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Witley Court is a beautiful if somewhat eerie English Heritage property in Worcestershire. The building itself has been abandoned since 1937 when it was destroyed by fire. For selected dates in December, Christmas pays a visit to the court and gardens in the form of the Enchanted Witley illuminations. Light, colour, music, fairground rides and a talking tree are on hand to entertain visitors. We visited Enchanted Witley to see what it was all about. Bubbles the dog came along too.
About Enchanted Witley
Enchanted Witley is a light trail around the grounds of Witley Court. Lanterns hang from the trees and fairy lights twinkle to light your way. Arrive at the main entrance and make your way through the gift shop to a stall selling marsh mallows that you can toast on an open fire. They also sell hot drinks, mince pies and cakes. From there, you start the trail by heading down the path towards the court.
Numerous different kinds of lights guide your way along the track. Stop to see the fairy houses and doors into the trees. The path winds its way up to the court itself, which is illuminated and decorated for Christmas. Make your way around to the fountain to watch a short music and light display before enjoying the fairground rides, food and drink.
Then it’s time to head back to the beginning of the trail. En route, you’ll pass the lake where several buttons allow you to control the lights. Light up the lake in different colours and patterns before heading on your way. Back at the entrance, there’s one last chance for a toasted marsh mallow or a hot drink before heading home.
Our evening at Witley Court
We visited Enchanted Witley on the opening night, which was a Thursday. We were surprised that it wasn’t crowded at all. The trail is around a mile long so it soaks up visitors really well. The girls absolutely loved looking at all the lights, their particular favourites were the fairy houses and the talking oak tree. I thought the sparkly archway was really pretty too.
Music and light displays at the fountain take place every 15 minutes. It’s only a short show, but it had us singing along to We Wish You a Merry Christmas. The girls were very excited to see the little fairground rides at the court. They were aimed at very little ones, Libby and Lia are aged 7 and 5 and they were excited to go on them. However, I don’t think they’d be of much interest to children very much older than that because they’re very small.
The food menu was relatively basic but it catered well for vegetarians and vegans. There was a choice of hot dogs, a halloumi burger or a vegan noodle soup. We tried them all between us and everything was really tasty. Hot drinks including mulled wine were also available. We all had a really lovely evening at Enchanted Witley. Before we even left, my husband was saying he was going to recommend it to people he worked with. It’s a lovely evening out in the fresh air, ideal for families.
What you need to know about Enchanted Witley
Enchanted Witley Dates: The event runs from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th, Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th and Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd December 2019. You can book tickets on the Witley Court website.
Opening times: First entries are at 4.30pm and the event closes at 9pm. Entry times are 4.30, 5.30 and 6.30 and visitors are free to stay as long as they like and walk around the trail more than once if they wish.
How long is the trail? The trail is 0.8 to 1 mile long
How long does the Enchanted Witley trail take? We arrived just before 6pm and left just after 8pm. We took our time walking around, had some food and the girls went on the fairground rides. I’d advise allowing at least an hour and a half.
Food and drink at Enchanted Witley: Snack food is available right at the start in the form of marsh mallows, cakes, mince pies and hot and cold drinks. At the court, larger meals are available. To give you an idea of the prices, we spent a total of £30 on two hotdogs, a halloumi burger, a soup, two hot chocolates, a mulled wine and a coffee.
How much are the fairground rides? There are four rides in total and each costs £2 per child.
Is Enchanted Witley dog friendly? Yes, dogs on leads are allowed in the grounds.
What age is it suitable for? This is really suitable for any age. The fairground rides are aimed at little ones but older children and adults will enjoy the trail.
What should I wear to Enchanted Witley? It’s very cold and all outdoors. It is also quite muddy in parts. I’d advise wrapping up warm and wearing wellies.
Can you visit Witley Court at other times? Yes, it’s an English Heritage property open to the public. You can read our review of a dog friendly family day out at Witley Court.
What other Christmas events are taking place in the West Midlands? See my guide to Christmas days out in the West Midlands.
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