Review: Yuletide Christmas Experience in Tatton Park, Knutsford Skip to main content
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Review: Yuletide Christmas Experience in Tatton Park, Knutsford

The Official Info About Yuletide:

Step into an incredible glittering adventure at Tatton Park Gardens this Christmas.

Fall into a world of folklore, festive tradition and rituals as the characters and creatures from winter myths and stories come to life!

Roast marshmallows around the campfire, while listening to enchanted stories told of festive folklore. Enjoy live music and fire juggling antics before embarking on the adventure that is The Glittering Trail.

  • Dates: 24TH NOVEMBER – 23RD DECEMBER 2023
  • Tickets: Adults: £20; Child: £12; Under 3s: FREE (Booking fees apply)
  • Book here:


Toddle About Review

By Alison Bond McNally (Mum)

I’m sure you are familiar with the usual December offerings, hopeful attempts to cheer up the darkest months and bring some seasonal cheer.  There’s a choice between Father Christmases of varying quality, ice-skating in a damp industrial unit or large spectacles of lights which look great on Instagram but usually end up with someone tired, crying or needing a wee; quite possibly all three.  Perhaps like us, you’ve got a little tired of all of them.

Step in Wild Rumpus with Yuletide at Tatton Park to recapture some of the magic of the more ancient festival which long predates the carnival of glitter, food and shopping which usually fills this time of year.

Ali and family

We arrived into the courtyard of Tatton Hall to be greeted by an old-fashioned carousel, gorgeously lit and merrily piping tunes.  There were a couple of street food stalls selling the usual wood fired pizza and fancy hotdogs and then it was into the gardens for the main event,

It was clear from the start that Wild Rumpus  are aiming to deliver something considerably more interactive and wholesome, and if you have ever attended their Just So or Timber festivals you will already be familiar with their eco-folksy artistic vision.  We started with traditional folk dancing, stamping and whirling to a live band playing tunes from around the world.  We had to bribe the children to leave with the promise of hot chocolate so that the adults could catch our breath whilst listening to storytelling stalwarts Ian Douglas and Gary ‘Gacko’ Bridgens in their puppet light box ‘The Magic Lantern’.  I had worried that my children at 10 and 8 might think themselves too old to sit and listen to stories but the combination of puppets, music and humour these guys bring is something special and we were rapt throughout.

Ian Douglas and Gary ‘Gacko’ Bridgens

Fire Juggling

It was bitterly cold the night we were there so the braziers for roasting marshmallows (giant ones available to buy from the hot chocolate stand) were very compelling and we had to drag ourselves away to go follow the light trail.  Again Wild Rumpus have delivered something different and more intimate and magical than larger events.  The light trail was populated with larger than life sculptures, some accompanied by performers sharing more stories of Yule traditions around the world.  We were charmed by the colourful whimsy of the Jolbok Yule Goat and enthusiastically sang to Mari Lwyd, the Welsh Wassailing Horse Skull in return for good luck in the year ahead.  These moments of performance were linked by lit-up Tableaux  and lighting displays where the usually familiar features of Tatton Park are rendered magical and strange with the effects of the lights, dazzling enough for your Insta shots and in a moment of joy for a small Super Mario Fan, a genuine Rainbow Road.

Rainbow Road

Light Trail in Tatton Park

We enjoyed the benefits of the National Trust infrastructure, paths are well maintained but stony and it was nice to have a proper loo rather than a portacabin.  If my children were below two I would have popped them in a carrier rather than take a buggy but my grandmother, who uses an mobility scooter finds the paths at Tatton manageable.

We stayed for far longer than the hour and half we been expecting it to take, partly because one of us wanted to visit the Rainbow Road again.

Christmas Lights

Traditional Christmas Lights

It was a gorgeous way to start our Christmas celebrations.  We loved the sense of connection to winter traditions across Northern Europe and around the world.  Most successful were the scenes where the human interaction explained the myth behind the beauty rather than the pretty but baffling willow sculpture placed high on a plinth, Yuletide is at its best when it leans into its own whimsical charm such as the baby Bear puppet who nuzzled my daughter’s hand like an joyful puppy.

If you are looking for a winter experience to reconnect you to our ancient stories, or simply seeking some pretty lights at a scale that is more manageable for smaller children, then I would wholeheartedly recommend Yuletide at Tatton Park. By the end of a very chilly night, we were all of us warmed to the cockles of our hearts.  It was wholesome, old fashioned and entirely charming.

Yuletide Christmas at Tatton Park