Spectacle of light set to illuminate Town Gardens this Christmas

By Anita Jaynes on 16 October, 2021

Swindon Town Gardens will be lit up this Christmas with the introduction of a brand-new illuminated trail – The Enchanted Gardens Light Trail.

From 2nd December to 31st December, a 1.5km-long outdoor lighting trail will transform Town Gardens into a spectacle of light, specially designed by Light Art Pioneers, Luminism and hosted by South Swindon Parish Council. 

State-of-the-art lighting effects will be installed throughout the Victorian Gardens, allowing visitors to wander through a magical backdrop of illuminated trees and heritage structures, discovering a trail of remarkable light art sculptures, low level soundscapes, interactive illuminations and a specially commissioned light show set in the historic Bowl.

The historic Town Gardens, located within Old Town, Swindon, were laid out in the late 19th and early 20th Century on the undulating Okus Field, the site of old Purbeck stone quarries. There are a number of historic points throughout the Gardens including the 1930’s Art Deco Concert Bowl, the iconic Bandstand, The Aviary and The Rose Garden.

In response to the challenging times people across the area have faced during the pandemic, Swindon Parish Council want to say thank you to their residents for their efforts and ensure that the people of Swindon and surrounding areas have something positive to look forward to this festive season. Their hope is the illuminated walk will bring light to the gardens at a time when they are traditionally not frequented. 

As part of the illuminations, selected local schools have been invited to be a part of the event by helping to create one of the light art sculptures to be located at The Bandstand called ‘Reflections of Swindon’. 

There will be a limited number of tickets available for the Enchanted Gardens Light Trail, with allocated time slots every 20 minutes. Tickets will be available predominantly online with a limited number available on the day at the Box Office located at the entrance to the trail.  The Town Gardens will remain freely accessible to the public as normal during its winter opening hours and close each evening at 4.30pm to allow the illuminated trail to open. 

Councillor Neil Hopkins, Chair of Leisure, Environment & Amenities for South Swindon Parish Council said, “After a difficult 18 months for so many people, we are very excited to host Swindon’s first ever light trail, creating a new opportunity for family and friends to come together and celebrate in ways they were unable to do so in 2020. Having seen what Luminism have delivered in other areas of the country, I know this illuminated trail will be second to none. We look forward to welcoming the residents of Swindon and beyond to this exciting new event.”

Tom Chennells, Managing Director for Light Art Pioneers, Luminism added. “We’re delighted to be working alongside South Swindon Parish Council to deliver this exciting new project. The Town Garden, with its high trees and heritage structures, is a beautiful setting for an illuminated trail. We’re looking forward to bringing our designs to life this Christmas.”

Luminism have been delivering illuminated walks across the UK for the last nine years; producing the first ever light trail in the UK with Syon Park back in 2013. Fusing technology with light to create immersive and engaging experiences through the manipulation of light colour and sound. Luminism have gone on to create stunning light art trails for clients such as The National Trust at the iconic Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire. 

Tickets are available via the event ticketing partner, Skiddle, with slots available from 5.20pm-8.40pm (and some later slots on Friday and Saturday evenings). The event will run daily with the exception of Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Tickets will be priced at £5.50 for children (aged 5-17 years) and £10.50 for adults. Under 4’s and carers/assistants may attend free of charge with a paying ticket holder. Booking fees will apply.  

The Enchanted Gardens Light Trail has proudly partnered with local charity Brighter Futures, who help the people of Swindon by supporting the services within the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The NHS foundation Trust aim is to provide the best care possible. Brighter Futures help them to do this by funding the purchasing of equipment, supporting education of staff, and improving the environment for all staff and patients.

As part of the event partnership, £1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the charity.

Kenresa Stratford, Community and Events Fundraising Manager for Brighter Futures said, “Brighter Futures are delighted to be chosen as the charity beneficiary for this exciting new event, one which will be an exciting addition to the town’s festive calendar.  We can’t wait to see the Town Gardens come alive in the evenings during this festive period. After the last 18 months, where our charity events haven’t been able to go ahead, we’re really looking forward to getting back out into the community and being a part of Swindon’s first ever light trail.” 

To book your tickets click here.