What is Christmas at Bedgebury?
The magical, after-dark, illuminated trail.
It's definitely the most wonderful time of year when the after-dark sparkling trail lights up once more. A one-mile path winds magically through Bedgebury National Pinetum. The tree-tops will glisten and shimmer drenched in seasonal colour, on this festive adventure in a world of trees.
Following a much-loved first year, our 2019 winter trail will look very different. The sights and sounds of Christmas await under unique canopies with new installations rising high into the night sky.
A dynamic Vortex Tunnel leads onto colour changing and immersive ribbons of light; waterside reflections will be created by hundreds of colourful boats as they gently bob on the shimmering lake and flickering flames of the scented Fire Garden will create a perfect moment of tranquil reflection. To those who have been before, rest assured, the towering Tunnel of Light will twinkle yet again with thousands of pea-lights as you walk into a world festooned with seasonal cheer. Take a moment to pause at the Water Fountain Finale as jumping jets of light dance in time across the water to much-loved Christmas classics.
Have a holly, jolly Christmas and complete your walk under the stars with spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate. Gather around the fire-pit with family and friends to toast marshmallows*. Little ones can enjoy traditional Victorian fairground rides*. Don't forget to glimpse Father Christmas and his elf amongst the pines, spruce and firs along the way.
*Separate charges apply
What are the dates of Christmas at Bedgebury?
Friday 22nd November - Sunday 24th November
Friday 29th November - Sunday 1st December
Thursday 5th December - Sunday 8th December
Wednesday 11th December - Tuesday 24th December
Thursday 26th December - Monday 30th December
What are the trail times?
4:20pm*, 4:40pm, 5:00pm, 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:20pm+, 7:40pm+, 8:00pm+.
*Available from Thursday 12th December onwards
+ Not available for every date
Where is Christmas at Bedgebury and how do I get there?
Address: Bedgebury National Pinetum, Lady Oak Lane, Goudhurst, Kent, TN17 2SJ (please be cautious when using satellite navigation).
By road: Bedgebury is sign posted off the A21 on the B2079
Please note Bedgebury is not on a public transport route and further travel arrangements should be made for your journey to and from the venue.
By train: Etchingham (on the Hastings line from Charing Cross or London Bridge) is the closest station to Bedgebury. Alternatively, Tunbridge Wells, Frant and Wadhurst (on the Hastings line) and Staplehurst and Marden (on the Ashford line) are also nearby.
Who is Christmas at Bedgebury suitable for?
Christmas at Bedgebury is suitable for all ages - to be enjoyed by everyone.
Due to the natural landscape the trail includes some gradual and steeper slopes. Paths can be uneven in places. Wheelchairs are accommodated but discretion is needed as the trail may not be suitable for all. Wherever possible stewards will assist but this cannot be guaranteed.
Should I arrive in advance of my trail time?
We would advise arriving 15 minutes before your chosen trail start time.
I am visiting Bedgebury during the day, do I need to leave the site before entering Christmas at Bedgebury in the evening?
Yes, to ensure that only ticket holders for Christmas at Bedgebury have entry to the evening event, daytime visitors must vacate the site at the stated closing time of 3.30pm.
Can we meet Father Christmas?
At this time of year, Father Christmas is very busy and will not have time to meet children individually. Be sure to look out for Father Christmas though amongst the pines, firs and spruces of one of the finest conifer collections in the world.
Will there be strobe lighting?
There will be lighting sequences created within the lighting design that will have some flashing lights contained within them, however, these will not be strobe lighting. We have worked to guidelines on photosensitive epilepsy and will adhere to the industry standard of synchronising effects and locking the sequences to ensure that lights do not operate at more than 5 flashes per second.
What should I wear?
Christmas at Bedgebury takes place outdoors and you may need to queue on busy days. Please wear appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear for winter weather. We reserve the right to refuse inappropriately clothed patrons access to the trail if it is felt they are open to a greater risk of injury.
When do tickets go on sale?
General on sale for Christmas at Bedgebury is on Monday 10th June.
Where can I buy tickets from?
You can buy tickets for Christmas at Bedgebury online here or by calling SEE Tickets on: 0844 995 1365 (calls cost £0.07 per minute plus your network access charge).
Do I have to book in advance?
Yes, we recommend that you book early. Each timed entry has a limited capacity and the early evening and weekend slots are likely to sell out quickly.
What are the prices for Christmas at Bedgebury?
Entry ticket prices for Christmas at Bedgebury:
Adult: ADVANCE - £18.00. ON THE DAY - £20.00
Family* : ADVANCE - £54.00. ON THE DAY - £62.00
Child (3-16 years): ADVANCE - £11.50. ON THE DAY - £13.50
*Family ticket: 2 adults and 2 children (aged 3-16). Children under 3 and carers go free.
On the day prices apply from 00.01 on the day of the event. On the day tickets are subject to availability. We strongly recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.
All orders are subject to a single transaction charge. For tickets booked via SEE Tickets: £2.00 per transaction for print at home tickets and £2.50 for tickets sent by first class post.
Do I need to buy a car parking ticket to park at Christmas at Bedgebury?
Yes, parking is limited and a parking space MUST be purchased in advance along with your trail tickets, either online here or by calling SEE Tickets on: 0844 995 1365 (calls cost £0.07 per minute plus your network access charge).
Car parking is charged at £6.00 per car (including Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum members). A transaction fee will apply if car parking is booked separately.
Parking vouchers will be issued in advance with your tickets and must be presented on the night.
Please follow all instructions from stewards on arrival.
Is there a dedicated drop-off & pick-up area?
Drop-off & pick-ups can be made in the Visitor Centre car park.
As I am a member of the Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum, do I still need to pay for Christmas at Bedgebury?
Yes, Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum members will receive £1.00 discount off their admission tickets up to a maximum of 6 tickets per membership which can be booked here.
Discounted tickets MUST be presented alongside a valid Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum membership card* on arrival.
*Membership MUST be valid when you purchase tickets and on the date of visit. If you do not present a valid membership card on arrival, you will be charged the balance of the discounted tickets you have purchased.
Is my ticket for Christmas at Bedgebury valid for entry during the daytime?
Your ticket for Christmas at Bedgebury is only valid for the evening and will only allow you access to the trail at your selected time.
How can I organise a group visit and is there a group rate
There is a group rate of 10% off groups of 15+ adults. Please contact SEE Tickets Groups on: 0844 412 4650 (calls cost £0.07 per minute plus your network access charge).
Alternatively, you can email SEE Groups firstname.lastname@example.org
Group discounts are not available to book online and apply to adult tickets only.
We will be arriving by coach, do we need to reserve a coach parking space?
Yes, there is space for 1 coach per evening which MUST be booked in advance by contacting SEE Groups on: 0844 412 4650 (calls cost £0.07 per minute plus your network access charge).
How/when will I receive my tickets?
Your delivery options are either E-Tickets (print-at-home) or Standard Delivery. If you choose the E-Ticket option, your tickets will be attached to your confirmation email. If you choose the Standard Delivery option, your tickets should be with you a week prior to the event.
I chose Standard Delivery when purchasing my tickets but have not received my tickets in the post. What should I do?
If you have not received your tickets a week prior to the event please contact SEE Tickets on: 0844 995 1365 (calls cost £0.07 per minute plus your network access charge). Alternatively, you can contact the SEE Customer Service team here. You will need to have your Reference Number at hand.
If I am delayed and miss my slot, can I join a later slot?
Yes, we will try and accommodate you on the next available slot.
What are the last entry times?
The last entry time onto the trail will be 30 minutes after your chosen time slot.
How long is the trail?
The trail is approximately one mile long. We recommend that it will take approximately 1.5 hours to explore and enjoy all aspects of the trail.
Where does the trail start and what is the route*?
The trail will take place through the National Pinetum at Bedgebury. There are two entry points to the trail. From the Visitor Centre, the trail will follow a circular route through the tree collection and back round the far side of the lake opposite the Visitor Centre.
From the Walled Garden, the trail will start at the bottom of the Viewpoint, following the path round the far side of the lake, past the Visitor Centre, through the tree collection and back along the bottom of the Viewpoint.
*Route subject to change.
Due to the natural landscape the trail includes some gradual slopes and a steep uphill section. Paths can be uneven in places.
Are there toilets on the trail?
Toilets are located at the Visitor Centre, Walled Garden and near Marshal's Lake.
Are dogs allowed on the trail?
Yes, dogs kept under full control on a short lead will be permitted. No extendable leads are permitted. Please be a responsible dog owner.
Is the trail dark or covered?
The trail is not covered and all visitors are reminded that this is an outdoor event and the weather may be inclement. Please wear appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear for winter. We reserve the right to refuse inappropriately clothed patrons access to the walk, if it is felt they are open to greater risk of injury. In some areas the lighting will be low level as this is part of the experience. We do encourage visitors to bring along a torch in case of an emergency - this should not be used unless it is necessary.
Can I take photographs?
Yes, you are welcome to take photographs and to share these on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #christmasatbedgebury. You can also follow the developments across our Christmas Trails via 'My Christmas Trails' on Facebook.
What provision do you have for disabled guests?
The trail will be created to be as accessible as possible within the context of the natural site of Bedgebury. The route is all on hardstanding pathways, however the trail is designed so all elements can be viewed form the pathways. An accessible toilet is located in the Visitor Centre.
Do you have disabled parking?
Accessible spaces for Blue Badge holders are available in the Visitor Centre car park. These are limited and must be purchased in advance either online here or by calling SEE Tickets on: 0844 995 1365 (Calls cost £0.07 per minute plus your network access charge).
Is the trail accessible for wheelchair users?
Due to the natural landscape the trail includes some gradual and steeper slopes. Paths can be uneven in places.
Wheelchairs are accommodated but discretion is needed as the trail may not be suitable for all. Wherever possible stewards will assist but this cannot be guaranteed.
Am I eligible for a free carer's ticket?
Where an adult or child requires assistance to attend the event because of a health condition or disability and is in receipt of any of the following benefits, they will qualify for a free carer/companion ticket:
• Middle or Higher rate of Disability Living Allowance (mobility or care component);
• Attendance Allowance;
• Enhanced rate of Personal Independence Payment (daily living or mobility component).
Unfortunately, a Blue Badge cannot be accepted as proof of a health condition or disability.
Carer's should be aged 16 plus.
Can I bring my mobility scooter or can mobility scooters be provided?
Mobility scooters will not be available on site. You are welcome to bring your own but please ensure it is fully charged prior to your visit.
Is there a 'quieter access' session?
Wednesday 11 December will see the illuminated trail open at 4pm for children and adults who would like to experience Christmas at Bedgebury without the usual volumes of people.
There are a number of limited tickets for this session with free carer's tickets applicable where required. For more information or to book tickets please call SEE Tickets on 0844 995 1365 and quote 'quieter access'. Calls cost £0.07 per minute plus your network access charge.
Can I purchase food and drink on site?
The Bedgebury Café will be open during the event for the purchase of hot food and drinks. Indoor seating will be available.
In addition, there will be a number of seasonal food and drink chalets serving hot, hand-held food, catering also for younger visitors and certain dietary needs. Hot chocolate and mulled wine will also be on offer. Visitors can also toast marshmallows at one of our purpose-built fire pits. Please note that there is no cash point on site.
How much are Ride Tokens?
Ride Token Vouchers can be purchased in advance for £10.00 here (in exchange for 5 x Ride Tokens on site). Alternatively, Ride Tokens can be purchased on the night.
What rides are available and are there height or age restrictions?
There will be 4 traditional vintage fairground rides for children under 6 to enjoy.
What will happen if the weather is bad? Will the trail be cancelled?
Christmas at Bedgebury is an outdoor event. If the weather presents a hazard and a risk to safety, any decision to cancel the event will be taken at 2pm on the day of the event. If you booked your ticket online or by telephone via SEE Tickets, you will be notified by email and text message and you will be informed of the re-booking process.
If I am unable to attend on a different day, can I get a refund?
If the event is cancelled due to weather and ticket holders are not able to attend an alternative night offered, then a refund will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Where a refund is due, the ticket must be returned within 28 days following the event date. We can also offer tickets for the following year. The transaction fee is not refundable under any circumstances.
I have booked for the wrong day - can I transfer over to another day?
No, we are unable to offer exchanges or refunds once tickets have been purchased. It is noted on the website and at the point of booking that you need to make sure that you have chosen the right date and time slot at the time of making your booking.
I have lost my ticket, what can I do?
Bedgebury Pinetum, Raymond Gubbay Limited and its ticketing partners SEE Tickets are unable to offer refunds/duplicates on unwanted/lost paper tickets. If you require your E-Tickets to be re-sent to you, you can do this here. Please note that you will need your Booking Reference Number at hand and this will render your original tickets invalid.
The trail will be architecturally lit by experienced lighting designers who have developed sensitive ways of working in heritage and landscape settings.
Responding to the natural darkness of sites is key to the success of these events. The best visual work is sensitive to light "competition" and the brightness of one light source relative to another. We therefore take advantage of the environmental darkness to reduce the overall brightness of our lighting interventions, and allow ample space within our audience experiences for people's eyes to attune to the darkness, then to allow them to appreciate the sights and sounds of the natural environment as a contrast to, and context, for our artistic efforts. We try to avoid continuous lighting of trails and paths, and will only use audience area lighting where it is absolutely necessary for reasons of public safety.
Sound installations are created to provide atmosphere and a sense of feeling for an installation. All sounds are targeted and specific to a part of the route and are therefore contained within defined spaces, therefore there is no noise pollution over and above the natural sound level created by the presence of audiences on the trail.
Fuel for power generation is kept to a minimum by efficient use of power loadings and low wattage lighting units where appropriate.
- Consideration for the event's sustainability has been built into the planning process for the delivery of this event, the end result of which we hope will be to inspire and engage new and existing visitors.
- The trail designers, Culture Creative, have been appointed on the strength of their experience of working in environmentally sensitive ways in heritage and landscape settings.
- Specific attention is given to power, and where possible we use mains power. Where generators are needed, these are carefully specified and operated to ensure the most efficient fuel usage. Low wattage lighting units are used where appropriate on the trail.
- Culture Creative's design ethos is to take advantage of the environmental darkness to reduce the overall brightness of their lighting interventions, whilst maximising the effects of their artistic efforts.
- Continuous lighting of trails and paths will be avoided, and we will only use audience area lighting where it is absolutely necessary for reasons of public safety.
- Care is also taken to ensure that we are considerate of our neighbours who live in the roads adjacent to the venue.
Ecological Impact Statement
The event will not be open every night and its impact must be considered both from the standpoint of the venue itself and in relation to surrounding sites.
In order to assess the likely impact of this event both a desk study and workaround surveys are conducted on each site. The route proposed for the trail, is walked and checked on a regular basis with horticultural staff from the venue, this is an ongoing process and will be constantly checked as the design of the event progresses.
This event is planned and installed, by private company, Culture Creative Limited. Culture Creative specialises in events of this kind which are often in sensitive venues with high biodiversity and important historical heritage. Its staff have valuable experience in minimising any negative impacts which might be anticipated and work with venue staff to meet and resolve any concerns which arise.
The duration of this event spans the end of November to the New Year, the time of year in which there is least wildlife activity. Many protected species such as bats and amphibians should be hibernating. These are unlikely to be affected unless the event passes directly over their hibernation sites. The earliest bird nesting activity is to be expected from February onwards but all the equipment will have been removed well before then. In addition it is open for a maximum of six hours only each night, and with two rest nights on three out of the five weeks of operation. These restrictions on the open nights and times will reduce any impacts upon wildlife particularly as outdoor evening events take place at the venue year-round and resident wildlife has adapted to the existing level of disturbance.
Generators used on the route are very quiet and will be inaudible from the trail and from any wildlife habituation. The power will be carried using cabling which has been used previously in sites with wildlife populations with no adverse effects. Much of the lighting will be floor based to highlight trees. The trees form part of the cultivated collections at each venue and their welfare is paramount as part of the planning of this event.
Where possible routes will be on hard surfaces i.e. paths. They pass through areas which are well-walked by visitors daily and will not take in any sections of grass with sensitive wild floras.
Sound and lighting installations surrounding trees or on areas of water where a number of birds have the potential to roost are modified and designed to minimise any potential for damage to birds.
Reptiles and amphibians
There should be no impact from this event upon reptiles or amphibians as they should be hibernating away from the water at this time of year.
Every care is taken to ensure that any potential bat roosting holes in trees are not lit directly to avoid any potential disturbance during the bat hibernation season
Our events are small, tightly contained, and open for limited hours at a very dormant time of year. It is perceived that we do not foresee any adverse effect on wildlife.
For more information on Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest please click here.
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