Going to see the Christmas lights each December is something of a family tradition. Bundling ourselves up against the cold; marvelling at the lights and treating ourselves to hot mulled wine and roasted chestnuts from a food stall is something we’ve really enjoyed in previous years. This year we bought tickets for Glow at RHS Bridgewater in Salford and we were very excited.
Glow at RHS Bridgewater is a slightly different set up than what you might find at say Dunham Massey; or The Lanterns at Chester Zoo. The new gardens at RHS Bridgewater (which is well worth a visit during daylight hours) is illuminated, showing off the plants and trees beautifully. There aren’t light sculptures or special displays; but from the walled gardens to the lake, all the way round to the Chinese garden, it’s all illuminated.
You begin the one-way trail in the walled gardens, through the area where the glass houses are, complete with pools and illuminated water ways. There is a light tunnel to walk through (it’s a popular selfie spot too). Beyond there you make you way to the marquee where hot dogs and mulled wine can be bought.
We timed it just right and we were entertained for the duration by a choir singing Christmas carols. The youngest member of our group ran up and put in a request for Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, which the choir and everyone else sang with gusto. This really put us all in the mood for Christmas.
Once we’d finished our mulled wine, and the choir had packed up, we headed off towards Ellesmere lake. The trees were all lit up in different colours and once you got to the lake, the reflection of the illuminated trees across shimmered on the water. This was a real highlight for me, it was so beautiful.
Beyond the lake, we walked through the Chinese garden, over the little bridges and back towards the shop and café.
We were very lucky that although it was a cold night, it was crisp and dry. I’ve heard mixed reviews of Glow at RHS Bridgewater. Some people were perhaps expecting a more interactive experience, but we loved it. We went along with family and everyone from the age of 3 upwards loved the calming lights.
I think that’s what made it special for me. Christmas can seem so manic, it’s a whirlwind trying to do things and fit everything in. It was just lovely to spend a few hours walking a safe route with family, chatting along the way and taking in the calming lights. It took some of my pre-Christmas stress down a couple of notches and although it might have lacked some of the pizzazz of other Christmas light trails, we all enjoyed it and we would go back next year.
For more information, or to book, visit the RHS Bridgewater website.
We paid for our tickets in full.