Christmas has arrived at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

The festive season arrived at Hillsborough Castle with a sparkle and a glow with the opening of the Light Trail.

The Light Trail, which will illuminate the Hillsborough Castle Gardens for the next month, officially opened to the public last Thursday, bringing with it the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas.

The dazzling display of over a million lights and the festive tunes which filled the air did not disappoint those who made their way to the historic site for the opening night.

Children delighted at Santa Claus and cheered along as the countdown to Christmas officially began. The jolly man was a hint of the magic to come.

Green lasers danced to festive tunes and, with the help of smoke machines, created a magical atmosphere as guests made their way into the gardens.

Spectacular displays and installations filled the 100 acres of royal gardens. Guests were treated to everything from bright, colourful neon lights to giant baubles and even lighting displays synchronised to festive tunes. Adults and children alike couldn’t contain their awe at the surprises around every corner.

The muddy path and chilly evening did not deter the excitement. Children hurried their parents along, moving swiftly along the winding path. Unable to contain his excitement, one little boy ran ahead, exclaiming, “Hurry, I don’t want to miss any of it!”. Perfectly capturing the mood of the evening.

Hundreds of dazzling lights made up magnificent archways which visitors could walk through. The warm glow of the lights thwarted the brisk winter air.

Hillsborough Castle itself did not disappoint. The royal residence was lit up in festive hues while hundreds of mesmerising flickering flames softly illuminated its gardens.

This year’s exclusive Butterfly Effect display, by artist Masamichi Shimada, is the centrepiece of the trail, lighting up the pond in soft blue tones. The spellbinding reflections of the butterflies provide a stunning backdrop as visitors roasted marshmallows at one of the many food stalls along the trail.

Open to the public from 1 December to 1 January, the Light Trail is sure to bring Christmas joy and wonder to all who visit over the next month.