Every year, we meet up with family and spend an evening, wrapped up against the cold, enjoying one of the Christmas light trails in the North West. This year, because we’d heard good things, we visited Luminate Cheshire at Walton Hall Gardens near Warrington.
We arrived on the first very cold evening of the winter, there was a sprinkling of snow on the ground and we were all well bundled up against the cold. Entry is timed, and the trail takes around 90 minutes to walk around. Although the car park is small, there was a brisk turnaround and we managed to find a couple of spaces and parking is free.
The Walton Hall Gardens Christmas light trail – Luminate Cheshire is approximately 1.4km long. The trail isn’t entirely flat, it is pretty even and was suitable for buggy pushers and people who aren’t always so great on their feet, like me. There are stewards around every corner, so if you get stuck, you’re never far from help if you need it. It feels very accessible and there is matting down at potentially muddy points. It’s always best to wrap up warm for these things and wear sensible boots of shoes.
You begin the trail at the riding stables, which was a lovely start. There were some refreshment stalls and a couple of little Christmassy shops to look around. Since it was very cold, we decided to fortify ourselves with some mulled wine to drink on our walk, which was the very best idea.
Luminate Cheshire at Walton Hall Gardens
This beautiful illuminated trail has new and exciting displays around every corner. I’ve been to a fair few Christmas light trails over the years. I thought I’d seen everything, but Luminate managed to have so many surprising and lovely elements, we loved it. From the enchanted fairy garden, with little cages with a dancing Tinkerbell inside. To the drum pavilion where you and your family can drum away and watch a giant rabbit on a big screen mirror your musical rhythms.
We stopped approximately half way for a toasted marshmallow break. We all huddled around the fire pits, toasting giant marshmallows and gobbling them down greedily. Beyond the fire pits was a “Make a Wish” wall, where you were invited to write your wish on a tag and hang it up. I hope at least some of those wishes come true!
My lad really liked the searchlights which you can control with a joystick. I had a go too and enjoyed making the light dance in the sky. There were several Instagramable light tunnels to walk through, and there was a glitterball forest which we all loved. The talking tree which told terrible jokes and the field of rainbow lights. The Hall was the backdrop to a breath-taking Christmas projection and it just felt like there were so many wow moments and amazing displays to enjoy.
Our group ranged from some giddy 4 year olds, to some equally giddy retirees. Every one of us was dazzled by the displays and impressed with how innovative and interesting some of them were. We really loved it and although there’s no Father Christmas, there is an awful lot to impress and astonish. We were lucky with the weather, though whilst cold, it was clear and bright, with my son pointing out constellations in the night sky!
There is limited availability, and early booking is advised. Admission tickets cost: Adult £19.50, Child £14.50 (age 3-16). Family £62 (2 adults and 2 children). Parking is free. You can book via the Luminate Cheshire website.
Luminate Cheshire at Walton Gardens will run nightly from Thursday 24th November 2022 until Friday 24th December 2022. Tickets must be pre-booked online in advance.
If you enjoyed this, you might like to read our round up of Christmas Light Trails in the North West.
Note: We paid for our tickets in full.