Christmas Light Trails
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Christmas At Dunham Massey

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We love a Christmas light trail and have been lucky to visit a variety of light trails across the country. Our love for lights all began with the original light trail, Blackpool Illuminations which I’ve visited since I was very little. Now Christmas light trails have become more and more popular and it’s now a tradition of ours to visit a light trail or two every year. We’ve just experienced our first Christmas trail of 2023 and it’s one of our favourites. Christmas at Dunham Massey always gets us in the Christmassy mood and this years trail did not disappoint. 

christmas at Dunham Massey sign

Reindeer lights

What To Expect at Dunham Massey, Altrincham WA14 4SJ

'A new after-dark illuminated trail through festive gardens. Firmly positioned as a must-see trail within the UK’s Christmas calendar, the gardens at the National Trust’s Dunham Massey shimmer with over a million twinkling lights as seasonal sounds fill the air with festive fun.'

Dunham Massey lights

'Look forward to some time together with friends and family as you discover sparkling tunnels of light and dancing lakeside reflections, then walk under giant baubles and beneath glistening trees drenched in jewel-like colour. For a moment of reflection pause at mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden, gaze at the larger-than-life illuminations and, to make a moment to remember, don’t forget to glimpse Father Christmas along the way.'

light trail at Dunham Massey


Selected dates from Friday 17th November to 31st December 2023 - 4:30 to 8:15pm (time slots may vary by date)

light trail at Dunham Massey

How Much?

Tickets are £19 for adults and £12.50 for children for off peak tickets. Standard tickets are £22.50 and Children are £14.50. Peak tickets are £24.50 and children £17. Family tickets are available and carers go free. 

light trail at Dunham Massey

How Long Does The Trail Last?

The trail is approximately one mile long. I think how long you visit depends on each individual family or group. We like to take our time, stop and look at all the lights and then stop half way round for a drink and maybe toast a marshmallow. 

hot chocolate at Dunham Massey

Can I Purchase Food and Drink?

Yes, food and drink and fairground rides are available onsite. Food and drink can be found at the beginning and end of the trail, with additional refreshments at around the midway point. Separate charges apply for all food, drink and rides.

Christmas light trail at Dunham Massey

What Should I Wear?

The event takes place entirely outdoors and appropriate clothing and footwear is essential.

Christmas light trail at Dunham Massey

Is There Parking?

Car parking is available onsite but must be pre-booked at the time of ticket purchase. Parking is free for National Trust members with a valid membership card when pre-booked. Parking is available at an additional charge for non-National Trust members.

Goodnight sign

Our Thoughts

This was our third year visiting the trail and for us each year it just gets better and better. This year was the first time we visited just John and I as we usually visit with the boys but they couldn’t make it this year. It was definitely a different experience just the two of us and although we enjoyed the lights, the ambience and being able to go at a much slower pace we did miss the boys more than we thought we would. Visiting a Christmas light trail is perfect for a family night out. 


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Christmas at Trentham 2022

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Disclosure - We were invited to Christmas at Trentham. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

Returning for 2022, the Christmas at Trentham illuminated trail is designed to sprinkle a little Christmas magic, accentuate the flora and fauna and see the stunning historic landscape in a world of light and colour.

Christmas at Trentham was our first Christmas trail this year and it's one we have never visited before so we were excited to see what Trentham had to offer and share our thoughts on the trail and any tips that might help when you visit. 

Christmas at Trentham

Christmas at Trentham, The Trentham Estate, Stone Road, Trentham, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 8JG

Selected dates from Friday 2nd December to Sunday 1st January 2023 - 4:30pm -8pm (time slots may vary by date) 

Christmas at Trentham

What To Expect at Christmas at Trentham
As soon as you step foot through the visitor centre doors you will be blown away by the amount of lights that await you. As we have never visited Trentham Gardens before we had no idea just how large the estate is, it was breathtaking. 

To enjoy the trail all you need to do is follow the one way path that will take you on a journey through the gardens. The trail is clearly signposted with the opportunity to weave in and out in certain areas.

two boys toasting a marshmallow

Food and Drink
Only food purchased at Trentham is allowed with the exception of baby food. There are two opportunities to purchase food and drink. Firstly you can take a detour within the first ten minutes of the trail to the refreshments area. There is an option to buy snacks such as pancakes and pizza plus hot and cold drinks. There is an outside seating with heaters just in front of the food stands. 

The food and drink was not cheap. We had already eaten however we did take a look and it could be quite costly especially for families of four or more. 

Half way around the trail there is a tea room which offers hot, cold and alcoholic beverages. A price list is clearly advertised on a board as you enter. There is also a chance to purchase a mince pie. There is plenty of in and outdoor seating available at the tea rooms however the outdoor is not under shelter so would not be ideal on rainy days. 

Outside the tea rooms is the opportunity to toast your own marshmallow. This cost £3 and we were given a huge marshmallow on a long stick that we toasted over the fire pit. 

Toilets are available outside the visitor centre before you enter and also at the tearooms. 

The paths were flat in most places and the surface was easy to walk on however there are some small inclines in places. The paths were wheelchair and pushchairs friendly. There is a low narrow bridge in to the laser garden but there are ropes either side to hold on to if necessary. 

Prices start at £22.10 for adults and £14.60 for children. There are a range of different ticket options including family, twilight viewing and igloo. 

Children under 3 are free of charge. 

A disabled person purchasing a ticket may bring one essential carer companion free of charge. Please select this ticket type at point of booking.  

You can Book your tickets to Christmas at Trentham online

There is free parking available on site, on a first come first served basis. Blue badge parking is available within the main car park. We found a space straight away just at the entrance. 

boy walking through a light tunnel

Anything Else?
Wrap up warm and prepare for all weathers. The Christmas at Trentham light trail is an outdoor experience with no shelter. 

I don't like to put a time limit on this type of experience as there is so much to see however I would say if you are pushed for time you could complete the trail in less than an hour. 

There are plenty of opportunities to take photographs and staff along the trail are happy to take family photographs if asked. 

There is lots of space and the paths are really wide in places. 

There are two fairground rides by the food stalls which you can access about ten minutes in to the trail or at the end. The ferris wheel and swings are £3 per person. We went on the ferris wheel and thought it was great value for money with at least 8 rotations.

Book early! These type of experiences tend to sell out very quickly so make sure you book in advance. 

family standing under the christmas tree

Have you visited the trail or are you planning to?  If so I would love to know. Do leave us a comment or message us on socials. 

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