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Malvern Winter Glow [Review]

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Malvern Winter Glow is a brand new Christmas event for 2020. Visitors can stroll around an illumination trail with a variety of light installations. Located at the enormous Three Counties Show Ground in Malvern, Worcestershire, the event takes place across a vast area making social distancing easy. Malvern Winter Glow runs from 9th December 2020 to 3rd January 2021 and is selling out quickly because they are limiting the numbers to allow social distancing.

Malvern Winter Glow house in Santa’s village

About Malvern Winter Glow

At a time when many Christmas events are being cancelled, Malvern Winter Glow is taking place for the first time ever in 2020. The event consists of a series of wide, accessible paths surrounded by a variety of light displays. During the day, the view of the Malvern Hills from the Three Counties Show Ground is spectacular. By night, the beautiful illuminations create a completely different landscape.

Malvern Winter Glow uses the natural layout of the show ground as a base for the displays. Rows of trees that have lost their leaves for winter are flooded with colour. Garden areas are lit up with fairy lights and paths around the show ground have been widened to allow social distancing.

Numbers have been intentionally limited for this event to allow for social distancing. There is a tent to provide shelter near the food outlets but the rest of the event takes place outside.

Huge floral lights at Malvern Winter Glow December 2020
Huge floral lights at Malvern Winter Glow December 2020
Blue light display with geometric patterns
Blue light display with geometric patterns

What we thought of Malvern Winter Glow

We headed to the Three Counties Show Ground to explore Malvern Winter Glow. It’s a really nicely laid out event that feels very safe. With numbers limited and entries timed, it was easy to stay in our own little family bubble and enjoy the displays.

Two girls in front of the giant flowers at Malvern Winter Glow December 2020
Posing in front of the giant flowers

Even as we drove up the road towards the show ground, the girls started to get excited because they could see the rows of trees with lights shining on them. Then they saw the little houses in a Santa’s village light display. Throughout the walk, the girls looked out for the houses. Towards the end of the trail, we spotted them. Each one looked like a little gingerbread house and to the children’s delight, they got a glimpse of elves, the Nutcracker and even Santa in a little hut at the end.

Little white houses in the Santa's Village display at Malvern Winter Glow
Gingerbread houses in the Santa’s Village display
Hut with lights around and cartoon elf by the window
An elf in Santa’s hut

Illuminations varied from huge, elaborate flowers to a tunnel with hundreds of sparkling fairy lights. There was plenty of time to admire each one and take a few photos before moving on to the next. We also enjoyed the tiny displays around the Show Ground’s features such as the little wishing well. We had to go past that twice so Lia could have a double wish for a horse. Fingers crossed there’s no real magic in that wishing well.

Large butterfly light with illuminated trees in the background
Butterfly light at Malvern Winter Glow with illuminated trees behind
Two little girls in a tunnel of fairy lights
Posing in the fairy light tunnel

Food and drink

A few food caravans were set up half way around the illumination trail. We went straight to the event from the children’s piano lessons and didn’t get chance to eat, so we decided to get something there instead. As vegetarians, the choice was limited. I didn’t see anything vegan there at all.

I had hoped that some of the food vendors that go to local festivals like the Sunshine Festival might have been there selling the slightly healthier options we usually go for. As it was, everything was quite greasy and we were very underwhelmed with what we ended up with.

Huge neon flower light with green stems and purple tops at Malvern Winter Glow illumination display
Neon flower lights
Two little girls posing with a reindeer made up of fairy lights
Fairy light reindeer

Other things that are useful to know

  • Tickets: Malvern Winter Glow tickets must be booked in advance from the Three Counties Show Ground Website. Some dates are selling out already. The ticket price is £16 for adults, £11 for children aged 3 to 16 and under 3s are free.
  • Timings: We probably spent about an hour wandering around the displays. We were there a little longer due to eating there as well and we also walked around a second time.
  • What to wear: The whole event takes place outside so it is important to wrap up warm for Malvern Winter Glow. Wellies or other strong footwear are advisable as it does get muddy in places although the majority is on hardstanding paths.
  • Dogs: This is not a dog friendly event, assistance dogs only are allowed into the Three Counties Show Ground for this event.
  • Lights: Some areas do get a little bit dark in between displays. We found it useful that the children had glow sticks and flashing hair bands on so we could see where they were.
  • Accessibility: The majority of the paths are wide, hardstanding and fine for wheelchairs and buggies. However, there are a few bits where it seems to be necessary to go across muddy grass which could be problematic for wheels, especially as time goes on and it gets muddier.
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