Christmas at Blenheim Palace: Illuminated trail FAQ
There will be no themed Palace experience or Christmas market this year, please check general information.
If you can't find what you're looking for please use the Chat Bot in the bottom right hand corner. Unfortunately due to the current Covid-19 situation the See Tickets Call Centre is currently closed. If you need to speak to someone about your order please submit a query though the online contact form on the customer service tab
What is Christmas at Blenheim Palace: Illuminated trail?
There are bright lights for winter nights...
The 2020 trail has surprises along the way and you'll notice all-new installations this year too. From the Heart of the Stars scattering shards of light across the lawn to a scented fire garden that adorns the Water Terrace, walk towards dynamic, colour-changing neon tunnels, lakeside reflections and onto a mesmerising place where, beneath the branches of a sprawling tree, softly glows the fairy-fire known as Will-o-the-Wisps.
Rest assured to those who have been before, the tunnel of light will twinkle and the fabulous hillside sea of light returns. Walk under larger-than-life arches of light into a world festooned with seasonal cheer enhanced by a soundtrack of festive classics as you wander beneath unique tree canopies drenched in Christmas colour.
Passionate about food, our talented street food vendors bring a delicious twist to the treats on offer. Have yourself a merry little Christmas and complete your walk under the stars with mulled wine and hot chocolate* finding new moments to share with friends and family.
*Separate charges apply.
Is Blenheim Palace open during the day?
The Palace will have very light decorations however, there will be no theme in the Palace for 2020 due to the impact of COVD-19.
You can book a historical Palace visit during the day here: www.blenheimpalace.com/tickets
Tickets to the Illuminated Trail do not include access to inside the Palace.
Is there a Christmas market this year?
We do not have a Christmas Market this year however, the Palace shop, selling many Christmas gifts, will be open during the Illuminated Trail opening times.
To adhere to government restrictions, Christmas at Blenheim Palace will now run on the following dates:
Friday 4th December - Thursday 24th December
Saturday 26th December – Sunday 3rd January 2021
Wednesday 6th January - Sunday 10th January 2021
What are the trail times?
4:15pm*, 4;30pm*, 4:45pm, 5:00pm, 5:15pm, 5:30pm, 5:45pm, 6:00pm, 6:15pm, 6:30pm, 6:45pm, 7:00pm, 7:15pm*, 7:30pm*, 7:45pm*, 8:00pm*, 8:15pm*, 8:30pm*
*Not available for every date.
What is the address of Blenheim Palace?
Address: Blenheim Palace, Oxford Road, Woodstock, OX20 1UL
Whom is Christmas at Blenheim Palace: Illuminated trail suitable for?
Christmas at Blenheim Palace is suitable for all ages - to be enjoyed by everyone.
Should I arrive in advance of my visit time?
We would advise arriving at the start of the trail 5 minutes before you are due to begin the trail. If you arrive at the venue earlier, please wait in your car.
Can we see Father Christmas?
At this time of year, Father Christmas is extremely busy so is unable to meet children individually, however be sure to look out for him as he will be on the trail this Christmas!
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 along 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?
As the Illuminated Trail takes place outdoors please ensure you have sufficient warm and waterproof clothing. Visitors are strongly advised to wear sturdy shoes as the trail takes place on natural paths covering areas of uneven ground and variable terrain.
When do tickets go on sale?
General on sale for Christmas at Blenheim Palace: Illuminated trail is Monday 29th June.
Where can I buy tickets for the Christmas at Blenheim Palace: Illuminated trail from?
You can buy tickets for Christmas at Blenheim Palace: Illuminated trail online here
Do I have to book in advance / can I book on the day?
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 fast.
What are the prices for the Illuminated Trail?
*Adult Trail Entry & a Parking Space includes 1 Adult Trail Entry Admission Ticket and 1 Parking Space. Family Trail Entry & a Parking Space includes 4 Trail Entry Admission Tickets and 1 Parking Space.
** Family consists of 2 adults and 2 children (aged 3-16). Infants (0-2 years) on the day of the illuminated trail and carers go free (carers should be 16+). Infant and carer tickets must be booked in advance.
All orders are subject to a single transaction charge; £2.00 per transaction for E-Tickets.
I purchased tickets for November 2020, what should I do?
All ticket holders whose bookings are affected will receive an email from See Tickets to confirm that their original booking has been transferred to a new date. This transfer will happen automatically and no further action is needed. Timeslots will match the original booking.
Can I buy additional tickets?
Yes. If you require any additional entry admission tickets after placing your order please click here and scroll down to "To add to an existing order" to add the additional any ticket types you require. Please note that you will need to have your Reference Number at hand.
What is a VIP ticket?
A £50.00 VIP ticket costs £50.00 and allows you access to the Illuminated Trail on selected dates at 4:15pm. Your ticket will include on-site car parking and a free hot drinks voucher. The VIP Slot has a restricted capacity to provide a more intimate experience on the Illuminated Trail.
I am an Annual Pass Holder at Blenheim Palace, do I need to buy a ticket for Christmas at Blenheim Palace: Illuminated trail?
Blenheim Palace Annual Pass holders receive £1.00 off their Trail tickets (tickets must be accompanied by a valid annual pass). As an Annual Pass Holder you will need to select your illuminated trail time slot here.
How can I organise a group for the Christmas at Blenheim Palace: Illuminated trail and is there a group rate?
If you wish to make a group booking for 15 or more people for the Illuminated Trail, please email SEE Tickets Groups: firstname.lastname@example.org
Group discounts are not available to book online.
All customers are reminded to be aware of the latest government legislation when visiting the light trail. Please be mindful that legislation may change between time of booking and day of visit.
Can I buy tickets for the Illuminated Trail at Blenheim Palace?
There will be an on-site box office from Friday 4th December which is located outside the Flag Staff gates in the East Courtyard where you will be able to purchase tickets for the Illuminated Trail depending on availability.
How/when will I receive my tickets?
Your E-Tickets will be attached to your confirmation email.
I bought tickets but have not received a confirmation email. What should I do?
Please check your Junk / Spam folders as sometimes the confirmation email falls into these folders. If you still have not received your confirmation email, please use the Chat Bot located in the bottom right corner of your screen or alternatively, please email email@example.com
Why are only E-Tickets available?
In order to limit the amount of contact that is required with distributing hard stock tickets, we have taken the decision to only issue E-Tickets this year.
If I am unable to print my E-Tickets or display my tickets on a phone, what should I do?
If you are unable to print your E-Tickets or if you are unable to display your tickets on your phone on arrival at the trail, please email firstname.lastname@example.org where a Customer Service representative will be able to advise you on what to do.
I chose Standard Delivery when purchasing my tickets but have not received my tickets in the post. What should I do?
If you had chosen standard delivery tickets, please note your tickets will now become E-Tickets and will be sent directly to your inbox. As mentioned above, please check your Junk / Spam folders as sometimes the emails fall into these folders. If you are still unable to locate your email, please use the Chat Bot located in the bottom right corner of your screen or alternatively, please email email@example.com
How long is the Illuminated Trail?
The Illuminated Trail is approximately 1 mile long. We recommend that that you allow approximately 1.5 hours to explore and enjoy all aspects of the trail.
Are there toilets on the Illuminated Trail?
There are toilets at the beginning of the trail and half way along the trail. There are accessible toilets at these locations too.
Are dogs permitted?
Only guide dogs and registered assistance dogs are allowed on the Illuminated Trail.
Is the Illuminated Trail dark or covered?
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.
The trail is not covered and all visitors are reminded that this is an outdoor illuminated trail and the weather may be inclement. Please wear appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear.
If I am delayed and miss my slot, can I join a later slot?
We will try and accommodate you on the next available slot within the trail operational hours on the day.
What are the last entry times?
Last entry will be at 7:15pm on the following days:
Thu 24th, Sat 26th & Thu 31st Dec
Last entry time will be 8.45pm on all other days.
Illuminated trail closes at 10pm*
*subject to change, see website for details
What time does the illuminated trail finish?
All customers must exit the car park by no later than 2 hours after the last trail start time.
Can I bring my drone?
Drones are not permitted.
Can I take photographs?
We encourage you to take photographs and to share these on social media using the hashtag #ChristmasAtBlenheimPalace. You can also follow the developments across our Christmas Trails via 'My Christmas Trails' on Facebook and Instagram. Please note that the use of tripods is not allowed where the pathways are narrow.
How much does it cost to park for Christmas at Blenheim Palace: Illuminated trail?
- £10.00 per car at Blenheim Palace
- £10.00 for Blue Badge holders at Blenheim Palace
Do I have to purchase parking in advance?
Yes, all parking is limited and a parking space MUST be purchased in advance online here
If you are planning to arrive by car, please ensure that your ticket includes a parking space. Please note that every Adult Trail Entry or Family Trail Entry ticket including a parking space that you select will give you an additional parking space. Please ensure you select the correct amount of tickets with and without parking for your party.
I forgot to purchase parking. What should I do?
If you require additional parking spaces after your initial order has been made, please click here and scroll down to "To add to an existing order". A transaction fee will apply if car parking is booked separately.
If you have not purchased reserved parking with your ticket, local parking is otherwise limited and fly parking will not be permitted. There will be limited on-the-night parking available, however this cannot be guaranteed.
Is there a bus or coach service to and from Blenheim Palace?
There is a regular bus service from Oxford and Oxford Parkway train station. For timetables and tickets, please visit www.stagecoachbus.com or www.oxfordbus.co.uk
There are regular coach services running from London Victoria Coach station to Gloucester Green in Oxford. You can check price and times by visiting www.oxfordtube.com
How can I travel to Blenheim Palace by train?
The nearest train station is Oxford Parkway. Please check train schedules carefully to ensure you leave adequate time to travel from the station to Blenheim Palace and for your return. For timetables and tickets visit www.gwr.com or www.chilternrailways.co.uk. The journey from Oxford Parkway train station to Blenheim Palace takes approximately 15 minutes, though may take longer during rush hour or busy periods.
Is the Christmas at Blenheim Palace: Illuminated trail suitable for wheelchair users?
Christmas at Blenheim Palace: Illuminated trail is an illuminated trail presented in the natural landscape. Whilst every effort is made to make the trail fully accessible, by its very nature it will on occasion cover some difficult terrain with a number of varying gradients. These areas can be particularly challenging during inclement weather. In these circumstances there will be additional steward support available for assistance.
Can I bring my own mobility scooter or can mobility scooters be provided?
Mobility scooters will not be available for the Christmas at Blenheim Palace: Illuminated trail. You are therefore welcome to bring your own at your own risk, but please be aware that the paths are uneven in places and not all areas of the trail are accessible in a mobility scooter. Where scooters are not able to access a part of the trail an alternative route is provided.
Am I eligible for a free carer's ticket?
Disabled ticket holders are entitled to one free carer ticket as an essential carer / companion. This should be booked via SEE Tickets at the same time as purchasing all other tickets and parking spaces.
I need more than one carer, what should I do?
If you require more than one carer, please visit Customer Service here. You will need your Booking Reference Number at hand.
Is there a 'quieter access' session?
These sessions are for adults and young people who would love to experience the Christmas at Blenheim illuminated trail without the usual high volumes of people. The sessions will begin before the trail opens to the public, making the transition into the dark much easier. For the Christmas at Blenheim Palace Trail 2020, these sessions will be held on Tuesday 15th December and Monday 28th December.
The capacity of these sessions will be limited to ensure that the trail remains less crowded and more relaxed.
It should be noted that on many of our trails the path network is not tarmac, and although there are stewards along the route to assist you, the trail will follow the natural contours of the landscape and paths can be steep at times.
Ticket prices for our quieter sessions are consistent with the rest of the illuminated trail, however all carers go free. When booking please talk to our staff about any additional support you may need for exiting the illuminated trail through quieter areas or help with parking closer to the start of the trail.
To book these sessions please use this link
Can I purchase food and drink on site?
In light of the Tier 4 announcement, there will unfortunately be no catering outlets on the trail.
How much are Ride Tokens and what rides will be available?
At present, this area is under review. More information regarding rides will follow shortly.
What will happen if the weather is bad? Will the Trail be cancelled?
If the weather presents a hazard and a risk to safety, any decision to cancel the illuminated trail will be taken by 2pm on the day of the illuminated trail. 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 a different day, can I get a refund?
If the illuminated trail 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 illuminated trail date. We can also offer tickets for the following year.
I have booked for the wrong day - can I transfer over to another day?
No, we are unable to offer exchanged 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?
If your tickets are lost or if you require your E-Tickets to be re-sent to you, please contact SEE Tickets here. Please note that you will need to have your Reference Number at hand and this will render your original tickets invalid.
What if I am unable to attend on the rescheduled date?
If you cannot attend the alternative date offered, please follow the instructions in the ‘rescheduling’ email received from See Tickets. Alternatively, please email firstname.lastname@example.org where a Customer Service representative will advise you of the available options.’
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 the illuminated trail. 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
Is this illuminated trail sustainable?
Consideration for the illuminated trails sustainability has been built into the planning process for the delivery of this experience, 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.