Sunderland illuminations is something that I’ve never visited before, until tonight. Can you believe it? This gal here who loves lights has never been to the light festival. I almost don’t quite believe it myself.
When my mum asked me if I fancied going to the illuminations initially, I jumped to the opportunity. In previous years my mum had gone, but I was away at uni and missed the chance to see them. So this year, was finally my chance to visit Sunderland and see the lights for myself instead of viewing lots of pictures on Facebook.
I knew it was going to be cold so I decided to dress sensibly – for once. Wearing a dark grey jumper I got from Newlook last Autumn and my black skinny jeans. I opted for my big winter coat, nude converse and oversized pink and white Primark scarf for a comfortable, warm, yet cute practical look.
For tonight, the thicker the clothing the better as the wind is really harsh outside and when you’re on the sea front the wind is even more bitter. I’m a cold person anyways so I knew I needed to overcompensate.
And guess what. It was raining and blowing a gale.
Especially as it wasn’t forecast rain when we booked the tickets the previous night. But this is Britain and we are all used to a bit of rain, so we sucked it up and plodded on anyways.
The big wheel and a load of other rides and attractions are set out along the sea front which would be a lovely little walk in dry conditions, with the lights hanging from pillar to post along the road.
Tonight, on the other hand, was a bit of brisk walk along the sea front with the wind in our faces and the rain lashing down which made my skinny jeans even more skinny as they stuck uncomfortably to my legs.
The tickets to enter the park where the lights are cost £2 each and can only be purchased online as no tickets are sold in the gate anymore, like previous years.
Our chosen time slot was 7.30pm which meant it was nice and dark by the time we got into the park which is perfect for seeing the lights shining brightly.
I’m not a fan of Doctor Who, but I must admit the Tardis and Dalek were amazing they were lit up so brightly and had surrounding music around which really added to the theme. They actually look so realistic too, I could imagine the Dalek spinning around and coming after us. Imagine!
Luckily by this time the rain had stopped and I was able to de-hood myself and roam around without peeping out of the (faux) fur on my hood.
It’s all about the small things in life!
Of course, you can’t go anywhere without stalls of hot food and drinks being sold and there were gorgeous smelling stalls of doughnuts, mulled wine – which is too Christmassy for me, hot chocolate and hot dogs.
Unfortunately, the rain put us off having any food as soggy chips didn’t seem appealing, which I think is pretty fair in these conditions.
You can spot the park a mile off when walking up the road. The lights are shining so bright it can’t help but catch your eye. Once I got inside the park I soon realised how the park could be seen from a mile off.
There was a flood of people heading towards the park, which shows that a little bit of rain doesn’t ruin everyones time.
The Alice in Wonderland section seemed the most popular. I had to wait a little while to get some pictures that were people free as it seemed to be selfie central. How impressive are those figures though? Alice in Wonderland is one of my personal favourite films so I was rather excited to see the feature as big as they were.
The Christmas section seemed a little too early for my liking, but I’m still up for getting into the Christmas spirit now and again, before it hits December. But, I heard a few moans and groans around me when others reached this section. Little Grinches!
This is the new addition to the North East, the Northern Spire which is Sunderland’s new bridge. I think it’s a nice little touch added to the festival this year, putting a real personal stamp on the event.
After spending well over an hour in the park we were all freezing and wet right through so we headed back to the car to travel home.
Nothing sounds quite as sweet as “Let’s go home, put the heating on, get into your pajamas, have some food, make a cup of tea, and chill out for the rest of the night” And if I’m honest my mum had me at put the heating on.
I’m so glad I finalllyyy got to go to Sunderland Illuminations, it was a lot better than anticipated and if the weather was better the night would have been almost perfect. I’m saying almost because it’s just a shame that the Illuminations are in Sunderland (I’m a Newcastle fan)