Well, what can I say, apart from save your money and stay away. My daughter and I drove for over 2 hours specifically to visit this ` event`. At £15 a ticket, it is a complete rip off and should be reported to trading standards. The `christmas village` consisted of one childrens fairground roundabout ride, two stalls and on our visit, absolutely nothing else. Next came some various sizes of LED coloured balls, randomly placed on the ground, followed by some light changing structures, reminiscent of the tee pee frames that my husband grows his runner beans up. My daughter recognised a rather poor attempt at sound to light display. Certainly nothing even remotely festive. The advertised modern art installation `Hazards` consisted of a large number of red neon looking tubes laid on the ground, The projection of the christmas scenes onto the abbey wall, was the only real display there (hence the one star rating), unless you count the static snowflakes projected onto another building. There were cheap plastic battery operated christmas trees, about 18inches tall. Several of the trees had given up their battery power and were either barely lit or out altogether, and some plastic stars of the same ilk. The 12 days of Christmas played incessantly, with 12 framed pictures stuck at intervals around the path. There were a few flashing LED lights at ground level (think they were supposed to represent twinkling stars, but by this time.....who cares) The musical christmas trees.....assume they were the buttons stuck on top tree stumps, which when depressed played a musical note or were they the tee pee installations mentioned previously. Santa sat inaccessible behind a fence, looking bored and needing to fly back to Lapland and who could blame him!. Certainly didn`t seem to be interacting with the children we saw. There were various LED coloured plastic letters, forming the words JOY, CHRISTMAS etc. Unfortunately they had obviously, run out of letters because The E in NEW (think.. happy new year...) was actually the letter M laid on its side. There was a 20m tunnel of light. Think poly tunnel frame with white light netting over it. Looked fairly good, until you saw the large holes in the side netting. It would not have been too difficult for staff to repair. Then we had the Fire Garden, individualy burning torches stuck in the ground, throwing of noxious fumes to all and sundry, Staff members, walking between the torches (were they damping things down with the cloth they kept stuffing into the torches?), were actually wearing filter breathing masks. Such a shame they did not hand them out to the guests. Several parents walked their children straight past due to the fumes. The 5 or so steps you walk down to get to the fire garden are poorly lit with yet more LED lghts laid across the steps and laying freely on the ground below the last step, just waiting for somebody to catch their shoe in.Then you had the chance to roast a marshmallow on a stick at £1.50 a pop. Really!!!. Mulled wine, hot choc and mince pies were advertised. What was not advertised, was that they had to be paid for. After £15 entry, they couldn`t even run to a free mince pie. The route was also slippery in places. You are told to allow an hour for your visit. We did it in 20mins, and even that was allowing for the howls of laughter where we could hardly speak, as we were confronted with this winding pathway full of cheap shabby tackiness. This was supposed to a professional installation. Sorry, no way. We made our way back to town, where the lights were amazing, the atmosphere festive and the Christmas Market true to form.
This event was an experience I will never make the mistake of supporting again.
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