This weekend I was lucky enough to not only have a child free weekend away with the other half but to have also been invited to e-Luminate Cambridge Festival of Light as a blog ambassador.
The festival started on Friday but we sadly couldn’t make the opening ceremony and it runs until the 17th, so there’s still plenty of time to visit and enjoy the amazing light installations and if you’re lucky book onto one of the fab events. As it’s half term week it would be a fab thing to do with the kids.
We planned our weekend to see some of the best the festival has to offer. After dropping the little one off for a weekend of fun with his grandparents we headed off to Cambridge and went to the pub for lunch and to plan out our day.
The first thing we wanted to do was see how much of the LightQuest we could complete. All we had to do was download an app onto our phones, follow the map to find the hidden e-lanterns and when we found them the app would tell us something interesting about what we had found and we could then take a picture of us at the lantern and upload it to their Facebook page.
I was really excited about this as I thought it would be a fab way to explore Cambridge, get a good walk in and learn a few things, the only trouble is we couldn’t get the app to work and the lanterns were not what we expected, at all. We could find the correct location, the app would confirm we were near a lantern but it wouldn’t give us any information. There were also a couple of places we found that didn’t have a lantern at all! This was a real shame as we soon got bored of looking at buildings, without the background information.
I would still recommend downloading the LightQuest app though as the map is really useful telling you where the different light installations are so you can make sure to see everything, we used it a lot, and we still went and found a lot of the e-lanterns just to give us a nice walk.
The highlight of our day was the ticketed Trail Of Light event we attended, a family version of the trail is happening this Wednesday so you can still go if you want. The trail involved visiting three of the college chapels, St Catharine’s, Peterhouse’s and Pembroke’s and being treated to a short concert at each one. With beautiful choirs and amazing organs getting to listen to and watch these amazing performances was truly brilliant, music has the power to move and I found the classical pieces that were chosen to be very calming after such a long period of chaos in my life, it was a real treat to just sit and listen.
Between each performance we all made the short walk from one chapel to the next and as we had all been given multi coloured, flashing, LED wands to carry, as we walked our group became an actual moving work of light art. We were in the group that met at 4.30pm, I would say there was about 50 of us, so you could imagine what that was like for passer-bys to see and one of the best parts was when we were walking down one side of the street to our final performance and the later group were walking up the other side of the street, everyone waving their light wands. So pretty and so much fun.
Husb and I even joked that this was the closest to clubbing we had been for several years, there was music, it was past dark and our lights were like glo-sticks!
After the final performance we were all invited to the library at Pembroke college for a few nibbles and a glass of wine which was very enjoyable. As the trail ended sooner then we were expecting we decided to look round Cambridge in the dark and really see the amazing light displays at their best. We didn’t get to see them all but the ones we did see were brilliant.
It is an amazing event and most of it is free! If you are nearby or not so near and fancy a night away then you really should check it out. Even sat at home now writing about my husband and I keep on chatting about what we saw and remembering different things and can’t keep from saying how brilliant it was.
To top off our brilliant day we did what any self respecting couple would do on Valentine’s day, we ordered a pizza from Domino’s and headed back to our hotel (Travelodge) room for the evening, where I surprised husb with a bottle of fizz and box of chocolates I had hidden in our bag and we cuddled up to watch a movie I had downloaded, which in true romantic style was of course…… Paddington!!
We completed our weekend away with an early night and a lie in, because if you manage a child free weekend away, sleep, actual uninterrupted sleep, is just the best thing ever! Then today we went to the cinema, another thing almost impossible to do with a toddler, and then on the way home before getting the little munchkin from his grandparents we did the weekly food shop, which to do child free is also an actual treat!
Even after a brilliant weekend away there is nothing quite like being home and we even got to share some of the fun with L as we still had our light sticks from The Trail of Light, so after his bath we had some fun playing with them in the dark.
If you want to check out the e-Luminate Cambridge Festival of Light for yourself you can find out more on their website www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk or find them on Facebook, Twitter (@eLuminateFest) & Instagram (eluminate_cam) plus if you look for #LoveLight2016 you’ll find great pictures from other people who have visited or are involved.
I’d just like to say a big thank you to e-Luminate for inviting us along and having us as ambassador’s, not only did we have a great time and find parts of Cambridge that we had never seen before but it gave us a great and actually romantic Valentine’s weekend that we would have never had otherwise.
Disclosure – We were guests of the festival but all opinions are my own honest thoughts.