Saturday, 9 December 2017

Sudeley Castle - Spectacle of Light

. . . AND IT'S BACK. . . 
'Spectacle of Light'  at Sudeley Castle (nr Winchcombe, Gloucestershire), has for the 2nd year running opened its doors to the general public with its after-dark showstopping light display. With majestic trees, Moroccan laterns and new illuminated features cascading in / around the castle grounds and ruins, creating a magical feel, it certainly is an attraction worth visiting.

Sudeley Castle is based in the heart of the Cotswolds, and if you paid attention during History classes at school, you will know that Queen Catherine Parr, last surviving wife of Henry VIII, once resided and is buried in St Mary's Chapel in the castle. Now a privately owned estate, Sudeley Castle is littered with royal history, dating back a 1000 years. 

This evening was the first time I had returned to Sudeley Castle in over 20+ years, and I can still remember the day I came to visit the castle as a child with family; running around the gardens without a care in the world. At that age, no child really appreciates just how beautiful a place is until you reach an age where you are able to understand things a lot better. Having missed out on attending Spectacle of Light in 2016, I wanted to make sure I didn't miss out again this year, but also have the opportunity to appreciate the history which Sudeley Castle holds, with the grounds beautifully lit with over 20,000 LEDs.

Most would assume or think ''it's just a few lights here and there, and some music'', no, it is so much more than that. The choice of lighting and colours have been carefully selected and placed, in order to give a feel and vibe of festivity, whilst remaining understated and in keeping to the style of Sudeley Castle. The choice of music, has been carefully picked to match the mood, setting and choice of light colours, which creates a different atmosphere in various parts of the grounds. I particularly enjoyed the 'Queen's Garden', which was just breathtaking, with Tchaikovsky's 'Nutcracker' music playing in the background.

I'm usually a fast walker, so assumed I would have been round the grounds in about 20 minutes . . .nope, I spent almost an hour, wandering through the spectacle, taking lots of pictures. There is a fair bit of walking, nothing too strenuous, but it is manageable. However, after almost an hour, I was practically frozen (slight exaggeration). So I would advise anyone attending to dress appropriately, i.e. lots of layers, as it became bitterly cold. Brrrr. Also, wear suitable, sturdy footwear, as the grounds are wet, and slightly muddy.

As I was making my way through the grounds, every so often I got a 'whiff' of mulled wine, until I realised dotted around the grounds were little 'cafes on wheels', selling hot refreshments. Not only mulled wine was on offer, but also hot chocolate, savory snacks, to keep you warm whilst wandering through the spectacle.

When I realised I could no longer feel my fingers (literally my hands were burning), I took that as my cue it was time to find warmth and return home, and I am glad I did as it became very busy after 6pm!

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit (thank you Sudeley Castle / PR team), and I would definitely recommend visiting. It is an event for all to enjoy, no matter what age. And I would suggest getting there early, i.e. 5pm, so you can enjoy the spectacle and the music, without the masses.

Spectacle of Light is open on selected nights:

Friday 8th December - Sunday 10th December 2017

Friday 15th December - Saturday 23rd December 2017

Wednesday 27th December - Saturday 30th December 2017 

It is advisable to book tickets in advance (10% saving), or you can purchase on the day, after 4pm, but at full price. All ticket / price information is available on

*Disclaimer: Ticket provided in exchange for review.Opinions and photographs are that of my own.


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