AD | Press trip
If you love a walk around a National Trust property, take a look at Wild Winter After Dark. Discover Blickling in a new way, following the light trail all the way to the festive farmyard.
Event dates and times
Blickling’s Wild Winter After Dark event runs from 2nd December to 17th December 2023. Time slots start at 5 pm until 7 pm in intervals of 15 minutes. The last slot is 6:45 to 7 pm, 1 hour before closing at 8 pm.
Adult – £16
Child (5-17) – £10
Under 5s – Free but a ticket must be booked
Essential Companion/Carer – Free but a ticket must be booked
Family (1 adult & up to 3 children) – £32
Family (2 adults & up to 3 children) – £44
Parking at Blickling
As part of your pre-booked ticket to Wild Winter After Dark parking is included. The main car park at Blickling is quite large, with lots of space.
This winter light trail has tried to include as many people as possible by including an accessible route. The trail is around 1 mile long, with options to follow a route with or without steps. This is fantastic for wheelchair users, parents with pushchairs or prams or those who use an electric scooter. Some areas even have accessible matting.
For an accessible toilet, you can find a Changing Place available in the Farmyard.
About Wild Winter After Dark
Our biggest fundraiser of the year returns, this Christmas with a wilder twist! Begin your evening journeying through the magically lit walled garden, before heading to the Parterre illuminated with colour and light. Listen out for the sounds of nature as you explore, take in the natural scent of the trees in the illuminated Arboretum and look out for tracks and footprints along the way – can you spot all the animals on your way to the festive Farmyard?https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/norfolk/blickling-estate/
A winter walk at Blickling
Checking in for our time slot was really easy, thanks to the great staff at Blickling. Before we started our journey through this captivating light trail, Erin was given a trail to follow. By following the trail, you can find letters as you go around which then spell out a word at the end! What a great idea to have children’s trails, to help keep them busy and entertained.
The Walled Garden
Your winter journey starts in the walled garden, walking through the tunnels of light. This is such a beautiful way to start your evening and it’s a perfect place for some great photos. As you walk through the walled garden, you can take in all of the sounds of the garden. This area is beautifully lit and it’s bound to get you excited for the rest of the walk.
Coming through to the estate’s gardens in front of the house, you’ll also find the shadow theatre. Blickling’s Wild Winter After Dark is such a multi-sensory experience and fun for visitors of all ages. Here, you can add costumes and props and then make up your own story behind the screen. This was such a fun idea and it was so popular during our visit. What a fun way to make the most of the dark winter nights, with something you can’t normally do at Blickling.
A walk up to the illuminated arboretum was one of my favourite parts of Wild Winter After Dark. The path leading up to the arboretum is a walkway of Christmas tree-lined avenues, lit up in festive gold. Along the walk, we came across a fun game where you could throw bean bags into targets. This really shows that children and families have been thought about, with different things going on at various points of the trail. The arboretum itself is absolutely stunning. Purple lights decorate the outside, while a huge disco ball is at home inside.
A walk through the woodland
The light trail continues through a winter wonderland of more of Blickling’s outside spaces. Walking through the woods, the paths are lit up with twinkly lights. You’ll find another fun game for children (and adults to play) and this time it’s musical fungi. We had such a fun time here, even waiting for another turn as we let people have turns in between. If you’ve been to Blickling before during the day, then Wild Winter After Dark lets you really experience it differently at night.
At the end of the trail, you’ll find a selection of hand-picked street food vendors in the festive farmyard. From chips to bubble waffles to burritos, there’s something for everyone.
A great addition to the delicious outdoor food vendors is a fire pit where you can toast marshmallows. For £3 we got 2 large marshmallows on a stick and Erin was able to toast them exactly how she wanted to. She was a little too short to be able to reach the fire properly so I helped out to finish them off. For me, marshmallows are the perfect festive food at light trails and a cheap way to keep the kids happy.
In the festive farmyard you can also visit the second hand bookshop. We absolutely love this bookshop and they always have lots of choice. We loved seeing books for children wrapped up and labelled by age. These only cost £1 each and they would make fantastic stocking fillers.
How long can you expect to spend doing the trail?
Our time slot started at 5 pm and we got to the festive farmyard at around 6:30 pm. I would suggest that around 2 hours is the ideal length of time, especially if you’re visiting with children.
Would we go back?
We had such a wonderful time at this evening Christmas event through the magically illuminated gardens of the Blickling Estate. We were surrounded by the natural scent of trees, looked out for wildlife tracks and took our time on this one mile long trail. Family tickets are reasonably priced and this light trail is quite a bit cheaper than some others we have been to. If you’re looking for a family-friendly light trail in North Norfolk then give this one a go. I know we’ll be back next year!