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The Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt is once again embracing the festive spirit with the much-anticipated return of its magical Enchanted Christmas event, which illuminates the popular attraction into a dramatic winter wonderland.
Taking place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from the last weekend of November to the weekend before Christmas, the spectacular illuminated trail through the trees creates a magical experience for the whole family!
The trail itself is pushchair and wheelchair friendly and features exciting interactive displays to engage all the family. There will be a packed programme throughout the event, including Christmas themed entertainment, festive goodies, classic carols, enchanting stilt walkers, a traditional children’s carousel – and some very special guests.
The Forestry Commission is working hard behind the scenes to create some new and exciting elements for this year’s trail which will be unveiled in due course. Previous years have seen both bike and voice powered illuminations and giant illuminated smoke rings!
Don’t miss Father Christmas and his festive elves either. They’ve made the long trip to Gloucestershire from the North Pole and will be giving children an early Christmas present each. For the first time, Mrs Christmas will also be joining the festivities and will be keeping the little ones entertained with storytelling time in the restaurant - while mums and dads warm up with a hot drink.
Seasonal craft activities will keep creative visitors busy in the learning centre at the end of the trail. Children can make willow stars, glitter cones or reindeer trees – which all make great personal presents for family and friends.
And grown-ups looking to do a spot of last minute Christmas shopping - or add a touch of sparkle to their Christmas tree – are catered for too. They can browse among the beautiful selection of glass and wooden traditional Christmas decorations that will be on sale.
The Westonbirt Shop will also be open, selling Christmas gifts, foodie treats, advent calendars and all things festive! And for those with a rumbling tummy there’s festive fare galore, with a hog roast, toasted chestnuts, hot chocolate, mulled wine and much more.
Simon Hough, Recreation Manager, said:
“Enchanted Christmas is our signature event and is full of family fun and festivities in the lead up to Christmas. It gives families and friends the chance to enjoy a festive woodland walk together in the chilly night air and admire the beauty of Westonbirt when it’s illuminated.
“We’re still working on plans for the trail itself and hope to add even more exciting new elements to it over the coming months to make sure it’s even better than last year. We want it to be exciting, surprising and – most importantly – festive!”
The Enchanted Christmas trail opens between 27 November and 20 December from 5pm, with last entry to the car park at 7pm.
Due to such popular demand, Saturday evenings will be online booking only and no tickets will be available on the day.
Visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-christmas for more information about the event, including opening times and price information.
For more information please contact:
Emily Pryor, Westonbirt Arboretum, on 01666 881207 or e-mail Emily.email@example.com
Pippa Hanson, Camargue, on 01242 577277 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
The National Arboretum is situated at Westonbirt, three miles from Tetbury in Gloucestershire.
The National Arboretum is open from 9am Monday to Sunday all year round except Christmas Day.
Information on admission and events can be found at forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt.
1. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is managed by the Forestry Commission and is renowned worldwide for its tree and shrub collection. Home to five national collections, the arboretum covers 243 hectares (600 acres) and contains nearly 15,000 labelled specimens. Visitor numbers are 350,000 a year, with a membership of over 27,000. Westonbirt Arboretum was established in the 1850s by wealthy landowner Robert Holford and later developed by his son George Holford. Unlike many arboretums, Westonbirt is laid out according to aesthetic appeal rather than scientific or geographical criteria. Visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt.
2. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Further information can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk.
3. The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum was formed in 1985. The charity’s objects are to support the National Arboretum in promoting public understanding of the crucial role of trees to the environment and society. It is funded by membership receipts from over 28,000 members, other fundraising, and the use of the Great Oak Hall for events and activities. The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum is a registered charity (no. 293190). More information at www.fowa.org.uk
4. The Westonbirt Project will make a big difference to everybody who comes to the arboretum. The project will mean a better welcome, a better visit and a better understanding of the heritage and importance of this world class tree collection. More information can be found at www.westonbirtproject.co.uk.