Archive for the ‘Enchanted Christmas’ Category

Behind the scenes at Enchanted Christmas

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Last night we tested the lights on the Enchanted Christmas illuminated trail. It’s looking good and we can’t wait to open the gates on 27 November!

Tickets are available at Booking is advised to guarantee entry on any night of the event, and required on Saturday evenings due to exceptional demand.

Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum credit Forestry Commission - Incense cedarEnchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum credit Forestry Commission - Victory GladeEnchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum credit Forestry Commission - Victory Glade

Christmas fundraising – a big thank you!

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Thank you to everyone who bought a raffle ticket, bid on a silent auction lot or who took part in the activities in the Great Oak Hall during Enchanted Christmas.

I hope you had as much fun as we did.

Thanks to you, we’ve raised over £4,000 to help support the arboretum.

For anyone who took part in the guess the number of lights on the trail competition, there were actually 22,189 lights. Well done to Oliver for guessing the closest.

We were particularly impressed by the amazing drawings that our younger visitors did for the children’s drawing competition. We could only have two winners but have included some of the drawings that we thought were particularly good.

Grace aged 8 and Camilla aged 6 were our winners – click on the first two images in our gallery to see their work. The gallery also includes some of the other lovely drawings entered into the competition:

Thank you also to all the amazing volunteers who helped and to Snowbusiness and Powerline for their help with the event and to Calcot Kitchens, Neil Carmichael MP, The Vine Tree, Highgove, Williams Automobiles, Kena and Sean Magee, Whatley Manor, Francois Bronn, Waitrose Malmesbury, Thomas of Malmesbury, The James Dyson Foundation, Paul Hayden from Greenwood Courses, Ballooning Network, David Ewins, The Dormy House Hotel, Margaret Headen, Bloomsbury Publishing, Jigsaw, Cotswold beauty, Tracklements, Whichford Pottery, Wentworth’s, Cheltenham Festivals, Henrietta’s House and The Bath Chorus for their generous support.

Lorraine Jones, Fundraising Manager, Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

NEW! Giant undercover festive area… must be Enchanted Christmas!

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

This year we have a (brand new!) giant marquee which will be an undercover area for food, drink, seating and browsing Christmas gifts. 

Under the marquee there will be lots of tasty treats including hog roast, burgers, hot dogs, baked potatoes, baguettes, mulled wine and hot chocolate, with or without Baileys. I like mine with Baileys and a great dollop of whipped cream… yum!

There will also be the children’s carousel and Westonbirt’s new Shepherds Hut, which will have beautiful Christmas decorations for sale, some of which are traditional wooden decorations from Germany.


So, if it’s raining on the night you come along – fear not, you can eat, shop and relax in the dry.

Julie McKellar
Events Co-ordinator

Turning a learning centre into a wintry wonderland! by Caroline Bennett, Learning Assistant

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Christmas is coming! There’s no getting away from it now, we are in full decoration frenzy here in the learning department at Westonbirt. Today Chris and I were joined by our team of volunteers and two professional “winter effects” specialists. The task in hand is to create a magical place for visitors to make natural crafts during our Enchanted Christmas event. This is what it takes:

To turn a learning centre into a wintry wonderland:

10 sheets of moulded “ice”
11 Christmas trees
150 kgs of wax
4 trailer loads of fresh greenery
44 metres of red velvet ribbon
50 metres of green satin ribbon
One snow machine

A child enjoying crafts at Enchanted Christmas

And to prepare the crafts:

4000 pipe cleaners cut into quarters
5000 willow stems from the Somerset levels
Thousands of cones, collected from the arboretum and then sorted by species
2kg of cinnamon, lightly crushed with a sledge hammer
1kg of star anise
600g of cloves
A pile (taller than me) of large cypress branches
100 metres of muslin, cut into 15cm squares
100 fabric crayons (A quick experiment shows that this will definitely not be enough, we need at least 300 more)
60 more metres of green and red ribbon
40 balls of wool
3.5 kg of glitter
5 litres of glue
40 yoghurt pots donated by our volunteers
9 cups of tea
8 cups of coffee
1 hot chocolate
18 mince pies to feed our willing workers!

We are getting slightly over excited. I really hope you can all come to see the final effect!

Find out more and buy tickets for an Enchanted Christmas…