ONE of the top festive light attractions in the UK has enjoyed a magical makeover this Christmas.
Multi-award winning visitor attraction The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland, which is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, has just been named as one of the country’s top five best festive light displays by Country Living Magazine.
And the innovative company which brought The Alnwick Garden’s spectacular Grand Cascade water fountain light show to life, has also now turned the spotlight on the venue’s world-famous Treehouse restaurant.
Marl International has completed the installation of 13,000 LED lights in and around the stunning venue - known for being the world’s largest treehouse restaurant.
The Cumbrian business has completed the whole process to give the iconic Treehouse its LED lighting makeover - from the vision, through the design, development, manufacture, and installation of the lights.
“With our wealth of product knowledge we have been able to take this project from the vision through to reality,” said Katie Higgins, Marl’s core-opto manager.
The installation includes 130 metres of LED fairylights, 80 decking spotlights, and more than 30 LED uplighters which light nine trees in unison in any colour imaginable around the Treehouse.
“The tree spots are all connected and all change colour together in any shade of a full spectrum of colours, so you can theme them with an event or a particular time of year,” said Katie.
The brief to the Marl team from the Duchess of Northumberland was to maintain the magic by keeping the source of the lights out of sight.
“The way we have lit the trees you see the different colours on the trees themselves, and not the light source. They look fantastic,” said Katie.
“We have illuminated a 20-metre walkway to the restaurant with cool white icicle lights and inside the restaurant we have used warm white lights.
“We have been working on installing the lights in all weathers and finished it towards the end of November in time for the festive season. We are really pleased with how it looks.
“The Duchess has told us she is really impressed with it and has asked us to work on more areas next year when The Alnwick Garden has its big 20-year anniversary celebrations.”
Marl’s association with the Duchess and The Alnwick Garden goes right back to 2012 when it was asked to create the light show for the Grand Cascade 120-jet water fountain.
“We created that whole programme and made sure it all worked in time with the music. It was very specialised technology,” said Katie.
The Grand Cascade is particularly atmospheric at Christmas, with The Treehouse restaurant also available for bookings.
The 12-acre gardens are also a favourite wedding venue with The Pavilion and The Treehouse available to hire.
Mark Brassell, director at The Alnwick Garden, said: “The Duchess of Northumberland is clear that we must always make sure everyone we do business with is of the highest quality.
“When the Duchess had the idea of the lighting at the Treehouse we wanted to partner with the best lighting specialists we could.
“Marl had worked with us on our main garden illuminations and that went really well. It has been upgraded by Marl over the years and is one of the highlights of our festive season which people come from far and wide to see.
“The Treehouse is also an iconic building and we thought ‘how could we make it look amazing at night?’ and we knew Marl would be ideal to work with.
“Marl have installed the LED lighting display, inside and outside The Treehouse. And it looks amazing.
“Along with our new catering partner Searcys - known for their restaurants at The Gherkin and Blenheim Palace among others - Marl’s lighting has helped take The Treehouse experience to a whole new level. We are thrilled with the end result.”
Marl managing director Adrian Rawlinson said: “We enjoy working with The Duchess and all the team at Alnwick. They are great fun to work with.
“It is also exciting illuminating some of the most impressive landscape features in the UK and turning the vision from The Duchess into reality, where we design the lighting scheme, often make customized lighting systems and software, and take it all the way through programming, installation and commissioning - a full turn-key solution.”
As well as Marl’s magical new lighting display, The Alnwick Garden has created a special ice playground and winter bumper cars, as part of its festive season attractions this year.
Next year it plans to mark its 20th anniversary with 20 weeks of events planned from Easter through to the end of the school summer holidays.
To find out about opening times during the festive season and more information of forthcoming attractions at The Alnwick Garden, including next year’s 20th anniversary celebration events, visit www.alnwickgarden.com
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