Yesterday’s announcement that the region is moving to Tier 3 has meant that we have had to carefully assess what events can continue under the new restrictions.
On a positive note we can announce that, as an outdoor venue, The Alnwick Garden can safely reopen. Our first day will be 3rd December.
You will find the same COVID safe environment you experienced in the summer and we have added even more safety precautions to safeguard visitors and staff. We’ve looked at the regulations and made the necessary changes so that the majority of festive events can continue.
Please read the information below to find out what these new measures mean to your visit.
Within the next week we will be resending your booking confirmation emails so keep an eye on your inbox for these coming through. Please note that if you have made more than one booking, you will receive multiple emails.
The Garden will remain open as usual for day visits. As with all events, only family or support bubbles are allowed. Tickets are available online and entry is by prebooked tickets only. A one-way system is in place with hand sanitisers available throughout the site.
Families and support bubbles will have the opportunity to explore The Garden and solve festive clues on our Elf Trail which will be in place from 3rd December, as well as take the opportunity to get your photo in front of our Giant Snow Globe or send messages to friends and loved ones via our live streaming picture frame.
This year, The Alnwick Garden will be closed during the day on 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th December. As usual, The Garden will be closed on Christmas Day.
Our exciting adventure golf course will once again open on 3rd December and will be open during the day. Strict sanitising measures are in place and visitors are required to prebook their slots on our website.
Our Christmas Light Trail can go ahead as normal. The only change is that there will be no indoor seating or dining available due to COVID restrictions.
This year we are hosting some fantastic takeout food and drink options across the site. Why not stop off at our Winter Pimm’s pop-up during our Light Trail? Or visit the Marshmallow Station where you’ll be able to roast your own marshmallow over a toasty warm fire?
We’ll also have waffles, hot dogs and hot chocolate in The Garden to complement the existing delicious range we have available at The Bakery.
Another addition to this year’s event is that we have extended the Light Trail into the Alnwick Market Square. There will be an immersive projection on the Town Hall until 24th December and other installations in the town. Many of the independent retailers will be trading ‘til late on the nights of the Light Trail so please pop along, enjoy the lights and support them. The window decorations are fantastic and will certainly add to the Christmas feel.
On the way to the town square you will encounter our Giant Snow Globe which is perfectly positioned for family photos – due to covid restrictions this is strictly for your eyes only, but a great backdrop to any Christmas selfie!
You will also see our giant picture frame where you can wave and send messages to loved ones all over the world. We have a webcam that streams live to www.alnwickgarden.com and we encourage you to bring banners with messages to share your festive messages of hope and support.
With the lack of indoor facilities this year please remember to wear appropriate clothing to stay warm and dry.
Finally, please remember to wear a mask when attending the Light Trail and exercise social distancing at all times.
Tickets must be prebooked and visitors must adhere to their timed slots for safety reasons. Our main car park will be open as usual.
Our primary aim has been to make sure those who have booked to meet Father Christmas or Santa Claus still have the opportunity to do so. The Tier 3 regulations do not allow for indoor entertainment, but we have been able to proceed with Father Christmas and Santa Claus visits by moving them to locations that provide an outdoor experience.
Father Christmas will still be at the Treehouse while Santa Claus has been moved from The Garden to the courtyard behind the Gardeners Cottage. Families will be able to have their same experience with Santa Claus and Father Christmas as previous years but with slightly more distance between them. Father Christmas and Santa Claus will be indoors, but visitors will be able to interact with them from the entrance of their grottos. The waiting areas for families is also outdoors so please remember to bring appropriate warm and wet weather clothing.
There will still be plenty of opportunity for conversation and receiving presents, and photography is welcomed so long as social distancing guidelines are adhered to. Father Christmas and Santa Claus will do everything they can to make the experience magical.
As indoor hospitality settings will remain closed under Tier 3 measures, unfortunately we will no longer be able to offer the Festive Afternoon Tea at least until the next government review on or around 16th December.
Refunds will be offered to anyone who has purchased this experience, and we will look to offer priority bookings to those who have been affected by these measures if the region moves to Tier 2 measures.