Winter is set to sparkle and shine in Staffordshire with a host of after-dark illuminated treats and dazzling displays.
From a “kaleidoscope of colour” at the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance, to the return of stunning sound and light projections at a medieval Cathedral, Staffordshire will also have something new for 2021 – when one of its most popular garden attractions offers an illuminated trail with a dazzling multi-sensory mix of light, fire and sound.
The brand-new illuminated trail at award-winning Trentham Gardens launches Staffordshire’s sparkling line-up, with its Christmas at Trentham event running from 26 November until 9 January 2022.
Designed to sprinkle a little Christmas magic and offer a chance to see the stunning historic landscape in a new light, the new trail brings a seasonal classic with a contemporary twist to the stunning Grade II listed Italian Gardens. Tickets cost £21.50 adults, £14 children (www.christmasattrentham.co.uk).
Also new this year, the UK’s biggest theme park, Alton Towers Resort, is staging Lightopia Seasonal Wonderland – an immersive journey through the four seasons in a ‘Sense of the Seasons’ light display.
The experience promises a magical walk through the four seasons, with a mix of spectacular lanterns, immersive light installations, and interactive colour transformations lighting-up this spectacular after dark wonderland where a whole year will go by in just a day.
Opening 27 November, and running 4 – 8pm on selected dates until 2 January 2022, time slots must be booked and tickets cost £20 per person and include access to Lightopia Seasonal Wonderland and the Towers Street Christmas Market (www.altontowers.com/explore/events/christmas/).
For a spot of enchantment, Weston Park, on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border, is set to be transformed into a magical illuminated forest trail, awash with colour and light this December.
Towering trees, historic landmarks and hidden surprises will all combine with a tempting array of street food, local ales, warming winter cocktails, live music and fire pits to create an Enchanted Weston experience on various dates between 9 and 23 December. Tickets cost £14 per person (www.weston-park.com/whats-on/christmas-at-weston/).
Meanwhile, Staffordshire’s National Memorial Arboretum will stage an after dark illuminated trail bringing “a kaleidoscope of colour” to the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance, from 7 to 18 December.
The Illuminated Arboretum event will take place across the 150-acre woodland site with a range of installations, when the iconic grounds and memorials will become an illuminated trail, offering a different perspective on the gardens and woodland.
Around one-mile long, starting close to the entrance to the Remembrance Centre, the Illuminated Arboretum trail follows a set route around the grounds, with specific memorials floodlit for the event, and is designed to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace.
This year, the Arboretum has also introduced ‘relaxed’ sessions, with less prominent lighting and sound features, which will take place at 4.30pm on 8 and 15 December. Tickets, which cost from £14 per person, must be pre-booked (www.thenma.org.uk/what’s-on/events-exhibitions-and-talks/events/illuminated-arboretum).
And as a fitting finale to the county’s seasonal light spectacular, England’s only medieval cathedral with three spires will again be transformed using spectacular sound and light projections, with the award-winning The Cathedral Illuminated back for 2021 at Lichfield Cathedral from 16 to 22 December.
A stunning light and sound experience with projections onto the Lichfield Cathedral School Palace building and onto the west front of the Cathedral, this year’s event ‘The Manger’ is composed of beautiful imagery depicting everything ‘Christmassy’ and a stunning re-telling of the Christmas story, all created by the artistic collaboration Luxmuralis. Tickets for timed slots cost £7.50, adults, and £6 children (www.lichfield-cathedral.org/what-s-on/the-cathedral-illuminated-2021-1).
More information about visiting, and staying in, Staffordshire, at www.enjoystaffordshire.com
Photo: Illuminated Arboretum – Above Air Media