Begin 2021 with sparkle and bright lights, with the extension of Waddesdon’s hugely popular Winter Light programme throughout January for the first time, bringing a little cheer to a dark time of year.
The November lockdown has meant the first two weeks of Winter Light, part of this year’s Christmas at Waddesdon, have had to be cancelled (it was due to open on 14 November). This meant not only have thousands of tickets had to be refunded, but also the remaining December tickets have sold out very quickly. With capped visitor numbers for Christmas due to Covid-safe operating already in place, Waddesdon has decided to extend Winter Light through January to offer the opportunity for as many people possible to visit safely.
Visitors will be able to see the gardens ablaze with light, using a variety of state-of-the-art effects, combined with bespoke light installations, bringing the extraordinary landscape and woodland to life. They will also be treated to the spectacle of the façade of the Manor illuminated with dancing lights set to music.
The Winter Light trail will transform the Pleasure Grounds near the Aviary with dramatic colour and playful installations. Visitors can stroll under the stars beneath magically illuminated tree canopies and bushes draped in sparkle, with the planting transformed by moving light. There are immersive light features such as a valley of flickering flames creating a sea of fire, and dozens of suspended orbs in a sequenced walk-through musical light show.
Wandering down Miss Alice’s Drive from the Woodland Café to the Stables, visitors will find the route illuminated with work created by children from around 35 local schools on a theme of hope, called ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’. And at the Stables, they’ll find Parallels in the Coach House, an immersive light installation set to a soundscape, while outside, two giant twinkling baubles will offer the perfect photo opportunity to share and remember the day.
In addition to hot, take-away food and drink from the Woodland Café, Treaterie and Coffee Bar, the Manor Restaurant’s chefs have devised a special four-course dinner with a complimentary glass of Waddesdon Fizz to be enjoyed by those exploring Winter Light. Peter Tompkins, the Rothschild Wine Advisor, has also selected an optional flight of three wines, specially matched to the menu, for a sparkling evening out.
Simon Wales, Chief Operating Officer says, ‘The festive season is a magical time at Waddesdon, and this year, we are focusing on making the most of our extraordinary landscape and buildings for visitors to enjoy outdoors. National Trust members and others visiting us through January will help cover some of the huge investment we put into the Winter Light displays and will protect our charitable funds caring for the house, collections and gardens at Waddesdon. We’re looking forward to welcoming new visitors and those who know us well to enjoy the unique atmosphere, sparkle, glamour and fun of Waddesdon this winter.’
The Christmas Fair – that is open until 23 December – will not be operating 7-31 January.
Visitors are encouraged to capture and share their experiences using #WinterLightAtWaddesdon.
OPENING DATES, TIMES AND TICKETS, 7-31 JAN 2021
Thursday to Saturday: 4-10pm (hourly arrival timeslots, last admission 9pm)
Sundays: 4-8pm, (last admission 7pm)
Prices from £5 for National Trust members, £16 non-members (no discounts for RHS, HH or Art Fund members)*
All visits must be pre-booked with day and time of arrival in order to stagger admissions and minimise crowding.
Advance booking of timed admission, parking and shuttle bus tickets is essential for all visitors, including National Trust members.
Full details of prices and online booking details: waddesdon.org.uk/whats-on/winter-light
Online booking: waddesdon.seetickets.com/content/ticket-options
Enjoy a meal in the Manor Restaurant as part of your visit on Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 6pm and 6.30pm each day (5.30pm and 6pm on Sundays). £42 per person*
* all prices will be subject to booking fee