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Review of Christmas at Bedgebury illuminated trail

If you're looking for the most Instagrammable event in Kent to do this Christmas, you need to head into the forest.

Christmas at Bedgebury is back, after opening to visitors last night, and I doubt there was anyone there who didn't take at least one picture on their phone.

Christmas at Bedgebury is back
Christmas at Bedgebury is back

Everywhere you look along the mile-long trail, there's a perfect picture just waiting to be snapped. Infact organisers Forestry England had provided extra picture frame opportunities to cater for this - even a lower one so you can include children and dogs in your momentoes.

The problem was deciding what not to take a picture of, everything looked so picture perfect (though, to be fair, my own pictures didn't do it justice).

The illuminated trail wowed visitors last year with its lights trail through the woodland, and its second year was eagerly anticipated.

Its route around the Goudhurst pinetum was a little different this year and it had some different elements, as well as firm favourites including the tunnel with tens of thousands of LED lights.

There was also a brilliant new installation, where you could walk through and it played music and changed colour - a big hit with the kids.

Giant pine cones at Bedgebury
Giant pine cones at Bedgebury

There were lights on the lake; the chance to toast marshmallows and the sound of Christmas classics along the way such as Walking in the Air and White Christmas.

With a chill in the air and the need for gloves for the first time this season, it was impossible even for the most Scrooge-like visitor not to feel a little festive.

There was evidence of Rudolph along the way, including the new light installation Rudolph Nose the Way by Tunbridge Wells-based light sculpture artist Jon Owens and there were some fun firey giant pine cones to light the way.

Along with the new elements, there were also some missing from last year. I missed the singing lamppost - but I think I was alone with that one - and the light fountains at the start weren't there.

But the finale, which took place on the lake, made up for it. Let's just say, if you like a bit of Love Actually at Christmas you'll enjoy it (I videoed it, but it's too much of a spoiler to include here).

Kids loved this new light and music installation at Bedgebury
Kids loved this new light and music installation at Bedgebury

The need to wear sensible shoes and take care with our footing was emphasised by the many friendly marshals on the route, though we found the trail fine underfoot and my white converse came away unscathed.

There are opportunities to buy spiced cider, mulled wine and hot chocolate, and try traditional Victorian fairground rides, charged separately, and there are plenty of facilities for freshening up.

You could even see Father Christmas and his elves on the way round.

Get ready for the finale
Get ready for the finale

Tickets in advance are £18 for adults or £54 for a family and the trail is open until to Monday, December 30. Book at christmasatbedgebury.co.uk

To find out what’s going on in the county and for all the latest entertainment news click here.

Thousands of lights at Bedgebury
Thousands of lights at Bedgebury

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