The festive fun continued this week as I took a trip to Westonbirt Arboretum’s Enchanted Christmas event with some blogging buddies and my friends at Co-wheels car club.
Forget the glitter and tinsel, this year Christmas is all about the greenery. The Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt celebrates nature all year round, but it’s especially magical at this time of year as their spectacular illuminated trail through the trees is an unforgettable festive experience. Continuing the green theme, we teamed up with Co-wheels, who loaned us a fantastic low emission vehicle to get us all there.
The trail takes places every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening until 20 December and features exciting interactive displays throughout the woodland walk. There are magical misty smoke rings, glittering bubbles and even pretty little fairies which eagle-eyed visitors will enjoy spotting!
It’s an ideal festive activity to enjoy with kids as it features Christmas crafts and a learning centre at the end of the trail, where they can make pretty things to take home with them. Grown up kids (like me!) will also find lots to enjoy – there’s a little shop at the end selling Christmas cards, gifts, foodie treats and all things festive! There’s also a lovely picnic area at the end where you can enjoy a mulled wine and listen to Christmas carols, performed by a super talented choir.
Since we were quite a large group, we hired a seven-seater Toyota Verso with Co-wheels, which we were able to pick up in nearby Cotham in Bristol. I had never driven a seven-seater before, so I was nervous at first, but once I was in the swing of it, I found it really easy to drive and it had a great stereo inside for pumping out those Christmas tunes!
Co-wheels is an independently owned car club which specialises in low emission, hybrid and electric cars. You can hire the cars on a pay-as-you-go basis, which is really useful if you want one for special occasions like this.
Once you’re a member, you can book a car online or on the phone, and then you get a handy little smart card, which you can use to access the car. After you’ve used the car, you just return it back to its parking bay and your debit card is charged. It’s as simple as that!
As someone who has hired cars for work and events before, I found this so much easier than the usual process. The fact that you can just order what you want online at short notice is really convenient and, because they have cars across the UK, you’ve got a huge choice of locations you can pick them up from.
After our very festive evening at Westonbirt (which included a winter picnic of toffee apples, mulled wine and mince pies packed by yours truly!), we headed back to Cotham and I got back to the warmth of my cosy fire and another cup of mulled wine at home. Yes, more mulled wine – but then it is Christmas after all!
Westonbirt’s Enchanted Christmas event is now sold out for this year, but do check out www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-christmas for more information of what’s on at Westonbirt into the New Year.
Disclosure: I was contracted by Co-wheels to organise this event, but all views are my own.