As the summer comes to an end and the nights get longer, it’s tempting to stay inside to keep out of the cold. We don’t blame you, but the latter half of the year brings with it some spectacular events that are well worth venturing out for. As autumn sets in, Lancashire begins to light up with some of the country’s most inventive and captivating night-time shows. Wrap up warm and head outside to experience some genuinely magical night-time attractions suitable for all the family, that are right on our doorstep.
Light Up Lancaster
Lancaster is less than a half-hour drive from Old Hall Caravan Park in Lancashire. Every November, the city hosts a family-friendly festival that sees the town centre transformed into a magical light installation. Light Up Lancaster is part of the Light Up The North network. Visitors can wander around the city and be treated to impressive free performances, stunning light displays across well-known historical buildings, music, dancing and fireworks.
The festival can be traced back to 2012, where it was first piloted to run alongside the famous firework display held every year at Lancaster Castle. The intention was to create a wonderous after-dark trail through the city to complement the display. The pilot was well-received, attracting thousands of people to the town and capturing the public’s imagination. Over the years, the festival has grown in size and popularity to become Light Up Lancaster, a weekend of light and art accessible to everyone.
This year’s festival takes place on the 5th and 6th November with the theme ‘Flights of the Imagination. Artists have been invited to produce light art installations based on this theme, and if previous years are anything to go by, the results will be magical. Visitors can expect 3D zoetropes that create holograph-like dragons flying through the night sky, meditative laser projections at Lancaster Castle, and animated journeys through the city’s darkened streets, amongst many other installations.
Founded in 2016, Lightpool Festival celebrate the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations and explores the town’s unique and long-standing relationship with light. Residents of holiday homes in Lancashire can take advantage of the free festival between 15th – 30th October in 2021.
The Blackpool Illuminations need no introduction, attracting more than three million visitors to Blackpool Promenade every year. Lightpool Festival serves as the climax of the illuminations, with a packed programme of beautiful installations, carnival puppetry and vibrant parades.
Everything at the Lightpool Festival is free to attend with no bookings required. All you have to do is turn up and experience the spectacular light works of the Light Art Trail, watch the action unfold as projections light up Blackpool Tower and catch gripping performances from illuminated dance and drumming troops.
Lake District Stargazing
If you happen to be staying at Old Hall Caravan Park near the Lake District and are looking for something a little more peaceful, why not venture out to the secluded valleys or remote fells and experience some of the darkest skies in the country. There are plenty of spots far from city lights to spend an evening under the stars.
Grizedale Forest is a popular spot for stargazers; it’s an excellent spot for beginners with ample parking and easy access. Regular, guided events are often run here – so you don’t have to worry if you’re an astronomical novice. An experienced guide will take you on a journey through the constellations and Milky Way with the aid of powerful telescopes and binoculars.
Other top stargazing spots in the Lake District include Ennerdale –if you want to feel like you’re out in the wilderness; Wasdale – for dramatically dark skies; and The Langdale Valley, which offers some great spots to grab something to eat and set yourself up for the night.
Of course, it’s essential to stay safe, especially if you’re out on the fells at night. Wrap up warm and cosy, take a torch, binoculars, let someone know where you’re going and download a star and constellation naming app on your phone to help map out the stars above you.
Spooky Family Fun at Muncaster Castle
Muncaster Castle is an excellent day out at any time of the year, but particularly in October when they host their Halloween Week –taking place between 23rd – 31st October 2021. Take the kids and get involved with making enormous carnival puppets for the Lantern Parade, experience shadow puppet theatre in the woods and witness the enchanting Twilight Owl Show.
Any ghost hunters should consider getting tickets for the ghost vigil. The event is held in the Castle on 6th November and hosted by a research team who have been investigating the ‘hauntings’ at Muncaster Castle since 1992. Ticket price includes supper in the Castle, talks and training on the equipment used, the vigil itself and an overnight stay in the Castle.
Bonfire Night in Lancashire
If you’re on the hunt for some spectacular Bonfire Night celebrations in the Lancashire area, you’re in luck. There are plenty of spectacular firework displays happening across the county.
The culmination of the Light Up Lancaster event discussed earlier is the Castle’s firework display. The show can be seen from almost anywhere in the city but has three dedicated viewing areas for the best experience. Don’t worry if the wristbands for your preferred viewing site are sold out – as long as you can see the Castle; you’ll be able to see the fireworks.
Similar events also take place in Clitheroe, Chorley and Blackpool. Head north towards the Lake District for more stunning displays in Windemere, Hawkshead and Sedbergh.
We hope we’ve convinced you to head outside this autumn and check out some of the fantastic festivities that are happening around the county. All the events mentioned here are within easy reach of Old Hall Caravan Park. If you’re looking for a holiday home with easy access to Lancashire and The Lake District, contact us today and see how we can help.