip to Dunham Massey to see their stunning festive lights, December was certainly a month to remember.


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Christmas at Dunham Massey - A Review

Last night we had the absolute pleasure of attending the opening night of Christmas at Dunham Massey and what a spectacular evening it was. Leading events producers Raymond Gubbay have teamed up with the National Trust to transform Dunham Massey into a beautiful winter wonderland, with a magical, after-dark illuminated trail.

Our evening began with a short introduction into why the Christmas event had been created and how hard the two teams had worked together, in order to help their vision become a reality over the last six months. Dunham Massey is such a beautiful venue, but it is a location that is normally closed to guests in the evening, so what better way to welcome families to a night of festive fun, than with a beautiful display of lights, that lead you through the stunning grounds.


The trail has been specially designed to appeal to visitors of all ages and there is definitely something for everyone along the sparkling one mile path. Accompanied by the sights and sounds of Christmas, you can follow the winding path through the woodland whilst adoring the marvellous illuminated canopies, trees and oversized snowflakes, reindeer and baubles.

Although it was very cold outside, our family wrapped up warm in our hats, gloves and scarves and made our way out to the trail. As we entered the main courtyard, we were welcomed by a selection of food and drink stalls, as well as some traditional fairground rides including swings and a carousel. Riley absolutely loves carousels, so we purchased a token for him to have a ride at a cost of £2.


Once Riley had finished his carousel ride, we enjoyed a bite to eat, before continuing on the trail. Our adventure began by being welcomed by Father Christmas himself, who saw us on our way through the sparkling hedgerows. There were also plenty of staff on standby to help guests and provide a friendly hello. The huge building looked absolutely magnificent, lit up with stunning snowflakes.


We spent a short while simply admiring the amazing mansion, which looked extremely impressive, before embarking on our journey through the festive twinkling trail. We were fortunate that the last couple of days had been dry and so the path was very clear without a hint of mud in sight. However, we had come prepared with wellies in the car just in case, as I can imagine that with a bit of rain and a lot of footfall, it could get quite muddy throughout December.


Riley was immediately captivated by the tress and branches adorned with sparkling lights. It would be extremely hard to not be impressed by the beauty of seeing the woodland lit up so spectacularly and even as an adult, I could not help but say 'Wow' numerous times whilst walking down the path. Staff members continued to be a visible presence throughout the walk, always happy to help and guide you in the right direction. Several of the staff also interacted with the kids, engaging in conversation and asking them about what they had seen so far.


In addition to the lights, there were numerous benches and wooden huts, selling a selection of mulled wine and cider. These were placed at regular intervals along the path, so that you could treat yourself to a nice warm tipple whilst taking in the sights.


The giant baubles and Christmas decorations were stunning to see, but my children's personal favourite was the fascinating giant reindeer, who I believe has been named Cranberry Sparklesnaps, through a competition held by Dunham Massey on their facebook page. A wonderful name to go with what is truly a remarkable reindeer.


Mid way into our walk, we came across a fire lit wonder, which looked fantastic. This led us to the fire pit, where you could purchase a wide range of weird and wonderful flavoured marshmallows and toast them over the pit.  The marshmallows cost £1.50 and were extremely popular amongst guests with a short queue to purchase these delightful treats. This really added to the experience and it was lovely to see so many families enjoying themselves together.


The finale of the Christmas trail, was an astonishing water spectacular, that saw brightly coloured water jets, dancing in time to some music classics. There were benches placed along the walkway here and it was a delightful place to have a sit down and watch the display. My photo of this really doesn't do it justice and is something that really needs to be seen, in order to appreciate it's enchanting performance.


Overall, we had an absolutely amazing time and we are even hoping to return again before Christmas with other members of our family as we loved it so much. Whilst we enjoyed our walk as a family, I feel that this event is also very suitable for both individuals and couples too. I would definitely return here for a lovely Christmas evening just my husband and I, to spend a couple of hours taking our time around the trail and enjoying the offerings available in the courtyard. All of the staff we came across were extremely courteous and we were made to feel welcome by everyone. We would like to say a huge thank you and also well done, to everyone at Dunham Massey & Raymond Gubbay for putting on such a wonderful event, that left us all feeling magical and ready for the festive season ahead.

For further information on Christmas at Dunham Massey, please visit their website or social media channels which can be found here:

Website - National Trust - Dunham Massey
Facebook - DunhamMasseyNT - Facebook
Twitter - @DunhamMasseyNT

Event Details

Attraction - Christmas at Dunham Massey, the magical after-dark illuminated trail.
Location - Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 4SJ
Dates - 1st December to 30th December (the event is not open on all dates so please check for availability).

Admission

Advance - Adult £16.00, Child (5-16) £10.00, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £48.00
On the day - Adult £18.00, Child (5-16) £12.00, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £56.00
National Trust Member - Adults £14.50, Child (5-16) £8.50, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £42.00

Disclaimer - We attended the opening night of Christmas at Dunham Massey as guests for the purpose of providing an honest review of the experience. Details are subject to change, so I would always recommend obtaining the most up to date information from the attractions own website.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Dates for your Diary - Christmas at Dunham Massey

My family and I absolutely love attending Christmas events and we are always on the look out for something new and exciting to visit. Like most families, Christmas is a really magical time for us, so we try and enjoy as many festive activities as we can together, in the run up to Christmas Day.

We were therefore really excited to find out about a brand new Christmas Light trail, which will be at Dunham Massey in Cheshire, from the 1st to 30th December 2017. This magical, after-dark illuminated trail, will be brought to you by leading events producers Raymond Gubbay, in partnership with the National Trust and will see Dunham Massey transformed into a beautiful winter wonderland.

The trail has been specially designed to appeal to visitors of all ages and there is something for everyone at this festive time of year, as the one mile sparkling path winds its way through the historic Dunham Massey woodland. Greeted by the sights and sounds of Christmas, visitors will wander beneath tree canopies that will be illuminated in seasonal shards of light and larger-than-life snowflakes and baubles.


Father Christmas sees you on your way through twinkling tunnels and a swaying lawn of colour reflected in the water. Duck between sparkling hedgerows, discover the Singing Trees rising high into the night sky and experience Pealight Heaven, a canopy of over 100,000 fairy lights. Once you reach the festive finale, you can take a moment to pause and enjoy the brightly coloured water jets dancing in time to some much loved Christmas classics.

Complete your stroll under the stars with a hot drink or some mulled wine, enjoy a ride on the vintage carousel* , toast your own marshmallows at one of the fire pits, or even take the opportunity to do a spot of Christmas shopping in Dunham Massey's shop.

*Separate charges apply.

For further details please visit: National Trust - Dunham Massey

Listing Details

Event - Christmas at Dunham Massey, the magical, after-dark, illuminated trail

Location - Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 4SJ

Dates - 1st December to 30th December

Admission

Advance - Adult £16.00, Child (5-16) £10.00, Family £48.00
On the day - Adult £18.00, Child (5-16) £12.00, Family £56.00
National Trust Member - Adults £14.50, Child (5-16) £8.50, Family £42.00


Disclaimer: Details correct at time of writing, but can be subject to change. Therefore please always check the events own website for the most up to date information.