CHRISTMAS light illumination trails have become popular in recent years, with many outside venues now offering them during the festive period.

Having visited a few small-scale installations in previous years and enjoying them, I was excited to be invited to the preview of Windsor Great Illuminations at Windsor Great Park.

It is a step up from some of the smaller trails I have visited previously and I was completely blown away.

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Basingstoke Gazette: Windsor Great IlluminationsUpon arrival, there is a fun fair, bars and outside food outlets in cabins where families can enjoy a warm drink and tasty hot treats. I tucked into a delicious ham and mushroom wood-fired pizza, already feeling festive with the smell of mulled wine wafting in the air and glowing fire pits providing a warm and cosy feel on a cold autumn evening.

The light trail follows a circular route around the lake at The Savill Garden, winding through woodland paths that are awash with colour as mythical creatures, sparkles of fireflies and dancing fairies blaze the way.

Impressive light displays amaze around every corner with mystical and magical themes to delight both children and adults.

Basingstoke Gazette: Windsor Great IlluminationsElements felt almost ethereal, as we watched, enchanted by a breathtaking display across the lake, alive with flood-lit fountains and incredible projections, perfectly timed to the accompanying music.

The trail is a feast for all the senses, with light, colour, music and sound combined to create mind-blowing displays at every turn. I was particularly impressed by the projections and laser lights which lit up the forest floors and tree canopies, bringing the magic of mystical creatures including fairies, unicorns and dragons to life.

There was a party atmosphere in the depths of the forest where we discovered a fairy disco in full swing, with upbeat festive tunes and pop music pumping out on a sparkling dance floor.

Basingstoke Gazette: Windsor Great IlluminationsHalfway around the lake, there were more outside food outlets and fire pits, providing the chance to stop for a break and enjoy toasting ginormous marshmallows over a fire or sipping an indulgent hot chocolate to warm up.

The trail took us over an hour to complete, as we stopped to watch the displays and take in the atmosphere. It is quite a distance for little ones, but with plenty to look at, children will almost certainly forget how far they are walking.

The trail runs until January 2, with tickets priced from £12.10 for children and from £19.80 for adults. For a magical evening out, and less than an hour from Basingstoke, it is a unique and special treat well worth it to get in the Christmas spirit.

For tickets visit