Here, fairy lights weave a tapestry of wonder, transforming the park into an enchanting winter wonderland aglow with twinkling lights and festive cheer. Join us as we embark on a journey through this luminous spectacle, where each corner sparkles with the joy and wonder of the holiday season.
About the Festival
Windsor Great Park Illuminated is an annual festival of lights held in Egham, United Kingdom, celebrated for its breathtaking light displays and enchanting atmosphere. Each year, the park transforms into a captivating realm of lights, celebrating the essence of the holiday season and the joy it brings. This festival is not just a visual treat but a sensory journey, combining lights, music, and nature to create an unforgettable experience. It’s a perfect blend of tradition and innovation, where classic holiday themes meet contemporary light art.
Featured Lighting Displays at Windsor Great Park Illuminated:
The light trail is a mesmerizing pathway that guides visitors through the heart of the park. It’s adorned with thousands of lights, creating a magical atmosphere. This trail is not just a walk; it’s a journey through a fairy-tale landscape, where each step unveils a new spectacle of lights.
Majestic trees of the park become living art pieces, illuminated from within and around. These trees shimmer with vibrant colors, creating a forest of light and shadow. It’s a surreal experience to walk among these glowing giants, feeling the warmth of their light in the cool winter air.
Tunnel of Lights
A highlight of the festival, the Tunnel of Lights is a dazzling passage enveloped in a cascade of twinkling lights. As visitors walk through, they are surrounded by an ever-changing display of colors and patterns, creating a sense of wonder and delight.
These are spectacular vertical arrays of lights that fall like a shimmering waterfall. Curtain lights add a touch of elegance and drama, creating backdrops that are perfect for capturing memories. They are often used to frame scenic spots within the park, enhancing the natural beauty with their soft, glowing presence.
Scattered throughout the park, fairy lights add a delicate touch to the festival. They are strung in trees, along pathways, and around sculptures, creating a subtle but magical glow. These tiny lights flicker like distant stars, adding depth and dimension to the night.
Light Art Installations
These are unique and creative displays where art meets light. Local and international artists contribute to these installations, bringing innovative concepts to life. These pieces range from interactive light sculptures to large-scale projections, each telling a story and adding a layer of artistic expression to the festival.
Windsor Great Park Illuminated is more than just a light show; it’s a celebration of art, nature, and the spirit of the holidays. Each featured lighting display is thoughtfully designed to create an immersive experience that captivates and delights visitors of all ages. This festival is a testament to the power of light in bringing people together and creating moments of joy and wonder.
Festival Dates (2023-2024)
The Windsor Great Park Illuminated offers an enchanting escape into a world of light and color, set to run from November 18, 2023, to January 2024. This time frame captures the essence of the winter season, encompassing the festive cheer of Christmas and the fresh beginnings of the New Year. The extended duration of the festival ensures that visitors have ample opportunity to experience the magic, whether they are early winter enthusiasts or late holiday celebrators.
Key Details of the Festival Dates:
Start Date: November 18, 2023
The festival kicks off in mid-November, just as the evenings grow longer and the anticipation for the holiday season begins to build. The opening night is often marked with special performances and the grand lighting ceremony, setting the tone for the weeks to come.
End Date: January 2024
Stretching into the New Year, the festival’s conclusion in January allows visitors to continue enjoying the winter wonderland even after the holiday rush. This period is ideal for those who prefer a quieter, more relaxed experience, as the crowds tend to thin out post-Christmas.
Spanning over a month and a half, the festival offers a flexible schedule for visitors. Whether you prefer weekday visits to avoid crowds or weekend outings for the full festive experience, the Windsor Great Park Illuminated accommodates all preferences.
Where It’s Located and How to Get There
The Windsor Great Park Illuminated is set in the serene and picturesque environs of The Savill Garden, located at Wick Lane, Egham, United Kingdom. This location is a jewel within the larger expanse of Windsor Great Park, known for its beautifully landscaped gardens and rich history. The Savill Garden, with its vibrant flora and meticulously maintained grounds, provides a perfect backdrop for the festival, harmoniously blending the artistry of light with the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Accessibility: Navigating to the Festival from Nearby Airports
The nearest major airport to The Savill Garden is Heathrow Airport, located approximately 12 miles away. This proximity makes the festival easily accessible for international and domestic visitors alike.
- By Taxi: A direct taxi ride from Heathrow Airport to The Savill Garden is the most convenient option, taking around 20-30 minutes.
- By Public Transport: Visitors can opt for public transport which includes a combination of buses and trains. The journey may take longer but offers a scenic route through the countryside.
Reaching the Festival by Train from Major Cities:
- Take a train from London Waterloo to Egham Station. The journey takes approximately 40 minutes.
- From Egham Station, The Savill Garden is a short taxi ride away or a pleasant walk for those who wish to enjoy the scenic route.
- Board a direct train to Egham Station from Reading. The travel time is around 45 minutes.
- Upon arriving at Egham, you can take a taxi or a local bus to reach The Savill Garden.
- Take a train to London Paddington, then switch to a train heading to Egham from London Waterloo. The total journey is about 1.5 to 2 hours.
- From Egham Station, The Savill Garden is easily accessible by taxi or bus.
- Travel by train to London Paddington, then transfer to a train to Egham from London Waterloo. This journey typically takes around 2.5 hours.
- A short taxi ride from Egham Station will take you directly to The Savill Garden.
This strategic location of the festival not only provides an idyllic setting but also ensures that it is reachable from various parts of the country. Whether arriving by air or rail, visitors can anticipate a journey as delightful as the destination itself, with the promise of a luminous spectacle awaiting at The Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park.
If you’re in United Kingdom, you might want to check out these other spectacular lights festivals as well:
The Windsor Great Park Illuminated welcomes visitors into its radiant embrace from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM. These hours are meticulously chosen to provide the optimal experience of the light displays, aligning with the natural setting of the sun and the onset of dusk.
An Evening of Illumination:
Start Time: 4:30 PM
As the day transitions into evening, the festival opens its doors, allowing visitors to witness the transformation of the landscape into a luminescent wonderland. This early start is particularly advantageous during the winter months when the sun sets earlier, providing more time to enjoy the lights.
End Time: 8:30 PM
The closing time of 8:30 PM strikes a perfect balance, offering ample time to explore the entirety of the festival while still concluding early enough for a comfortable journey home. It’s an ideal timing for families with young children and for those who prefer returning home earlier in the evening.
Cost to Visit Windsor Great Park Illuminated
The Windsor Great Park Illuminated offers a range of ticket prices to cater to different visiting times and preferences, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to experience this magical light festival. The pricing structure is designed to accommodate various budgets and provide options for visiting during less crowded (Super Off Peak), moderately busy (Off Peak), and most popular times (Peak).
Detailed Ticket Pricing:
- Super Off Peak: £19.80
- Off Peak: £22.00
- Peak: £28.05
Children (Aged 3 to 15):
- Super Off Peak: £12.10
- Off Peak: £14.30
- Peak: £17.60
Children (Aged 2 and Under):
- Free Admission
Family Ticket (2 Adults and 2 Children):
- Super Off Peak: £56.10
- Off Peak: £64.90
- Peak: £80.85
Weather and What to Wear
During the Windsor Great Park Illuminated, which runs from November through January, the weather in Egham, UK, typically reflects the quintessential British winter. Visitors can expect a range of temperatures and weather conditions, which are key to planning a comfortable and enjoyable festival experience.
Weather Overview from November to January in Egham:
- Early winter brings cooler temperatures, ranging from highs of around 10°C to lows near 4°C. The days are crisp, and evenings can feel quite chilly, especially as the sun sets.
- The heart of winter sees temperatures drop further, averaging highs of 7°C and lows around 2°C. This month can also bring more frequent rain and occasional frosty mornings.
- Similar to December, January is cold with average highs of 7°C and lows around 1°C. This month often has the coldest days of the year, and there’s a higher chance of experiencing frost and rare snowfall.
Recommended Clothing for the Festival:
To fully enjoy the Windsor Great Park Illuminated in these winter conditions, we suggest dressing warmly and in layers. Here’s a list of recommended attire:
- Start with a good base layer of thermal clothing to retain body heat.
Warm Sweaters or Fleece:
- Add a cozy middle layer such as a sweater or fleece for added insulation.
Waterproof Winter Jacket:
- A waterproof and windproof outer layer is essential to protect against unpredictable rain and chilly winds.
Comfortable Walking Shoes:
- Opt for waterproof and insulated shoes or boots, ideally with a good grip for walking on potentially slippery paths.
Hats, Gloves, and Scarves:
- Don’t forget accessories like a warm hat, gloves, and a scarf to protect your extremities from the cold.
- An umbrella can be handy for those occasional rainy evenings.
Portable Hand Warmers:
- These can be a nice addition for extra comfort on colder nights.
Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby
After a magical evening at Windsor Great Park Illuminated, rest and rejuvenate at one of the nearby hotels, each offering comfort and convenience to enhance your festival experience.
Holiday Inn Express Windsor
- Location: Situated just 3 miles from The Savill Garden, this hotel is in the heart of Windsor.
- Description: A modern and comfortable choice, Holiday Inn Express Windsor is known for its friendly service and welcoming atmosphere, making it an ideal stay for families and business travelers alike.
- Amenities: Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, an inclusive Express Start Breakfast, air-conditioned rooms, and easy access to local attractions, including Windsor Castle.
- Location: Located just a short 5-minute drive from the festival location, offering easy access to The Savill Garden.
- Description: Travelodge Egham provides a no-frills, budget-friendly accommodation option. Its simplistic design and comfortable rooms make it a popular choice for festival-goers looking for practicality and convenience.
- Amenities: The hotel offers essential amenities like free parking, comfortable king-size beds, and a selection of rooms with a kitchenette, ensuring a comfortable stay.
Fairmont Windsor Park
- Location: Nestled in the outskirts of Egham, this luxurious hotel is about 10 minutes by car from The Savill Garden.
- Description: Fairmont Windsor Park is a sanctuary of tranquility and luxury. With its elegant design and opulent interiors, this hotel provides a sumptuous retreat for those seeking a more indulgent stay.
- Amenities: The hotel boasts a range of high-end amenities, including a spa and wellness center, gourmet dining options, free Wi-Fi, and beautifully landscaped gardens, creating an oasis of comfort and relaxation.
What to Eat
Savor the flavors of Egham’s local cuisine at these delightful eateries, each offering a unique dining experience to complement your visit to Windsor Great Park Illuminated.
The Lock Bar and Kitchen
- Location: Conveniently situated alongside the River Thames, a short drive from The Savill Garden.
- Description: This charming restaurant offers a warm, inviting atmosphere, perfect for unwinding after a day at the festival. The Lock Bar and Kitchen is known for its hearty, homemade dishes that showcase the best of British cuisine.
- Foods Served: Specialties include classic fish and chips, succulent steaks, and a range of seasonal dishes, all made with locally sourced ingredients.
- Location: Located in the heart of Egham, easily accessible from the festival site.
- Description: Villa Rosa is a cozy Italian restaurant, offering a slice of Italy in the UK. The intimate setting and authentic Italian decor create a romantic ambiance ideal for couples and families alike.
- Foods Served: The menu features a variety of Italian favorites, such as handcrafted pizzas, fresh pasta dishes, and rich risottos, accompanied by a selection of fine wines.
- Location: Nestled in the bustling streets of Egham, just a few minutes from The Savill Garden.
- Description: Caffe Gondola offers a casual and friendly environment, perfect for a quick bite or a relaxed meal. This café is a popular choice for its laid-back vibe and friendly service.
- Foods Served: The menu includes a range of light bites, sandwiches, and salads, as well as heartier options like gourmet burgers and grilled paninis, complemented by a variety of coffees and teas.
More Things to Do In the Area
Extend your adventure beyond the Windsor Great Park Illuminated by exploring some of the area’s most popular attractions, offering rich history, local charm, and natural beauty.
- Location: Situated in the historic town of Windsor, just a short drive from Egham.
- Description: Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, is an iconic symbol of British heritage. It has been a royal residence for over 900 years and is an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen.
- Activities to Explore: Visitors can explore the State Apartments, St. George’s Chapel, and the beautiful grounds. The Changing of the Guard is a must-see ceremony, showcasing a splendid display of British pomp and circumstance.
- Location: Located in the heart of Egham, a convenient stop after a day at the festival.
- Description: The Foresters Arms is a traditional British pub with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It’s a perfect example of local culture, offering a glimpse into the everyday life and social scene of Egham.
- Activities to Explore: Enjoy a pint of real ale or cider and indulge in classic pub fare. The pub often hosts live music and quiz nights, providing a lively and authentic British pub experience.
RHS Garden Wisley
- Location: A short drive from Egham, located in the Surrey countryside.
- Description: RHS Garden Wisley is one of the world’s great gardens, packed with horticultural inspiration. It is the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, offering a captivating blend of traditional and modern gardening styles.
- Activities to Explore: Visitors can stroll through the stunning flower collections, explore the state-of-the-art glasshouse, and participate in seasonal events and workshops. The garden is a haven for plant lovers and a peaceful retreat for those looking to connect with nature.
A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit to Windsor Great Park Illuminated
As the lights dim on our journey through Windsor Great Park Illuminated, we carry with us the magic and memories of a festival that brilliantly captures the spirit of the season. From the enchanting light displays weaving through The Savill Garden to the warmth and hospitality of Egham’s local attractions, this festival offers a unique blend of wonder, tradition, and community.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning admirer, the Windsor Great Park Illuminated remains a luminous beacon, inviting us back year after year to bask in its radiant glow and festive charm.
Is there parking available at the festival?
Yes, there is ample parking available at Windsor Great Park. Parking fees may apply, and it’s advisable to arrive early during peak times to secure a spot.
Are pets, like dogs, allowed at the festival?
Yes, dogs are welcome at Windsor Great Park Illuminated, provided they are kept on a leash. Owners are expected to be responsible for their pets and clean up after them.
Is smoking permitted at the festival?
Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted within the festival grounds. Designated smoking areas are available outside the event space.
Can I bring my own food and drinks to the festival?
While small snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the variety of food and drink options available at the festival. Glass bottles and alcohol from outside are not permitted.
Are there restroom facilities available on-site?
Yes, there are ample restroom facilities, including accessible options, available throughout the festival grounds.
Is the festival wheelchair accessible?
The festival is fully accessible for wheelchair users. There are also accessible parking spaces and restrooms available.
Can I purchase tickets at the entrance?
Tickets can be purchased at the entrance, but it’s recommended to book in advance online to ensure availability, especially during peak times.
What should I do if I lose an item at the festival?
Lost and found services are available at the festival. If you lose an item, please report it to the nearest staff member or at the information booth. After the event, you can contact the festival organizers for any lost items.