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Lilidorei welcomes 150,000 visitors ahead of first Christmas

More than 150,000 people have already experienced the magic of Lilidorei at the Alnwick Garden in the six months since it opened.

The enchanting children’s play park, which received £5.5 million funding from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, was unveiled at the end of May.

Since then, 34 schools across Northumberland have taken advantage of its free school Friday offer with five more booked in before Christmas.

Lilidorei was conceived by the Duchess of Northumberland and its journey from idea to reality was featured in a documentary, The Duchess and Her Magical Kingdom, broadcast on Channel 4 over the summer.

The £18.5 million project has created over 60 new jobs and is designed to be an all year round destination for the region.

It was the second major project supported by the Borderlands initiative to open in Northumberland after Ad Gefrin museum and distillery in Wooler.

Despite the attraction having a Christmas-all-year-round theme, Lilidorei became a winter wonderland proper in November with the arrival of seven reindeer and an area where visitors can meet Father Christmas.

The vast play structure, which is set in a mythical Elf Kingdom, is also surrounded by more than 1,300 Nordic Christmas trees and 10,000 fairy lights.

Mark Brassell, CEO of The Alnwick Garden, said:

"The first Christmas at Lilidorei is incredibly special. The whole concept was created around Christmas and the clans are planning for it all year round.

"To open the iconic gates and welcome guests into this winter wonderland of intrigue and delight, gaining a first look around Father Christmas's grotto and workshops, has been a pleasure and we look forward to everyone visiting to experience the Christmas magic for themselves.”

Cllr Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council and Borderlands Partnership Board Member, said:

"The success of Lilidorei is testament to the hard work put in by the Duchess and her team at The Alnwick Garden.

"It demonstrates how investing in high quality projects in the Borderlands is key to creating jobs, boosting tourism and driving economic growth across the region.

"We wish everyone at Lilidorei a very happy first Christmas which builds upon the fantastic achievements they have already made."


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