Bedgebury At Christmas Review


Reviewed by Amanda Hayes

After the start of this week bringing some of the worst rain & floods we have seen this year, we were delighted to have a dry and reasonably mild evening to visit the illuminated trail at Bedgebury Pinetum. As a family we visited this trail back in 2019, so were keen to see what, if anything had changed.

On arrival we were promptly shown a car parking space by the very friendly parking attendants, grabbed our hats and gloves and walked the short walk to the well signposted entrance. Standing at the beginning of the trail you can see a couple of small fairground rides, and lots of different coloured lights shining into the trees and sky.

If you have young children, you can buy ride tokens for £2.50 each, which is enough for 1 ride. There are two smallish rides more geared to the under fives, so too young for our 9 year old, but we watched others have fun for a while and then headed off following the signage. At the start of the trail is a map, showing the various illuminated sculptures and a QR code to scan to tell you more about the designers, which I found really interesting. After walking past some beautifully illuminated trees and bushes you are soon greeted with a huge lit up sign saying “Bedgebury” sitting in the lake, it looks absolutely beautiful whilst having a snack or drink in the overlooking cafe. The lake is also illuminated by an array of different lights changing both in formation and colour, the result is a fantastic light spectacular and a great beginning to the trail.

Joining an array of other families, we followed the path through a glowing arch welcoming us to the start of the trail and into an awe dropping 1.5km light show backed with different festive tunes from Silent Night to The Snowman. The music really gave it the festive feel and is a brilliant addition to the evenings walk. Halfway round the trail you arrive at another lake with hundreds of floating and colour changing lanterns, also a sight to behold.

There are several food and drink shacks on the route plus a fire pit stop where you could buy marshmallows. We brought one of each flavour, chocolate, vanilla, & salted caramel which were all delicious and roasted them over one of the fire pits. It was a lovely winter experience that felt very Christmassy.

The trail is circular so instead of going straight back to the car at the end we went back to the café where we warmed up with sausage rolls, chips and hot drinks. More substantial food such as hot dogs and pulled pork baps are also available in wooden cabins on route.

The illuminated trail will take about one to one and a half hours, dependant on how many times you stop, is all on hardstanding and is suitable for pushchairs & mobility scooters. Sturdy shoes are all that’s required, there is no real need for wellington boots. We did stop a lot, because the beauty of this trail compared to others is that each installation is a sculpture in itself with changing lights backed by fantastic music.

We thought Christmas at Bedgebury was a magical experience and although not cheap, around £77 per family (which includes £9.00 for a parking space), it’s not like anywhere else we had been in previous years. In fact, even though we visited 3 years ago, the majority of it had changed, so it was like doing a totally different trail, so don’t be worried about coming back year after year.

The combination of lanterns, lasers and light formations made Christmas at Bedgebury a festive filled delight, especially as it was all backed by fabulous Christmas tunes to get you in the xmas spirit. I don’t really want to give away too many of the amazing surprises that greet you on the walk, but prepare to go wow several times, fingers crossed you may even see Father Christmas!

Even though it’s still early we came away feeling Christmas had begun already on Bedgebury’s amazing illuminated trail. The Trail runs from 18th November to Monday 2nd January so book your tickets now on

Tickets cost from £21.50 adult, £14.50 child

Rating: Highly recommended 4.5 out of 5

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