Dunham Massey
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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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Dunham Massey, Altrincham Greater Manchester

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We have visited Dunham Massey twice over the past few months and it has quickly become one of our favourite National Trust properties.

boys looking at house across a lake

What To Expect At Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Greater Manchester WA14 4SJ.

Dunham Massey boasts a garden for all seasons, ancient deer park and a house that is filled with treasures and stories.

On arrival at Dunham Massey your tickets will be checked as you drive in to the car park area. Pre Booking tickets is advised and guarantees entry. Once your tickets are checked you are shown to the car park area and ready to start your day out.

The reception area is just as you enter the estate and has a cafe, toilets, gift shop and an ice cream kiosk. It is probably the largest reception area we have seen in the National Trust places we have been to, and its really modern and fresh. 

boy on grass

When you are ready to enter the main estate you can head up the steps or the accessible route which leads you to the courtyard. There is a large lake which you walk past here which has fountain sprays which fire up from time to time and are really nice to look at.  In the courtyard you have access to toilets, ice cream parlour, the gardens and the deer park.  The courtyard also has some pop up stands with freshly cooked pizza, coffee, and cakes to choose from. 

The house, mill and stables are closed at the moment but there is still plenty to explore.  The house itself looks really impressive, and well preserved so we are looking forward to being able to have a look around when it opens.  

boys sat on a bench

From the courtyard you can choose to head out onto the deer trail, or into the gardens. Both are different experiences and I would recommend you visit both when you go. 

The Gardens are a lovely walk through brightly coloured plants and flowers and large open spaces too. There are plenty of benches dotted around for a break or just to take in the views.  The open spaces are really flat which makes it a great place for a picnic, or to play some games. We played frisbee and the area was perfect for that.  As with most National Trust areas a lot of the trees and flowers are labelled so if you want to have a look and see what everything is you will be able to. 

deer park at Dunham Massey

The Deer park is a much larger and open spaced part of the property. You can choose to wander across some of the more open wooded areas, or you can walk the deer park paths, which in places you can't go off as you have the Deer Sanctuary areas which are left alone for the Deer.  There is so much space to explore and the wide areas reminded us of Tatton Park.  If you follow the defined path you will be able to walk all the way to the end of the estate and come back along another path where we did see some deer from a distance.  There is lots to explore and plenty to climb over, run through and generally enjoy the outdoors. 

boy holding an Ice cream

All paths will lead you back to the Courtyard area, which is a good idea as you can get refreshed and have an Ice Cream before you head back to the reception area and have a look in the shop if you like. 

Anything Else?
The car park at Dunham Massey is free and has lots of parking spaces. It's open daily from 9am-5:15pm (weekends) and 9:30am - 5:15pm. (weekdays)

Please check the individual opening times for the gardens, cafe, shop before you visit.

Well behaved dogs are welcome in the parkland (9.30am – 5pm) and gardens (12 noon – 5pm), but must be kept on a short lead at all times to protect the herd of deer.

Pre Booking tickets is essential. 
Prices are 
£8 per adult
£4 per child
£20 per family

There is plenty to see and do at Dunham Massey to keep you busy and makes a lovely day out. 

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