disclosure: we were given complimentary tickets and parking in exchange for a review
It’s become a bit of a tradition over the last couple of years to kick start December with a bit of sparkle. This year has been no different as we spent Sunday getting festive with Christmas at Blenheim Palace. This year we would get to enjoy the Alice in the Palace experience as well as the Illuminated Light Trail.
As regular readers will know, we’ve been visiting Blenheim Palace, near Woodstock in Oxfordshire regularly for years. We live fairly close by, and it became a regular haunt for my NCT group when we had our babies and over the last ten years, it’s become somewhere that has a special place in our hearts. With my son’s tenth birthday approaching we like to get the celebrations started with a bit of magic and getting festive with Christmas at Blenheim Palace is just perfect for that.
We arrived at 4 pm and headed straight into the Palace for the Alice in Wonderland themed experience.
It’s all so cleverly done, and the Christmas trees alone are just amazing, without adding in all of the other special touches.
There are mirrored hallways to walk through and we all enjoyed seeing ourselves getting shorter and taller in front of those as we walked past. We did find that the flow of people got a bit jammed in certain areas compared to last year, but it didn’t really cause us too many issues.
Each stateroom takes you through a different part of the Alice in Wonderland story, there are letters from the book title to find as well as a white rabbit to discover.
We all had our personal favourites, I loved the White Rabbit Room and the Croquet Lawn, while my son spent ages admiring the Caterpillar and Cheshire Cat rooms. There are so many details to enjoy as you walk from room to room.
You never feel rushed to keep walking by as you go through the Alice in the Palace experience. The Madhatter’s Tea Party has so much detail to it that you really do need to be able to take it all in. If you like Alice in Wonderland, you will love this experience.
My son isn’t a funfair fan but plenty of others were enjoying the fairground rides – these do involve additional charges.
We decided to treat ourselves to some hot food as we wandered around the Christmas market.
My son enjoyed a hot dog, whilst we both had steak burgers, which were delicious and just what we needed on a cold evening. There are all sorts of crafts being sold on the various stalls, perfect if you’re looking for something different for a Christmas present.
We’ve covered the Christmas at Blenheim event for a couple of years and like to stop for a hot drink at the halfway point around the light trail, and decided we’d do the same again this year.
We’re always excited to see what the Illuminated Light Trail has to offer, to see what’s new, whether our favourites are there and to just enjoy getting festive with Christmas at Blenheim Palace.
The Cathedral of Light tunnel is there again this year and it’s as stunning as ever.
No matter how busy the Illuminated Light Trail is, we’ve never felt rushed or unable to see the different elements. The ground can be uneven, so you do need to take care in parts, but we know the walk so well it’s never been an issue for us.
Other favourites are the snowflakes on the pathways, my son always loves catching them with his feet.
We did miss the magical displays on the lake, the paper boats a couple of years ago were definitely my all-time favourites. We also preferred the boathouse decorations in previous years, this year seemed rather dull in comparison really. But it’s all down to personal preference isn’t it and I have friends who have visited and loved everything.
There was one new addition to the trail that brought back memories of my childhood when string art sets were all the rage. If you’re over 40 then you’ll know exactly what I mean!
We always like to stop at the selfie frames for a quick photo and the Sledge Christmas Tree made a lovely addition to the display this year.
Another new addition this year that we really liked involved long tubes for want of a better description. They provided a lot of fun.
Father Christmas puts on a little show as you walk on past, and even an almost ten year wanted to listen to what he had to say.
As the Illuminated Light Trail headed towards the back of Blenheim Palace we awaited one of favourite elements to the evening, the light projection on the Palace itself. Getting festive with Christmas at Blenheim Palace ends here and it’s the perfect finale in our opinion.
For more information about Christmas at Blenheim please visit the website.