PR Review – We were kindly invited to the Whatton House ‘A Yuletide Tale’ event, however all words are our own opinions.
Finding out about the Whatton House, Loughborough, Christmas event was totally new to us – we’re huge fans of days out around Leicestershire, especially over the festive season, so we were really excited to find out about somewhere totally different.
Not only was the event new to us, but we had absolutely no idea what to expect when we got there, which is how some of the best days out start, and we were definitely not left disappointed.
If you would rather keep the event a surprise, but just arrived here to find out what it was like, my best advice is to just head here and book your tickets, because we cannot recommend it enough and know you will love it!
For those who want to know a little more, read on…
What is the Whatton House ‘A Yuletide Tale’ event?
I think the best way to describe the event is an immersive, moving theatre trail through the woodlands, where you follow the story along, meeting different characters along the way.
Your journey is led by a wonderful jester, from start to finish, who makes sure every visitor is involved in the story… and noone goes missing along the way!
Each scene of the story is beautifully set amongst the trees, with performances from some fantastic actors, all topped off with stunning coloured lighting.
How long does the trail take?
The trail takes about 30 minutes and we were in the queue for about 10-15 minutes before the timeslot. There’s then a courtyard area to relax in with covered-over seating, and choices of food and drink to make a full evening of it.
Is the event suitable for children and families?
Yes! The site recommends children be over 6 years old, which makes sense for them to enjoy the storyline, however there were children younger than that in our group who still enjoyed it.
How many people are in a group?
They usually have 8-12 in a group to make it enjoyable for everyone. We had 11 in ours, with 6 adults and 5 children across 3 families, and it was perfect as you all felt part of the journey.
Is it accessible?
According to the website, “trail paths will be mainly gravelled, with some woodchip or dirt tracks so robust wheelchairs/scooters are essential. There will be no steps. We cannot take responsibility for unsuitable vehicles not being able to get around.”
There were no steps on the trail and there was a ramp used for another visitor with a pushchair, which they easily used.
The jester told us at the start that there will be no strobe lighting used, however the website states “there may strobe lighting effects unfortunately, so this is not recommended for people with epilepsy.” Therefore, I recommend checking with the venue if strobe lighting would impact your visit.
There is also a disabled portaloo.
Is there food and drink?
Yes, and plenty to choose from too – whether you’re looking for mulled wine or cocktails, or even a stonebaked pizza, there is a lovely selection of small trailers. There was no queue for any area, thanks to the staggered timeslots, so you had plenty of choice without it being too busy.
You can also enjoy this area for free, including covered seated areas, so if you’re waiting for someone to do the trail and didn’t want to do it yourself, you can sit and wait there, while enjoying some hot food and the decorations.
All the stallholders accepted card who we spoke to. There’s also a hook a duck stand, which is always a win with Lily!
Are there toilets?
There are toilets, however this was the only downside for us. The toilets are portaloos, which we are very much used to from our festival days, however there was no light and they were very dark, which isn’t easy with kids – I shone my phone torch in for Lily to see, haha!
The toilets are near the entrance, so make sure you visit before heading to the trail.
Is there parking?
Yes, and you’re welcomed by some friendly car park attendants who show you where to go. Just watch the ground after the rain as you’re in a grassy field – it can be slippery in the mud! We just advise to follow the yellow signs to Whatton Event as the Whatton House postcode doesn’t take you to an open entrance.
What do you wear?
It’s winter and it’s outdoors, so wrap up warm. It was a chilly evening when we went, but on the trail we barely noticed the weather at all as we were so engrossed in the event. We had winter coats, hats, fleece neck warmers and brought extra layers in our bag (but didn’t need them). We also recommend walking boots or wellies that you don’t mind getting muddy.
I’m claiming the watery eyes were due to the cold air, but I’m pretty sure they were happy tears at the end of such a beautiful evening. Everything from the actors through to the sets was just fantastic, with so much effort clearly put into everything.
It was such a special, magical trail, and even from the moment you arrive, you feel the magic around you as you walk up to the house.
We do love festive days out, so it’s great to find one that is filled with Christmas magic, without the usual Santa meet-and-greet (though, Spoiler Alert, you may ‘see’ him in the performance!).
The stunning coloured lights and falling snow, just took us back in time, and I can’t thank Whatton House enough for hosting such a lovely event.
I’ve seen they change the trail and performance each year, so it is something I’d definitely book again next year. Lily loves anything interactive like this, but was absolutely buzzing throughout the whole trail, skipping along and laughing at the jokes (though there were some jokes just for grown-ups thrown in there too!).
She likes to get involved in our reviews, so she has said she gives it a “5 Star Review, I LOVED it, my favourite was the jester.”
So, if you’re looking for a Christmas event for all the family that will truly give you all the festive feels, tingly goosebumps and aching cheeks from smiling so much, this is your answer.