5 December 2018

Christmas 2018 - Enchanted Parks - Everything You Need to Know (AD)

We were invited to attend Enchanted Parks and received complimentary tickets, parking and food.

There is something special and empowering about being able to wander through an unlit park in the dark. Enchanted Parks in Saltwell Park in Gateshead, part of the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival, invites you to do just that and take your family with you.

So last night, following an invitation from NewcastleGateshead Initiative, me and the boys headed to this year’s Enchanted Parks - The House of the Lost & Found - where we had mystical adventure through Gateshead’s famous Victorian park, brought to life with light, sounds, fire, and performance.

Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know



Enchanted Parks 2018 - Everything You Need to Know


Enchanted Parks is the NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Gateshead Council’s popular after-dark arts adventure in the atmospheric setting of Saltwell Park. The annual event sees specially commissioned artists transform Gateshead’s Saltwell Park into a magical and mythical wonderland, will run for six nights from 4-9 December.


Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know


Winter Festivals


The art trail takes you through Saltwell Park on a gentle stroll around a well-marked path, which is also buggy-friendly. Meandering through areas which are usually full of children playing in the daytime, with wonder and imagination on every corner.

Using art to reclaim places we no longer go and taking art out to communities is such an important and underestimated part of festivals such as Enchanted Parks and taking place just before Christmas makes it perfect for a winter walk.

Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know


Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know


What is this year’s theme?

This year’s theme, The House of Lost and Found, tells the story of a travelling fair, but not a fair of fast, over-priced rides and candy apples - a fair that has been travelling in one guise or another for centuries.

At the helm is Peter Chevalier, an illusionist and philanthropist who has gathered around him an extended ‘family’ of people who are in some way lost. This weird and wonderful ‘family’ have attracted attention, suspicion and awe wherever they turn up and turn up they do. Overnight they appear, stay for a few days and then disappear.

Each fair is different, taking on the quirks and foibles of whatever place they end up, but the story is always the same: what have you lost and how can we help you find it?


Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know

What Will I See?

Throughout the trail, there is animation, light, smoke, mirrors, live performance. Illuminated words and the opportunity to write your own. Overall I would say that this year has less of a wow factor than last year. I still vividly remember the giant fluorescent flowers, animated animal band and the white inflatables. This year Enchanted Parks is more understated but also more interactive and fun. I could stare and touch the light globes for hours. I couldn’t resist seeing my name in lights, and playing with your shadow is always fun!

Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know


Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know

The Shadow Collector

This travelling fair, whilst aiming to reunite lost items with their owners is still here to entertain. Play with your shadow at The House of Lost and Found. Strike a pose in front of the shadow screen, The Shadow Collector catches your shadow on the screen with a flash of light. Step away and watch The Shadow Collector bring your shadow to life with phosphorescent colour.

Total kudos to the group of people ahead of us for The Shadow Collector - watching them do YMCA really entertained the queue.

Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know


The Little Legionnaires

Have you ever had a fleeting idea in the waking hours, that somehow disappeared when you woke the next morning? Chances are it was caught by The Little Legionnaires. These tiny Finders Keepers kept safe to be returned when you need it most. Come and see them at work in The House of Lost and Found.

The Magpie retrieval unit was of particular interest to my eldest - he thought this one was really clever - he got it before me!

Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know

Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know

Garden of Lost & Found Voices

Ever felt like you've lost your voice, or struggled to find it? Enter into the Garden of Found Voices to hear a whole flock of them, speaking of the struggle and triumph of finding their voice.  Gathered around fires they appear and disappear into the night... wonder amongst them, find links and even add your own voice into the constellation.

Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know


There were also lots of objects that caught the imagination of the boys, like a leg and a teddy bear.


Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know

Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know
Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know
Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know


Where is it?

Enchanted Parks takes place at Saltwell Park in Gateshead (NE9 5AX). The event is signposted from the A167, Durham Road (North & South). Entrance to Enchanted Parks is via the entrance to the park through Joicey Road car park only.

What time is it on?

Tickets are valid for entry in 15-minute intervals, from 4.15pm until the last admission to the park at 8.30pm. 

Can I Still Get a Ticket?

Tickets still available for some slots throughout the week and can be purchased via the Enchanted Parks website www.EnchantedParks.com

Tickets are priced at £9 for adults (plus 50p booking fee) and £4.50 for children under 16. Children aged 3 and under go FREE but still require a ticket. An adult must accompany children and young adults under the age of 16

How long does it take?

We had a gentle stroll, there was no overcrowding and minimal queuing and we spent two hours in total I the park, which included toilet stops and pizza. However, there isn't a time limit for you staying in the Park so you can take your time and enjoy the event at your own pace.

Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know

How to get there?

  • Go North East services from Newcastle city centre No: 1 and 21 for Saltwell Park stop at Durham Road near to the Joicey Road junction and are approximately 5 minutes walk to the entrance at Joicey Road.
  • Go North East service 28A stops at Saltwell Road South near to the junction with East Park Road, which is approximately 5 minutes walk to the entrance at Joicey Road
  • Go North East Bus No.53 or 54 from Newcastle or Gateshead Interchange. No.53 stops on Brinkburn Avenue. No.54 stops on Saltwell View which runs along the Park’s northern boundary. Both stops are around a 10 minute walk to the entrance at Joicey Road.

For Go North East bus information, see http://www.gonortheast.co.uk/.
For further public transport advice go to www.nexus.org.uk or call Traveline on 0871 200 2233.

Where to park?

When we arrived and there was a spot in the car park by the main entrance but we were lucky as parking is extremely limited and is not guaranteed. If you do decide to bring your car and are using sat nav, follow postcode NE9 5AT, to Joicey Road.

Please note priority will be given to Blue Badge Holders for whom parking is free of charge. Other vehicles which will be charged at £5 per car, cash only.

What to eat and drink?

By the River Brew Co.'s HWKRMRKT has brought its own array of tasty smells and treats with Scream For Pizza, Chuchos, Medhead, Fat Hippo, Nan Bei and North Shore Coffee Co. This food area is by the two play areas in Saltwell Park, and just over half-way around the trail. A good place for a pitstop. We tried the pizzas from Scream for Pizza which were delicious!

Saltwell Towers café is also open and serving hot and cold refreshments.

Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know


What to buy?

At Saltwell Towers there is a bumper Craft Market, with Powder Buttlerfly, Re-styled by St Oswald’s, Thought Foundation, Bonkers About Alice, The Crafthood, Puppy Sues' K9 Kitchen, and BALTIC Shop is back returning for another year of festive cheer to Saltwell Park, the independent art shop will have a pop up shop brimming with imaginative and unique last minute Christmas presents and stocking fillers

Enchanted Parks 2018 in Saltwell Park, NewcastleGateshead - Everything You Need to Know

What about the weather?

We were lucky with the weather. It was slightly muddy underfoot in part, especially by the interactive installations, but most of the trail takes you along the park's paths. It was also dry and about 5 degrees. We wrapped up warm but we’re never too cold.


The event is designed to go ahead in all reasonable weather so do dress appropriately with warm clothing and suitable footwear. If you have any concerns about the weather on the night that your ticket is valid please check the website in the first instance.

Where are you heading this winter?

Deb x


To be kept up to date with events, new openings, recipes, things to do and child-friendly places to take the kids, plus giveaways then follow My Boys Club on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter too.

No comments:

Post a Comment