Thursday, 3 October 2019

Brand New Light Show in Teesside - Nightfall 2019 By The Light of the Moon at Preston Park Museum

This is a sponsored advertisement feature with Stellar Projects

This is the time of year where I start to get really excited about fitting loads of night time events into my diary. I love nothing more than heading out on an adventure after dark - bundled up in my big coat complete with scarf, wooly hat and the promise of a hot chocolate under the stars. If there's one evening activity I love above all others it's a spectacular light show and I'm so thrilled to be telling you all about Nightfall, a brand new light-based event that is taking place in Teesside this Winter.

By The Light of the Moon is a bit of a first in Teesside, a brand new family friendly light show produced by Stellar Projects and coming to Preston Park Museum and Grounds on 5 and 6 December between 4:30 pm and 9:30 pm.  The self guided moon themed installation showcases a trail of beautiful art work made up of lights and complemented by music, performance and storytelling.

Brand New Light Show in Teesside - Nightfall 2019 By The Light of the Moon at Preston Park Museum and Grounds


Celebrating 50 years since the moon landings, the show will explore the magic, myth and beauty of the moon - art works will include a kaleidoscope of butterflies and a sky full of stars  with plenty of moon themed surprises to delight you on the night.

The  most exciting part (other than the promise of hot chocolate, mulled wine and the street food served in the outdoor teepee of course) is that the trail will culminate with the most beautiful open space displaying the world famous "Museum of the Moon" - something that I have been wanting to see for years! The Luke Jerram designed large moon sculpture features actual detailed imagery of the lunar surface and is meant to be absolutely incredible.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about then you need to take a look at The Museum of the Moon to see some of the truly incredible photographs from its tours.  It has been showcased in a variety of weird, wonderful and beautiful places including a swimming pool in Milan, suspended from a crane at Glastonbury and half submerged in the Bristol Docks.

I am thrilled that this beautiful piece of art is finally visiting us in the North East and that it will be making its home in Teesside for a couple of nights - this really is something not to be missed!

Brand New Light Show in Teesside - Nightfall 2019 By The Light of the Moon at Preston Park Museum


What you need to know:

  • Nightfall will take place on 5 and 6 December 4:30pm to 9:30 pm (last entry at 8:00 pm) at Preston park Museum & Grounds
  • The event is pre ticketed and entry is staggered into 15 minute time slots.  No tickets will be available on the gate.  Tickets can be purchased here
  • Tickets cost £5.00 for early bird (subject to availability), £6.00 for standard and Group of Four £20.00
  • Under 2s go free but will still need a ticket so please order an Under 2 free ticket when purchasing your tickets
  • Parking spaces are available to book alongside tickets but spaces are limited.  Alternative Park and Walk spaces will be available once the main car park is full

Where to find Preston Park Museum & Grounds

Yarm Road
Stockton on Tees
TS18 3RH

If using a Sat Nav please use the postcode TS18 3RJ

This is a sponsored advertisement with Stellar Projects
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Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Harry Potter Themed Tour of Alnwick Castle with Lundgren Tours

This is an advertisement feature with Lundgren Tours

Are you ready for an adventure like no other?  I'm very excited to bring a bit of magic to your day with the Harry Potter themed tour of Alnwick Castle with Lundgren Tours.

My passion for Northumberland runs deep - I have endless love for our rolling hills, coastal views and pretty villages. Most weekends you will find me out and about exploring our wonderful neighbourhood yet there is a part of our region that I've never really discovered - our connection to the magical world of Harry Potter!  I've heard people mention that parts of Alnwick Castle were used in the creation of the famous films but have to admit it's something I've not really looked into before so when Lundgren Tours invited me to join them on their Harry Potter themed tour in Northumberland, I knew I'd be in for a fantastical ride (by broomstick of course!)

Harry Potter Themed Tour of Alnwick Castle with Lundgren Tours


Explore the North with Lundgren Tours

Lundgren Tours are an award winning family run tour company who host unique and informative guided coach and walking tours of the North, all lead by tour guide Rob who delivers a tour filled with creative storytelling and plenty of laughs.  The tours promise a fully immersive experience perfect for anyone who loves to learn in a fun environment.

There is something for everyone withThemed Day Trips, Private Tours and Corporate Tour Packages with plenty on offer including Viking Tours of Holy Island, Walking tours of the Lake District, Wildlife Boat Trips and a Game of Thrones themed tour of Hadrian's Wall. The Lundgren Tours offer a great opportunity to explore with someone who's truly passionate about the countryside, history and magic of the North.

Harry Potter Tour of Alnwick Castle with Lundgren Tours


I spy Alnwick Castle!

Waking up on the day of our tour to torrential rain and very cloudy skies we bundled ourselves up in waterproofs and walking boots to head out for the day. Of course, no great British adventure can ever be guaranteed to be filled with sunshine and sometimes if you have a plan you have to just get out there regardless of the weather.

We joined the Lundgren Tour at the most incredible vantage point of Alnwick Castle, somewhere that I've never actually been to despite having lived in the North East for over five years. Priding myself on being something of an expert in the region it felt really special to see one of my favourite landmarks of Northumberland from somewhere different. How on earth had I missed this view?

Harry Potter Alnwick Castle with Lundgren Tours
Lundgren Tours enters Alnwick via The Peth which offers the beautiful views of the Castle.  Remember when you were a kid and you used to shout "I see the sea" when you were driving towards the beach, well "I spy Alnwick Castle" takes the game to a whole other level - approaching the Castle is a real goosebump moment.

Walking along the Paddock for more jaw dropping views, we began our tour with a brief history of the castle and our first little glimpse of a Harry Potter location from the first film before walking along Lion Bridge and up towards the castle. I have lost count of the amount of times I have been to Alnwick yet I've never discovered this bridge before.

I had a feeling our tour was going to be bringing us a lot of firsts!

Alnwick Castle with Lundgren Tours


Welcome to Lundgren Tours

I knew instantly that I was going to really enjoy spending our day with our tour guide Rob when he turned up dressed as a very convincing Ron Weasley. Harry Potter fans are in for a real treat on this tour as not only did Rob grow up in Alnwick he also has an amazing amount of knowledge, he is a huge Harry Potter fan and very passionate about local history.

Alnwick Castle Lundgren Tours
The Public Day Trip Tours are mostly attended by students at this time of year but are open for all so we were joined on our trip by over 60 students all enjoying freshers week at Newcastle's universities. I have to admit before our adventure started I was wondering if we'd enjoy such a large group tour but Rob was very skilled at making sure that everyone on the tour could hear and was enjoying the full experience.

I have to say Rob speaks very loudly and clearly and he had a captivated audience throughout the entire tour, the times when I was stood at the back of the group I still felt fully involved and looking round everyone was enthralled by his tales - no talking, no playing on phones and no yawning - this truly was a tour like no other we'd ever been on.  As soon as I caught Simon laughing at one of Rob's fantastically funny impressions I knew we'd found a winner - anyone that can make my husband laugh in the rain is pretty special!

Discover Alnwick Castle Lundgren Tours


As it was a very wet day our trip took a bit of a break for lunch, a gift shop wander and an attempt to try and dry off a little. We made our way straight to the Courtyard for coffee to warm ourselves up and give us some fuel for the afternoon ahead.  I had a feeling we'd be needing our energy later!

Alnwick Castle Coffee


Welcome to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

After lunch the magic began as we made our way around the outside of Alnwick Castle to learn about Alnwick Castle on Location, discovering the filming locations for the Harry Potter films as well as the Castle's other appearances in TV series and movies.  I have to say whilst I've always known about the broomstick flying scenes being filmed at Alnwick Castle I had no idea exactly how many other parts of the first two films were filmed and if you want to have a great insight into the precise locations Rob is definitely the tour guide for you!

As soon as we got home we couldn't resist having a little watch of the Philosophers Stone just to see some of the scenes that we'd been learning about on the Lundgren Tour. I'll definitely enjoy the film even more now that I can pick out which parts were filmed at Alnwick Castle and know a bit more about some of the behind the scenes trickery that created some of the scenes.

Alnwick Castle - Harry Potter Locations


I'm sure it's every young wizard's dream to follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter and learning to fly a broomstick at Hogwarts is one of the very best parts of visiting Alnwick Castle and something I've been wanting to do for such a long time.  I've seen so many incredible photographs from the broomstick lessons and I couldn't wait to create my own so I was over the moon that a broomstick class was included on the Lundgren Tour.

We were split into two groups to ensure that everyone had the time to give it a go and I loved that even Simon (who is usually pretty reluctant to join in with these types of things) enthusiastically learnt how to mount a broom stick before flying his way around the walls of the Castle.

Alnwick Castle - Harry Potter
I loved the opportunity to embrace my inner child and before I knew it I was up and away on my broom soaring high above the clouds and looking down over beautiful Alnwick Castle. I am of course stretching the truth there slightly, these amazing photographs were created with a little bit of trickery which you learn all about when you attend the lesson and we had plenty of time to put together some really fun photographs.

Alnwick Castle - Harry Potter Broomsticks


Perhaps the most fun part of our Harry Potter experience was Rob's very special spell demonstration that saw him flying backwards through the air when he asked for volunteers to practice their spells. Our group ended up queuing up to take a turn and create amazing little videos with poor Rob throwing himself backwards over and over to keep us all happy. I think you'll agree the end results are pretty spectacular.

Alnwick Castle - Harry Potter Lessons


Slightly damp from our Harry Potter adventures our visit to Alnwick Castle ended with a little look round the State Rooms inside the Castle.  Admission was included with our tour ticket and Rob enthusiastically led us through some of his favourite rooms of the Castle pointing out some interesting features along the way.  Whilst Simon and I love exploring Castles I will admit we're not ones to take the time to read information boards so it was fantastic to have someone like Rob teaching us more about the Percy Family who live in the Castle and sharing some of the amazing history behind some of the furniture and paintings.

Discovering Alnwick Tour

Of course no visit to Alnwick is complete without a little potter round the town and the Lundgren Tours itinerary includes a wander round some of my favourite parts.  We made our way to Market Square and popped into Taste of Northumbria for some little tasters of Northumberland's best tipples including the world famous Lindisfarne Mead, the perfect way to warm yourself up after spending a day adventuring in the rain.

Alnwick Town


It was our second time trying the Mead and Simon has now decided that we need to buy a bottle to take home for Christmas.  I have to agree it's the perfect tipple now that the weather has turned cooler, curling up at home with a nice glass of Lindisfarne Mead sounds pretty amazing.

Our day ended with a visit to Barter Books, one of our favourite places in Northumberland especially when the weather is as bad as it had been on our trip. With some cosy corners complete with comfy chairs and roaring fires, it has to be the best spot in the North East to hide away when the weather is bad.

Alnwick Town - Barter Books


Nothing beats a stroll between the book shelves and we had a good amount of time to just wander - a few people headed off to buy themselves some coffee and cake but we just had a wonderful time picking out books and planning a return trip to try some of the incredible looking food.

Alnwick - Barter Books

We absolutely loved our experience with Lundgren Tours and wouldn't hesitate in recommending them to anyone who loves the North and wants to discover more about our beautiful part of the world. There really is something for everyone and Rob's enthusiasm for our region is infectious - there's a reason Lundgren Tours won a Silver Award Winner in last year's North East Tourism Awards. Rob's dedication and love for his job shines through and you can't help but be swept along with him as he shares his knowledge of the local area with such a great display of performance and character.

I can't wait to plan our next adventure with Lundgren Tours!

Lundgren Tours at Alnwick


What you need to know:
  • Public Day Trip tours are mostly attended by students at certain times of the year but are open for all.  For a more intimate experience take a Private Tour which is perfect for individuals couples and groups
  • Return Coach Travel is provided to/from Newcastle city centre as part of your tour
  • Lunch is not provided on tours but you are welcome to bring your own food and drink
  • Tours start from £30.00 per person - to discover all available  tours click here
  • Book on a public tour here or to enquire about arranging your own private tours contact Lundgren Tours at: enquries@lundgrentours.com
  • If you fancy doing the same Harry Potter tour as us the next tour will be on 27 October 
This is a sponsored feature with Lundgren Tours and we also received complementary tickets to their tour.
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