Christmas Trails: Q&A with Event & Production Coordinator Zan Lawther



A special event brought to you by Kilimanjaro and English Heritage, Christmas at Trentham and Christmas at Kenwood are the brand-new illuminated trails designed to sprinkle a little Christmas magic, accentuate the flora and fauna and see the stunning historic landscapes in a new light. Prior to the trails opening on Friday 26th November, we spoke to Zan Lawther about what we can expect from this year's events!

Christmas at Trentham


Can you give us an overview of what’s going on at the event?

Christmas at Trentham is a brand-new illuminated trail designed to sprinkle a little Christmas magic, accentuate the flora and fauna and see the stunning historic landscape in a new light.

As night falls on the award-winning gardens of Trentham this winter, the grounds will come alive with a spectacular burst of Christmas magic and sparkle in this brand new, visually stunning, multi-sensory mix of light, fire and sound.

How important is it to get the food and drink right? And what do you think food and drink adds to the trail?

A steaming cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate is the perfect accompaniment to a crisp walk through the wintery evening at Christmas at Trentham. We want our visitors to be able to relax and enjoy some festive fayre whilst surrounded by the sparkling lights and ethereal music so you’ll find plenty of tasty offerings along the trail.

How would you describe the event to someone who’s never been to a Christmas trail before?

Christmas at Trentham is an enchanting winter’s walk offering a contemporary twist to the stunning grade II listed Italian Gardens and is sure to become a beloved Trentham tradition. From the moment you set foot inside the stunning gardens you’ll be transported into a visual kaleidoscope of beautiful light installations that guide you through the 1.5km trail, with a variety of festive food and drink to enjoy along the route. Trentham is the perfect backdrop for a fun filled family Christmas, a romantic treat, or simply a place to come together to make unforgettable memories.

How much planning does it take to put together a trail like this?

The Kilimanjaro and Trentham Estate teams have been working hard all year to bring to life the inaugural Christmas at Trentham. Whilst you were packing your decorations away, our design and production partners, DBN Audile and Walk the Plank, were putting their thinking caps on for ways to dazzle our visitors with their spectacular installations. An event of this scale takes a village and we’re pleased to have some of the best working on Christmas at Trentham.

How have you worked with the location of Trentham this year and what does it add to the experience?

The grounds at Trentham provide the perfect arena for a Christmas lights trail. Our aim is to showcase the landscape and its flora, fauna and buildings by detailing them in lights, providing the visitor with a view of Trentham gardens as they’ve never seen it before.

For this event we have partnered with the Trentham Estate to combine their expert knowledge of the grounds and buildings at Trentham with our own experience producing large scale events. This fully collaborative method ensures our visitors receive the best experience possible when they visit Christmas at Trentham.

Christmas at Kenwood


What goes into creating the festive atmosphere of Christmas at Kenwood?

Once our tireless team have hung every light, checked every bulb, perfected every detail and hit the big switch labelled ‘ON’ the grounds of Kenwood House will come alive with twinkling lights and enchanting soundscapes. As the smell of mulled wine spices fills the air we hope our visitors will bring their festive cheer to Christmas at Kenwood because the true atmosphere comes from the soft gasps of wonder and the laughter of people coming together and enjoying themselves.

Can you give us an overview of what people can expect going into the event?

Perched on the edge of Hampstead Heath, the tranquil landscaped gardens will become home to an illuminated trail that invites visitors to see the historical landscape in a new light, as they step into a dazzling winter wonderland.

As night falls on the exquisite gardens of Kenwood House this winter, the grounds come alive with a spectacular burst of Christmas magic and sparkle. Visitors of all ages will be captivated by this visually stunning, multi-sensory mix of light, fire and sound.

How important is it to get the food and drink right? And what do you think food and drink adds to the trail?

A steaming cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate is the perfect accompaniment to a crisp walk through the wintery evening at Christmas at Kenwood. We want our visitors to be able to relax and enjoy some festive fayre whilst surrounded by the sparkling lights and ethereal music so you’ll find plenty of tasty offerings along the trail. We believe that variety is the spice of life so you will find some unusual flavours and exciting selections in amongst the traditional favourites at Christmas at Kenwood.

How would you describe the event to someone who’s never been to a Christmas trail before?

Christmas at Kenwood is an enchanting winter’s walk offering a contemporary twist to the stunning ground of Kenwood House and is sure to become a beloved Hampstead tradition. From the moment you set foot inside the gardens you’ll be transported into a visual kaleidoscope of beautiful light installations that guide you through the 1.5km trail, with a variety of festive food and drink to enjoy along the route. Kenwood House is the perfect backdrop for a fun filled family Christmas, a romantic treat, or simply a place to come together to make unforgettable memories.

How have you worked with the location of Kenwood this year and what does it add to the experience?

The grounds at Kenwood House provide the perfect setting for a Christmas lights trail. Our aim is to showcase the landscape and buildings by detailing them in lights, providing the visitor with a view of Kenwood House as they’ve never seen it before.

For this event we have partnered with English Heritage to combine their expert knowledge of the grounds and buildings at Kenwood with our own experience producing large scale events. This fully collaborative method ensures our visitors receive the best experience possible when they visit Christmas at Kenwood.

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I’m Hayley. Music lover, vinyl collector, ardent writer, and plant mother. RIP Mac Miller.

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