On Thursday we took a short trip up the road to Thursford’s Enchanted Journey of Light. Thursford is a sleepy unassuming village in the heart of North Norfolk but there was nothing modest about this Christmas Extravaganza.
Every year Thursford puts on a Christmas Spectacular. Guests travel from all over the country. Including Andys mum who visited last year from Nuneaton. Andy’s mum couldn’t stop talking about the immersive experience and we all vowed to join her as soon as the kids were old enough to appreciate it. The team and cast must have been heart broken when this year, after 40 years it had to be cancelled but in true theatre fashion ‘The show must go on’ and boy did it, with Thursford’s Enchanted Journey of Light.
This one off event can be seen from afar as you drive down the Norfolk country lanes. The kids faces were pressed up to the windows from the moment we arrived with shrieks of joy and awe. We have visited before when The Boy was two so knew that the main Auditoruim would be full of fairy tale characters and twinkly lights but the all- new indoor trail is bigger and better than before.
Enchanted Journey of Light
The wonderland trail journeys past life size dancing bugs, North pole animals, giant bears and naughty snowmen. Elves recite stories and Wilba and Bo couldn’t stop watching the giant dancing penguins. Sounds are pumped out of every corner and the amount of twinkly lights is jaw dropping. I cant imagine the time and man power its taken to create but I’ve heard it starts in the summer.
The Thursford Collection
The journey is built around the Thursford Collection and the steam engines and Carousel form part of the attraction. I remember dancing at Thursford when I was a teenager. I was a troll in a family production, I know right, the glamour! Seeing the horses in such pristine condition brought back some happy memories.
Sadly, Father Christmas isn’t at Thursford this year in person but there is a lovely video message and opportunity to sneak a peek at the toy factory and the elves fantastic wrapping machine. The kids were not disappointed for long because just outside is a traditional fairground and fairground games. Its not cheap, like Thursford you get what you pay for. Its £1.20 a token and rides range from 2-3 tokens with the Ferris wheel being the most expensive and Dodgems the best value in my opinion. The rides are all treated in Zoono which boasts 30 days protection from Covid -19 and operators wear facemasks and obey social distancing guidelines. If you’re on a budget just be careful to manage expectations before you go. Mine got two rides each before we left for more magic.
Magic is just one word to describe the four acre luminous lantern extravaganza. We travel to london every year to the Winter lights to witness something similar but i’ve never seen so many incredible sculptures in one breathtaking walk through. I could of repeated it three or four times and still returned for more. Your journey starts at the rainbow wings before being transported through oversized flowers , forests , jungle animals and North pole characters. The deer were particularly impressive and again the instrumental backdrop just adds to this fantasy land experience.
Kinetic Light Display
I think we ignored the map on entry as by the time we came out of the lights the shops had closed, much to Andys disappointment but theres bound to be some lovely Christmas gift ideas inside and your ticket entitles you to a discount on their online shop. However, our disobedience did mean we had the theatre room to ourselves. We danced and frolicked shoeless until the organisers kicked us out. The space usually reserved for seating for Thursfords Christmas spectacular has been turned into one of the UKs biggest kinetic light displays. A six minute musical and lighting loop of joy. If you watched my IGTV or lives that night you will see just how incredible it is!
Sweaty, but our hearts full it was time to leave, which we did with most of the staff. We missed the outdoor bar and festive tipple but did sneak in a biscuit at the Live music cafe which showcases some of the stars from the cancelled spectacular, so make sure you go and give them a massive cheer.
I honestly cant gush enough about Thursford’s enchanted Journey of Light, the staff were kind and generous with their time, the place is just WOW and its just as magical for the adults as the kids. I know its a bit pricey but I will never forget spinning around in the smoke with my kids and that luminous lion.
How to Book
Tickets are still available until January the 10th from 3pm – 9pm daily. Tickets are £18 per person Under 3’s are free. Maximum of six tickets per bubble. Its wheelchair/pushchair friendly. Click here for more information, you will not be disappointed.
To check out more of my family reviews here.
*disclaimer We were given complimentary tickets on press night for the purpose of this review. My words as always are my own.