An enchanted evening in Old Town

By Amanda Wilkins - 1 December 2023

Arts and CultureAttractionsFamilyCommunity

Amanda Wilkins braved the cold to visit the amazing Enchanted Gardens Light Trail which was launched last night in Town Gardens.

The ground underfoot is crisp with the late evening frost and the crunch of long, dead, leaves echos throughout the darkness. In the distance the magical strains of a brass band fill the cold, inky, blackness of the late, winters eve, as twinkling lights emerge like tiny, welcoming beacons, penetrating the dense woodland.  

The bleak, darkness of the night is swept away as you enter this magical, little corner of Old Town, festooned with colour and light, a delightful treat for the senses. A carousel filled with laughing children twirls round and round and the sweet aroma of mulled wine and fresh, festive, treats fill the senses.

If you are craving that wonderful, tingly, christmasey feeling, a trip to the Enchanted Gardens Light Trail in Swindon’s historic Town gardens is highly recommended. 

Now entering its third year, the incredibly successful event will run from today until Christmas Eve.

This year the Friends of Old Town have created a new food and beverage experience around the bandstand using local, independent traders. Stockers, Mama's Desserts, Sugar Shack Bakery, The Tuppenny and the Town Gardens Café will provide a variety of food such as sandwiches, hot dogs and a selection of desserts.

There will be local entertainment throughout the attraction's run at the bandstand with performers including Revolution Performing Arts, Commonweal School, Rhythmix Goa and SALOS.

The creative talent of South Swindon’s young people is also displayed in the Rose Garden with their beautiful, handcrafted lanterns.

The Enchanted Gardens Light Trail is completely step-free and designed to be accessible to all.

The event has a ‘Quiet Evening’ on Monday 11 December. On this day the music volume will be lowered and the flashing light effects will be turned off or reduced in intensity.

John Firman, Chair of the Events Working Party at South Swindon Parish Council said: "We are very pleased that as part of this year's Enchanted Gardens Light Trail we have community involvement through the laterns designed by local schools.

"Local food and beverage businesses will be providing refreshments and there will be a new light installation provided by Swindon Makerspace."

There will be a limited number of tickets available for the trail, with allocated time slots every 15 minutes, starting from 5pm.

Popular dates from 22 to 24 December are starting to sell out, as well as 2, 9 and 16 December.

Tickets are priced at £13 for adults and £7 for children aged 5-17.  Under-fours and carers/assistants can attend free of charge with a paying ticket holder.

Tickets are available online on the Town Gardens website-


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