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Review: Christmas at Bedgebury, illuminated winter wonderland at Goudhurst, Kent

By Angela Cole

The festive season may be awash with twinkling lights, but deep in the darkest woods in Kent's Weald is an illuminated winter wonderland that presents them in a new, different and breathtaking way.

This is the first year Bedgebury Pinetum has presented Christmas at Bedgebury, a forest of festive lights amid the Forestry Commission's woodland.

The illuminated wonderland, which opened this weekend and runs until Sunday, December 30, transforms the pinetum into a light show complete with music all around, including Christmas carols.

The Tunnel of Light at Christmas at Bedgebury Picture: Matt Bristow
The Tunnel of Light at Christmas at Bedgebury Picture: Matt Bristow

The trail starts with colourful water fountains dancing in time to the music - but they are only a tiny glimpse of what treats there are to come.

There are illuminated walkways, singing lampposts, giant Christmas trees and opportunities for selfies at every turn, even with humungous mistletoe.

At each turn, when you think you have seen the most breathtaking light show, there is another. The Tunnel of Light with its million pea-lights along a 70m walkway does take your breath away, while a lake view of rings of fire in the Fire Garden had visitors mesmerised at the water's edge.

The Pitaya Wisps high up in the trees need to be seen to be believed, and are unique to Bedgebury and visitors will be seeing them for the first time in the UK.

Pitaya Wisps at Bedgebury Picture: Matt Bristow
Pitaya Wisps at Bedgebury Picture: Matt Bristow

The mile-long route can take as short or long a time as you would like and there is so much to see you won't find yourselves crowding behind others.

If you want to learn as you go along there are also signposts telling you about some of the trees in the woodland all year round.

The site also has food stalls, including along the route, and some children's rides at the beginning and end for the very little ones in your group.

Christmas at Bedgebury after dark illuminated trail Picture: Matt Bristow
Christmas at Bedgebury after dark illuminated trail Picture: Matt Bristow

The illuminated trail also finishes with the most spectacular lit walkway which will have you standing and watching in awe for some time.

The after dark trail is available at Bedgebury until Sunday, December 30 and costs £17 for adults, £10.50 for children and under fives and carers free.

To book your place, visit Christmasatbedgebury.co.uk or call 0844 995 1365.

To share your pictures on social media, use #christmasatbedgebury

Christmas at Bedgebury
Christmas at Bedgebury

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