ARE you still waiting for the Christmas spirit to stir within your family?

If so, a fabulous way to wake it from its year-long slumber it is to visit the magical Winter Glow at Malvern Showground.

The showground is just a 40-minute drive from Hereford (far less from Ledbury), so we went along to find out what there was to see and do.

What’s there?

The event comprises three main fee-paying “festive experiences”  – an ice-skating rink, illuminated light trail and visit to Santa’s grotto (billed the Santa Experience 2023), though you can bundle them into a variety of money-saving VIP packages that automatically book your tickets to each attraction and include food, drink and a reserved table in the VIP area overlooking the ice rink.

Entry is free to the Christmas market; the food quarter featuring stalls selling burgers, hot dogs, gyros and such like, and the fairground (though you have to pay for individual rides). Elf helpers are on hand to answer visitors’ questions and guide them around the site.

What’s the best bit?

Of the fee-paying options, we chose only the illuminated light trail, which weaves across the showground and features some delightful displays that children will adore.

The surrounding trees are bathed in rainbow hues, and there’s something exciting at every turn – a sailing boat voyaging through the darkness, giant tulips, an ice dragon and a flock of penguins glowing with a fruit-salad of colours.

Along the way there are some terrific opportunities for photos in front of angel wings, polar bears, gingerbread houses and in neon-lit tunnels.

Some days are set aside for people who want to bring their dogs.

Hereford Times: The ice-rink at Malvern Winter GlowThe ice-rink at Malvern Winter Glow (Image: Newsquest)

What else can you do?

The fairground, dominated by its magnificent Ferris wheel, includes dodgems, Santa’s Fun House and traditional stalls such as a coconut shy.

Back under cover in one of the showground bars there’s a chance to warm up with stalls selling a mouth-watering selection of food such Yorkshire pudding wraps, Greek gyros, pizza, and buttermilk fried chicken, among others.

The Christmas market (open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only until December 24) is ideal for gifts, with traders specialising in arts and crafts, books and homeware, while festive music from speakers all over the site helps create an uplifting mood on a dark winter’s night.


A trip to the Winter Glow is a wonderful Christmas treat. The showground is easy to get to, and it’s refreshing to have free parking at an event like this. You will, though, need to budget for your visit.


Ice-skating prices range from £8.40 to £13 (child) and £10 to £15 (adult), the light trail costs from £6.60 to £12 (child 3-16) and £13.60 to £24 (adult), a basic Santa Experience 2023 ticket for one adult and one child costs between £48.50 and £60, while additional children’s tickets cost up to £20.70. We’d strongly recommend visiting the Winter Glow website first to plan your visit and spending.