I don’t know how many times it has been said this year, but this year has been crazy! I will be so glad to see the back of 2020 and only hope that 2021 is a better year.
Like many others, this year has been difficult for my family. However this Christmas, we tried our hardest to make things feel as normal as possible. And although we couldn’t spend as much time together, as usual, we’ve still had a couple adventures outdoors where the rule of 6 applies.
One of these such adventures was last night going to the Alnwick Winter Garden Light Trail. It is sold out for the rest of this year, however, I’d imagine much of the information is applicable for next year. Therefore, here is my guide to this adventure.
Also, if you want some more information about the Alnwick Gardens and visiting outside of this event, have a look at my guide to the gardens here.
So the tickets for 5 years and older are £12.50 each (which has gone up from £11 last year), under 4s go free. As far as I am aware, there are no family tickets or concessions. Also if you are a member of the castle, you still need tickets as it’s an after-hours event.
We also parked in the Alnwick gardens car park which cost us £3 at the gate. There was a man at the entrance checking we had tickets and he took a contactless card payment for the parking right there so we didn’t need to do anything. The rest of my family did park in Alnwick itself for free so if you don’t mind a little walk, you can save yourself a few quid by doing this.
Within the gardens, there were various points in which food was being sold. I was really keen to get some mulled wine until I saw how expensive it was. For a small cup, it was £4.50 in 2020… There was also a really adorable stand further round selling marshmallows you could roast yourself over a fire. And for 3 on a stick, it was £3… After this, I stopped looking at the stalls because they were just very overpriced in my opinion.
If I were to go again, I’d maybe bring my own festive snacks or drinks so you don’t have to spend a fortune.
Hopefully, this won’t apply to next year, however in terms of covid safety, I feel a lot had been done to help with social distancing and minimising the number of people walking around at any given time. Masks had to be worn inside the buildings at the entrance. And you had to book a timeslot in which to go through to help with crowd control. **2021 UPDATE: you still need to book timeslots in advance and all this still applies!.
We were allowed to go in 15 minutes early so I’m not really sure how much flexibility these timeslots had. But I still think it helped a little.
While walking around there were certain parts that were a little congested. This was mainly when people were taking photos. But at no point did I feel unsafe or like there were too many people around. And at these parts where there were a lot of people waiting to take photos, it was easy enough to social distance or avoid the area completely if you felt so inclined. Honestly, if the numbers of people have been greatly reduced for this year, I’d imagine it actually gets quite busy under normal circumstances.
It really didn’t take us long to walk around, maybe 40 minutes, Perhaps next year if it’s busier it might take longer because you’re weaving through people? But it genuinely took us longer to drive up than we were actually there.
For a total of £25, it was a pretty expensive trip out. Perhaps if you have small people and they’re really excited for Christmas it could be worth it, however, I do feel it wasn’t for a group of 6 adults. Maybe if we were to do something similar we would do it before Christmas so there is still some excitement? I have no regrets about going as for what it was, I did enjoy it. The lights were really well done and the whole atmosphere was enjoyable overall.
Let me know if you have been, or if you are planning a visit for 2021!
Stay Safe and Merry Christmas