Luminate returns to Sandringham: Here’s what we thought of reimagined winter light trail on royal estate
A magical mile-long outdoor light trail has returned to the Royal Sandringham Estate for the festive season.
Luminate Sandringham is back at the King's Royal Parkland, with an after-dark winter light show as the main event, along with the Henry Chipperfield 1906 Vintage Fairground and some festive food and drink.
The Lynn News was invited to take a stroll around the woodlands as they were brought to life on Friday, before the trail was officially opened to members of the public the following day.
I went along with my partner and his two children, and here’s what we thought of it.
Having had my first Luminate experience alongside two of my colleagues last year, I had an idea of what to expect – although it was the first time for the rest of my group.
And it was just as dazzling as my original experience – with the woods transformed into an immersive trail of beautiful lights, but with some exciting new additions.
The minute we set foot on the trail, the kids were excited to encounter two animals who welcomed us with animated greetings.
After this point, our senses were treated to a multitude of lights, lasers, projections and holograms – including a couple of interactive games that the youngsters were all keen to try.
We particularly enjoyed the enchanted fairyland where lots of tiny magical creatures were dotted around the woodland.
And we made the most of a refreshment spot at around the halfway mark, enjoying hot chocolates and toasting marshmallows on fire pits which added to the festive feel. These weren’t at the cheap end of the scale in terms of price, but they were a nice treat.
Another highlight was an installation of dozens of columns of lights placed in rows along the long “vista” which changed colour and appeared to dance along to the magical musical soundtrack.
This was a custom installation produced by Adam Povey Lighting (APL), which currently provides design and production to other attractions such as Harry Potter and the Forbidden Forest Experience, Christmas at Kew and The Secret Cinema.
Once the trail had come to an end, we took on a Christmas tree maze – made from 200 recycled sparkling Norway Spruces – which created an incredibly festive atmosphere, but this was probably aimed at families with younger children.
And as if this wasn’t enough, we concluded our trip to Luminate at Sandringham by making the most of the Henry Chipperfield 1906 Vintage Fairground.
A spin on the ferris wheel, carousel and helter skelter rounded off our evening perfectly, as the kids were particularly keen to give each attraction a go.
For those wanting further refreshment, there were also numerous food vendors situated at the fairground – close to the visitor centre – offering Bratwurst sausages, churros and coffee, and more. Of course, all of these extras also come at an additional cost to the main Luminate ticket price.
Having been in 2022, I felt the reimagined Luminate brought a lot of the successful – did I mention “magical”? – elements of last year’s version, but it was different enough not to feel like I was having the same experience just a year later.
As for the rest of my group, they also loved it and left saying what a brilliant, festive evening it had been – seeing Sandringham in a whole new light.
Luminate Sandringham Winter Light Trail will run until Sunday, December 24.
Entry is via advanced timed entry tickets with slots available every 15 minutes between 4pm-8pm lasting approximately 60-90 minutes.
Tickets cost £18.25 for an adult, £13.25 for a child or £61 for a family from Monday to Thursday up to Thursday, December 7.
They cost £23.25 for an adult, £16.75 for a child, or £76.50 for a family on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and everyday from Monday, December 11.
To find out more and book a ticket visit: www.luminate.live/sandringham-estate
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