Destination UK

Review: Glow Marwell 2023

Posted on
November 27, 2023

Visiting Marwell at Christmas is something we have been doing since the kids were tiny and as the years have gone by, their offerings have adapted and grown.

2023 is their second year of Glow Marwell, a magical light experience and although we thoroughly enjoyed last years display, this year they have really knocked it out the park as its bigger, better and more interactive.

One thing that was missing from last year was a chance to see Father Christmas, but this year he is back and you can visit him in his festive winter grotto, where his elves entertain you until it is your turn to head inside to see him.

This year’s theme is an enchanted nature trail featuring brand new illuminations and immersive displays using more than 500,000 lights in a rainbow of colours.

One of the first things we encountered were fluttering butterflies, shortly followed by a 36 metre multicoloured light tunnel, just perfect for those family photo’s.

As well as each individual display, the trees are lit up in a rainbow of different colours as you make your way along the trail.

Interactive elements of the display include stepping stones that change colour as you step on them, lit up see-saw’s and swings, shadow boxes and laser and smoke displays.

At the half way point at Marwell House, there were The Luminas stilted ladies, with costumes inspired by the coral reef adding a touch of sparkle.

I would recommend taking a programme of events with you, or downloading the Marwell app, as once the Luminas finished, the Ghost Caribou appeared, who told a beautiful story of tales of lost homes, impossible migrations, and seeds of hope through the art of music, puppetry and shadows.

The Graze Cafe is open, serving hot meals, or if you prefer, there are lots of festive food and drink cabins dotted around the park, with delicious hot chocolates, doughnuts and “Glownuts”, loaded fries, bratwurst sausages, nachos, s’mores and more! 

Glow Marwell is running from 4pm until 8pm (last entry at 6pm). Glow Marwell tickets include free access to the zoo on the day of your visit and tickets cost from £13 and adult tickets cost from £17.

At the end of the trail, make sure you visit the magical Wishing Tree and add your Christmas wish to its branches.

Disclaimer: We were guests of Marwell for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own


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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog