A spell has been cast on Alnwick Garden this Christmas time. The Winter Sorcerer has been up to mischief and Alnwick Garden's beautiful Autumn spirit has fallen asleep, leaving an enchanted forest to grow and Christmas forgotten.
Welcome to A Christmas Tale, a magical night time journey through Alnwick Garden that gives you an opportunity to unlock the story of the Winter Sorcerer and see magic comes to life before your eyes in the form of light shows, projections, performances and music.
This magic adventure has been created by award winning artists Ross Ashton and Karen Monid, the team behind Durham Lumiere, Illuminating York and the Queen's Jubilee along with Robin Morley, producer and developer of Saltwells Enchanted Park.
Simon and I are both big kids so as soon as we heard about this great new Christmas event we decided to hop into our little rental car and take the journey up the A1 to see what's been going on at Alnwick Garden since our last visit back in the Summer.
I am a huge fan of Enchanted Park that is held in Saltwell Park in Gateshead each yet but unfortunately this year we missed out so we were very eager to see how Alnwick Garden's A Christmas Tale would compare.
We've been having a very mild Winter so far up here in the North East but I still couldn't resist snuggling up ready for our night time tour of the gardens.
Our evening began in a bit of confusion when we somehow managed to miss the guides at the beginning and ended up doing everything backwards. So if you are planning a trip make sure you ask which way you should go if you get lost like us. There is a story line and it definitely works best if you do it in order. There are guides and signs along the way, so don't ask me how we managed to miss them!
The adventure began in the Sorcerer's laboratory where he had been busy casing evil spells upon the garden, leaving an enchanted forest behind.
The scene was set with the most beautiful light and water displays and the garden was very atmospheric with dark corners, billowing smoke and haunting sounds round every corner. It wasn't long before we were completely immersed in the story!
I don't want to give too much away but look out for the enchanting birds that magically allow you to talk to the birds.
Disorientated by the twisting paths and colourful trees in the Enchanted Forest we stumbled into a clearing where we found the very sad looking Frog Prince sitting all alone on a bench. He explained to us that he'd been trapped by the Sorcerer's curse. Unfortunately Simon decided that his kiss wouldn't be magic enough to break the curse so we had to find another way to free the Frog Prince and rescue Christmas!
It wasn't long before we found the Sorceror and, I'm not going to lie, I was a little scared! The only way for us to break the curse was to knock on the door and wake him up. After a lot of encouragement from Simon I crept towards him quiet as a mouse and tentatively knocked on the door.
Talking to the Sorcerer was fantastic and I know its something that kids would love (I'm sure they're far braver than me!). I can't tell you what secrets he told us, you'll have to go and find out for yourselves.
Our trip through the Enchanted Forest ended at the most beautiful Christmas Tree I've ever seen. Snuggled between the trees of the forest and decorated in endless twinkly lights, I could have happily sat underneath it and just waited for Christmas.
Our final mission of the evening was to write down our Christmas Wishes and tie them to the branches of the Christmas Spell Tree.
I can't tell you what I wrote as I'm sure if I do the spell wont work and the wish won't come true, but I'm sure you can guess it was something soppy and wedding related!
We had the most fantastic evening at Alnwick Garden and it's a definite "must" to add to your Festive Fun list if you find yourself with a spare evening. Kids will absolutely love it, and if you're a grown up with a young heart like me and my Mr, it's a gorgeous place for a Christmas date night.
A Christmas Tale continues until Wednesday 23 December and costs £12.00 for adults and £7.00 for children. Tours run from 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm. See here for more information and tickets.