When Clare asked me if I’d like to review the brand new “Christmas at Bedgebury” experience for My Tunbridge Wells, I jumped at the chance! I was intrigued to see the landscape I’m fond of in a new light. When the family and I left the warmth of home at 4pm on a rainy Saturday, I wasn’t so sure, but it was a lovely, unique experience that started the festive season off perfectly!
♥ What is Christmas at Bedgebury?
20 minutes drive south of Tunbridge Wells; the illuminated trail twists and turns through Bedgebury’s stunning collection of conifers, turning every clearing and pathway into a captivating, magical experience. Inspired by the landscape, the large scale scenes vary from spectacular tree tops lit in breathtaking ways, to dancing jets of water, dreamlike lit pathways and entrancing tunnels made entirely of tiny lights.
♥ How child friendly is it?
My 5-year-old son thought it was an “amazing” adventure and was is no way bored, because there’s something new to discover around every corner. His highlights were a pathway of moving lights under the Giant Redwoods and toasting marshmallows by a lake lit with fire lanterns. He enjoyed the quiz dotted along the route and was nicely surprised by a short interactive show featuring the Big Man himself. It’s buggy friendly and my 1-year-old daughter seemed quite mesmerised but I’d say that it’s not ideal for inquisitive toddlers to run free, as only the trail is lit and it was fairly busy in areas.
I would recommend that the children wearing wellies because as soon as you stepped off the gravel path it was muddy.
♥ What food and drink options are there?
Two outdoor huts behind the Visitor Centre serve festive baps/hot dogs, gingerbread, hot chocolate and mulled wine (quite pricey but for research purposes we tested it and I can inform you it was very good!!). The indoor café has a selection of sandwiches, soups, pasties, chips, etc. and kids lunchbox style meals. At the halfway point a small chalet village serves snacks, plus there’s a handy toilet at this location too.
♥ How long did it take?
The trail took us just over an hour to walk, plus we had a drink on arrival, fed the kids and then did the traditional children’s rides (tokens extra). We took the 4.45pm arrival slot and were home by 7pm.
♥ When is it open?
Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th December, Wednesday 12th – Monday 24th December and Wednesday 26th – Sunday 30th December. Arrival times from 4.45pm (4.20pm from 12th December) and approx. every half an hour until 8pm.
♥ Entry Prices:
Tickets in advance are £17 Adults, £10.50 Children (5-16 years), £50 family, free for carers/under 5’s – plus transaction fee (prices on the day are a bit more). Parking is £6 per car. Bedgebury strongly advise booking early and some of the earlier slots at weekends are already sold out.
♥ Would I recommend it?
Christmas at Bedgebury might initially seem a bit costly, especially if you factor in food and drink there but it’s really professionally done, with lots to see along the trail and personally I think the experience is value for money against some other Christmas attractions. It didn’t feel commercial – just really Christmassy and a world away from the stresses this time of year can bring! I think all ages will appreciate it, in a group of friends, as a family or on a date night.
Tickets for Christmas at Bedgebury can be purchased HERE.
Emma was invited as a guest to Christmas at Bedgebury for the purpose of this honest review.