Cheltenham Rocks

Review: The Spectacle of Light

Even with 5 minutes still to go in the car before we arrived we could see the castle illuminated from across the hills. With over 20,000 Lights in 500 different units, the Spectacle of Light at Sudeley is certainly true to its name.


As you stroll through the Castle grounds, you are greeted with different light shows around every corner. Majestic trees lend themselves to disco balls that create a canopy of stars that dance around in the wind, whilst over in the Queen's garden, lights snake across the reflections of the water.

There is a platform that looks back across the Queens Garden and through to the castle, my little girl ran down to me and exclaimed that it was ‘like been on top of the world’; this perfectly described the area for me - it really does give a great view over everything.

The music which features at certain points throughout the walk has been perfectly chosen to reflect the pattern and atmosphere of the lights:
At one stage there are bright lights shooting up and down the side of the water whilst ‘Tubular Bells’ plays (from The Exorcist) giving a really haunting almost UFO-type experience, then round the next corner you find yourself in the Secret Garden with frosted style lights and Fairytale style music and I was left feeling like I could be the Snow Queen from Narnia.

At about three quarters of the way round, the café provides the perfect stopping point to view the lovely Christmas tree and enjoy a nice mulled wine and scrummy piece of cake – try the lime and courgette!

After re-fuelling you head back out to finish the last bit of the walk, which includes a lovely wander underneath illuminated windchimes and one last look across the open space and fountain, where your eyes finally rest back on the Castle. This is to be your last view before heading to the exit, but not before making shadow puppets on the walls of course.


The final musical crescendo is the perfect ending, where you can then exit through the gift shop, which has been stocked with some lovely Christmassy bits and pieces.

I was lucky enough to meet one half of the duo behind the idea; Nic Beeby (The other half is Michael Dale) and Andy Rea who has been the Event Manager responsible for tying it all together.
It was great to walk around with them for a while and listen to their ideas behind the event and hear how they wanted the experience to be viewed. Nic described his vision as wanting an art exhibition feel, and I was completely able to understand what he meant and I felt that each light show was its own individual piece of art that allowed you to drift from one piece to the next whilst making you think or feel a certain way.

Sudeley really is the perfect backdrop to this exhibit of light and sound, with the show making fantastic use of the beautiful gardens and building architecture. It's extremely well organised and the volunteers were really knowledgeable.

A perfectly enchanting evening that left us feeling all Christmassy. A must see - I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Frankie x

For more information about the Sudeley Castle Spectacle of Light, click here

To read more articles from Frankie, click here.