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What is Christmas at Dunham Massey?

The after-dark illuminated trail through festive gardens

It’s the most wonderful time of the year when over a million lights, lasers and seasonal sounds fill the air with festive fun at Dunham Massey. Look forward to some together time and make everlasting memories as you enter beside glittering deer, discover sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections and trees drenched in jewel-like colour. For a moment of reflection pause at mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden, marvel at larger-than-life illuminations and don’t forget to glimpse Father Christmas along the way.

Our crew of talented independent street food vendors bring a delicious twist to tasty treats on offer. Have yourself a holly, jolly Christmas and complete your walk under the stars with a *spiced winter warmer or *hot chocolate shared with someone special.

Your very merriest Christmas starts here. Limited capacity with timed entry. Plan now to secure the date and time of your choice.

*separate charges apply

What are the dates of Christmas at Dunham Massey?

Friday 19th November - Sunday 21st November
Wednesday 24th December - Sunday 28th December

Wednesday 1st December - Sunday 5th December
Wednesday 8th December - Sunday 12th December
Tuesday 14th December - Friday 24th December
Sunday 26th December - Sunday 2nd January

What are the trail times?

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*

*Not available for every date

Where is Christmas at Dunham Massey and how do I get there?

The illuminated trail car park is at the National Trust property at Dunham Massey.

Address: National Trust Dunham Massey, Altrincham, WA14 4SJ.

By train / tram: The Altrincham interchange is accessible by tram from the surrounding area. The illuminated trail is then approximately a 10 minute / 3 mile taxi journey.

By road: off the A56; M6 exit 19; M56 exit 7.

Who is Christmas at Dunham Massey suitable for?

Christmas at Dunham Massey is suitable for all ages - to be enjoyed by everyone.

Should I arrive in advance of my ticketed time slot?

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.

I am visiting Dunham Massey during the day, do I need to leave the site before entering Christmas at Dunham Massey in the evening?

To ensure that only ticket holders for Christmas at Dunham Massey have entry to the evening trail, daytime visitors must vacate the gardens by closing time at 3:30pm. We do not yet know whether the Visitor Centre facilities (cafe, shop, toilets) will continue to be available throughout and would suggest that daytime visitors leave the property and return for their evening trail slot if possible.

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 design that will have some flashing lights contained within them. However, there will be no strobe lighting. We have worked to 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 five flashes per second.

What should I wear?

Christmas at Dunham Massey takes place outdoors. Please wear appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear for winter weather and potentially muddy paths. We reserve the right to refuse inappropriately clothed patrons access to the trail if it is felt they are open to a greater risk of injury.

When do tickets go on sale?

General on sale for Christmas at Dunham Massey is Friday 5th March 2021.

Where can I buy tickets from?

You can buy tickets for Christmas at Dunham Massey online here.

Do I have to book in advance?

We recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment. Each timed entry has a limited capacity and the early evening and weekend slots are likely to sell out.

What are the prices for Christmas at Dunham Massey?

On The Day
Adult Member Trail Entry Only
Child (3-16) Member Trail Entry Only
Infant (0-2) Member Trail Entry Only
Family* Member Trail Entry Only
(2 adults, 2 children)
Family** Member Trail Entry Only
(1 adult, 2 children)
Carer Member Trail Entry Only


On The Day
Adult Trail Entry Only
Adult Trail Entry + A Parking Space^
Adult Trail Entry + A Blue Badge Parking Space^
Child (3-16) Trail Entry Only
Infant (0-2) Trail Entry Only
Family* Trail Entry Only
(2 adults, 2 children)
Family* Trail Entry + A Parking Space^
(2 adults, 2 children and a parking space)
Family* Trail Entry + A Blue Badge Parking Space^
(2 adults, 2 children and a blue badge parking space)
Family** Trail Entry Only
(1 adult, 2 children)
Family** Trail Entry + A Parking Space^
(1 adult, 2 children and a parking space)
Family** Trail Entry + A Blue Badge Parking Space^
(1 adult, 2 children and a blue bade parking space)
Carer Trail Entry Only
Carer Trail Entry + A Parking Space^
Carer Trail Entry + A Blue Badge Parking Space^

^Includes a car parking space

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.

Can I buy additional tickets?

Yes, subject to availability. If you require any additional entry admission tickets after placing your order please click here and scroll down to “Already ordered tickets?” to add any ticket types you require. Please note that you will need to have your Reference Number at hand.

Can I buy tickets at the venue?

No, we do not have a box ofice facility at the venue.

Do I need to buy a car parking ticket to park at Christmas at Dunham Massey?

Yes, parking is limited and a parking space MUST be purchased in advance along with your trail entry tickets online.

National Trust Members park for free but parking tickets MUST be booked in advance with a trail ticket. Proof of valid membership MUST be shown on arrival – failure to do so will result in full price car-parking charge. Members will be charged a transaction fee if parking is booked separately.

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.

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”. Additional car parking tickets cost £8.00 per car and a transaction fee will apply if car parking is booked separately.

Car parking AND Blue Badge parking is charged at £8.00 per car and a transaction fee will apply if car parking is booked separately.

As I am a member of the National Trust, do I still need to pay for Christmas at Dunham Massey?

Everyone, including National Trust members, must pay for entry to the trail. Christmas at Dunham Massey is an illuminated trail held outside of Dunham Massey's normal opening hours. The charge for entry reflects the high quality nature of this ticketed illuminated trail.

Is there a dedicated drop-off & pick-up area?

The drop off and pick up areas are within the car park itself. Please follow signs to the car park.

How can I organise a group visit and is there a group rate?

There is a group rate of 10% off groups of 15+ adults. Please email SEE Tickets Groups: groups@seetickets.com

Group discounts are not available to book online and apply to adult tickets only.

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.

We will be arriving by coach, do we need to reserve a coach parking space?

Yes, there is space for 2 coaches per evening. Coach parking is charged at £20.00 per coach and MUST be booked in advance by emailing See Tickets Groups on groups@seetickets.com

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, you can resend your confirmation email to yourself here

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 please use the Chat Bot located in the bottom right corner of your screen and explain that you are unable to print your E-Tickets off.

How long is the trail?

It will take approximately 90 minutes to walk the trail.

Are dogs allowed on the trail?

Only guide dogs and registered assistance dogs are permitted on the illuminated trail.

Is the trail dark or covered?

In some areas the lighting will be low level as 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 for winter.

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. Please ensure you leave enough time for your journey if you are travelling a long way.

What are the last entry times?

Last entry onto the trail:
7:15pm - Fri 24th Dec, Sun 26th Dec & Fri 31st Dec
8:30pm – All other dates

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 and in all cases by 10:00pm.

Can I bring my drone?

Drones are not permitted.

Can I take photographs?

Yes, you are welcome to take photographs and to share these on social media with the hashtag #ChristmasAtDunhamMassey. You can also follow the developments across our Christmas Trails via 'My Christmas Trails' on Facebook and Instagram.

What provision do you have for disabled guests?

The trail will be created to be as accessible as possible within the context of the natural site of Dunham Massey. The route is all on hard-standing, flat paths and alternative routes will be provided should they be required for customers with mobility issues. Some interactive elements may invite the audience on to grass where additional pedestrian matting will be provided.

Accessible toilets are situated at the Visitor Centre (approximately 0.4 miles from the furthest point on the trail) and also at the Stable Courtyard (approximately 0.3 miles from the furthest point on the trail). There is also an accessible changing facility at the Visitor Centre which is accessed via a RADAR key.

If you have any particular access requirements, please call the property on 0161 941 1025 so that the team may advise further.

Do you have disabled parking?

Yes, there are spaces available in the visitor car park and these should be booked when purchasing your trail ticket. Blue Badge parking is charged at £8.00 per car for non-National Trust members.

If you have not included Blue Badge Parking within your order, please scroll down to "To add to an existing order" here to add your parking. Please not that these spaces are limited and must be purchased in advance.

Is the trail accessible for wheelchair users?

The illuminated trail is approximately one mile in length. The route is designed so that it can be viewed solely from even paths, some interactive elements may invite the audience on to grass where additional pedestrian matting will be provided.

If weather conditions mean that the trail is not fully accessible for people using wheeled mobility aids, consideration will be made on a case by case basis to allow tickets to be transferred to an alternative date when the ground conditions are more appropriate.

Can I bring my mobility scooter or can mobility scooters be provided?

You are welcome to bring your own mobility scooter. A small number of personal mobility vehicles (PMVs) and manual wheelchairs will be available for loan from the Visitor Centre - please book these in advance by calling Dunham Massey on 0161 941 1025. Please have your booking reference number to hand.

Am I eligible for a free carer's ticket?

A disabled person purchasing ticket may bring one essential carer companion free of charge.

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?

Wednesday 1st December and Tuesday 14th December will see the Illuminated Trail open early at 4pm for audiences with specific access requirements. Guests booked onto the quiet access session should aim to enter before 4:30pm, with volumes returning to standard levels from 4:50pm, ready for the opening of the trail to the rest of the audience at 5pm.

These sessions are created for young people and adults who would love to experience the Christmas at Dunham Massey Illuminated trail without the usual numbers of people and at reduced audio volumes. These sessions will also be early enough that they will just about start in twilight making it a less daunting transition in to the dark.

The capacity of these sessions will be limited to ensure that the trail remains less crowded and more relaxed. Audiences will be the first group on-site and therefore all areas will be relatively clear.

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 venue. 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.

Ticket prices for these special access sessions are the same as the rest of illuminated trail - with free carer tickets where required. To book these sessions, please use this link

Can I purchase food and drink on site?

There will be a number of seasonal food and drink chalets serving hot, hand-held food, catering also for younger visitors and certain dietary needs. Hot drinks will also be on offer. Visitors can also toast marshmallows at one of our purpose-built fire pits.

What shopping facilities are there?

The Dunham Massey shop is situated in the Visitor Centre and will be open during Christmas at Dunham Massey until the illuminated trail closes each evening*.

*Opening times are TBC

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?

Christmas at Dunham Massey is an outdoor illuminated trail. 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 the trail is cancelled, you will be notified by email and text message and you will be informed of the re-booking process. We advise you to check the website for the latest updates and before you travel here.

If I am unable to attend on a different day, can I get a refund?

If the illuminated trail is cancelled in line with the cancellation policy 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 a voucher for the following year. The transaction fee is not refundable under any circumstances.

I have booked for the wrong day - can I transfer over to another day?

No, we are unable to offer exchanges 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.

All ticket holders whose bookings are affected by current government restrictions will receive an email from See Tickets with a rescheduled date.

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.

Light Pollution

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 trails. 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.

Noise Pollution

Sound installations are created to provide atmosphere and a sense of place 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 Usage

Fuel for power generation is kept to a minimum by efficient use of power loadings and low wattage lighting units where appropriate.


- Consideration for the illuminated trails sustainability has been built into the planning process for the delivery of the illuminated trail, 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 immediate area.

Ecological Impact Statement

The illuminated trail will not be open every night and its impact must be considered both from the standpoint of the venue itself and in relation to surrounding sites.


In order to assess the likely impact of the illuminated trail both a desk study and workaround surveys are conducted on each site. The route proposed for the trail, is walked and checked on a regular basis with horticultural staff from the venue, this is an ongoing process and will be constantly checked as the design of the illuminated trail progresses.

General comments

The illuminated trail is planned and installed, by private company, Culture Creative Limited. Culture Creative specialises in illuminated trails of this kind which are often in sensitive venues with high biodiversity and important historical heritage. Its' staff have valuable experience in minimising any negative impacts which might be anticipated and work with venue staff to meet and resolve any concerns which arise.

The duration of the illuminated trails spans the winter period, the time of year in which there is least wildlife activity. Many protected species such as bats and amphibians should be hibernating. The earliest bird nesting activity is from February onwards but all the equipment will have been removed before then. In addition the trail is open for a maximum of six hours only each night. These restrictions on the open dates and times will reduce any impacts upon wildlife.

Lighting Trail

Generators used on the route are very quiet and will be inaudible from the trail and from any wildlife habituation. The power will be carried using cabling which has been used previously in sites with wildlife populations with no adverse effects. Much of the lighting will be floor based to highlight trees. The trees form part of the cultivated collections at each venue and their welfare is paramount as part of the planning of the illuminated trail.


Where possible routes will be on hard surfaces i.e. paths. They pass through areas which are well-walked by visitors daily and will not take in any sections of grass with sensitive wild floras.


Sound and lighting installations surrounding trees or on areas of water where a number of birds have the potential to roost are modified and designed to minimise any potential for damage to birds.

Reptiles and amphibians

There should be no impact from the illuminated trail upon reptiles or amphibians as they should be hibernating away from the water at this time of year.


Every care is taken to ensure that any potential bat roosting holes in trees are not lit directly to avoid any potential disturbance during the bat hibernation season.


Our illuminated trails are small, tightly contained, and open for limited hours at a very dormant time of year. It is perceived that we do not foresee any adverse effect on wildlife.

The material to be used for the fire displays in the Fire garden and fire pits is soya wax and charcoal respectively.

Do I need to book tickets if I have a voucher?

Yes, you will not be able to arrive onsite with only a voucher. All tickets must be pre-selected for the 2021 season beforehand here.

How do I book tickets with my voucher?

1.       On the landing page, select 2020 Voucher Holders

2.       Select your date and time

3.       Enter your promotional code that you received in a previous email to reveal the 2020 prices

4.       Select your tickets

5.       Enter your voucher code that you received in a previous email during the payment stage

How do I pay using my Christmas Trails voucher?

Please enter your voucher code when you are on the payment page.

How long do I have to use my voucher?

You can use your voucher at any time, however the Christmas trail is extremely popular and you may not find your preferred date and/or time if you leave it too long. Please do make your choice as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Does my voucher have an expiration date?

Your voucher will expire on Friday 31st December 2021. Please ensure you use it to book your tickets before this date.

I forgot to enter my voucher code on my payment page and entered my card details. What should I do?

Please visit the Customer Service area here and enter your details. Once entered, please click on ‘Find Order’ and then at the bottom of the next screen, you will be able to write to See Tickets to explain you forgot to enter your voucher code on the payment page and instead entered your card details.

How do I know how much money is on my voucher?

The financial total on your voucher will be detailed in previous emails you have received from See Tickets.