The lights fantastic

POPULAR outdoor winter festival, Northumberland Lights, is set to dazzle audiences when it returns to Cragside, turning the estate ‘electric’ with its stunning illuminations and bringing the Rothbury attraction alive after dark.

From today until Sunday, and then Thursday, November 17 to Sunday, November 20, visitors to the Electric Estate will be taken on a dreamlike journey around a newly-designed illuminated trail, entitled ‘fantasy forest’, encountering breathtaking sound and light installations as well as storytellers and inventions.

Devised to mark the end of the Year of the Forest celebrations at Cragside, this spectacular night-time winter event has, this year, put the Pinetum, house, cascade and famous Iron Bridge at the heart of the trail.

There will also be a chance for visitors to look out for red squirrels, owls and bats, and festival fans can examine the night sky, on both Saturdays of the event, when the Northumberland Astronomical Society set up six telescopes for star-gazing.

The fantasy forest trail will take around an hour to complete at a pleasant pace and will be open from 5.30pm to 8pm. Tickets, which include the star-gazing sessions, are £11.50 for adults, £8.50 conc and £32 family (2 adults/2 children).

For more information and ticket details, visit www.northumberlandlights.com or call 01665 833751.

The Stables Tearoom has also devised a special winter warmer menu, which is £12 per head. To book call 01669 622033 or 01669 622040.

Wear warm, outdoor clothing, suitable footwear, and bring a torch.