One thing about Christmas light events with kids is that they usually involve hanging around in the cold, often leading to cold children, which in turn leads to grumpiness – me and the kids! Well Silverstone Racetrack has come up with a solution, Christmas lights from the warmth of your car.
Lap of Lights arrived at Silverstone last year in the height of the pandemic and delivered a Covid safe solution to some Christmas cheer. Now that restrictions have lifted, it is back with some new additions.
The main attraction remains the opportunity to take your car round the world-famous racing track. Do not get too excited, Hamilton and Verstappen are safe, it is a very slick operation where you are chaperoned round the track by a festively decorated safety car. To help you really get into the spirit, you can tune in to Silverstone Radio who provide the perfect soundtrack to keep you feeling festive.
Christmas tunes pumping we headed round the track. The slow and steady pace is good as you can take in all the lights. This year’s theme is a trip around the globe with Santa. Bright and beautiful pyramids, rainbow volcanos and glowing Chinese lantern and many more light displays are dotted around the twists and turns of the track. The big man himself is hidden amongst the lights for you to spot and Matilda (4) was super excited that he was there for real to wave us off as we left the pit lanes.
Last year, after the lap you were able to add the option of attending a drive-in movie to watch The Snowman. In fact, Matilda and Hugh seemed a little disappointed it was not there this year, but that was soon forgotten when we reached The Lodge – this year’s new attraction!
The Lodge is based right at the heart of the track, in what would usually be the very exclusive hospitality suites on race day. Access to the Lodge is included with your Lap of Lights ticket. It hosts a number of après-ski styled activities, live music, and some really good festive food options. It was a hit for us this year and in fact we spent more time at The Lodge than it took to go round the lights.
In a way, just the fact that you can see the pit lanes, walk right past the home straight and see some of the cars on display makes it a real winner without anything else. But there is plenty more than that.
We made an evening of it and sampled some of the food on offer. All three adults opted for a ‘Festive Dog’ – a bacon wrapped hot dog topped with cranberry sauce, accompanied by stuffing and finished with crispy brussels sprouts, the kids had mac and cheese with pulled pork and garlic bread. The choice was good and the food overall delicious! There are various other options including a pizza bar and a pit side café for coffee and cake.
The real difference to last year, are the added activities. We posted letters to Father Christmas, snuggled on bean bags watching a movie, tried out curling – and it is harder than you think. I have to say, my favourite had to be the axe throwing, and most definitely one for the parents – something about the stress relief it provides!
The children both really enjoyed the Ice Track – an ice rink built within what would usually be the pits. Although this is not included in the price of your ticket, both Hugh and Moo were desperate to give it a go. There are ‘Penguins’ available for little ones to help, and the rink itself is in a racing track style loop, although we were definitely not achieving any great speed. The grandparents sat this one out and stayed a safe distance in the viewing area where you can also get warm drinks and snacks.
Our visit was jam packed; it seemed a fun filled trip out, more so than last year. The Lodge and its activities made the night special, but this does mean you spend more than just your entry price, something you need to factor in. You could visit without going to The Lodge, but in a way, I think it made it for Hugh and Matilda, especially if you have visited Lap of Lights before.
The Lap of Lights is running from 26 November to – 03 January 2022. Tickets can be booked here; https://www.silverstone.co.uk/events/lap-of-lights