It’s the most wonderful time of the year because Silverstone is celebrating the return of their Lap of Lights event for 2021!
This is for sure the most unique experience you could do this Christmas in Northamptonshire. I mean, who else can say they’ve driven on the Silverstone race track!?
Last year this event completely sold out and I have a feeling this year is going to be the same as it’s expected to be bigger, bolder, brighter than ever! I took Josh and my parents to enjoy an evening out and I wanted to visit with an open mind so I could give you an honest review of my thoughts.
The Lap Of Lights experience
As this was my first year attending the lap of lights at Silverstone, I really had no comparison to judge from and I kept an open mind as to what I would expect – I also tried to not listen too much to the mix of reviews I’ve heard previously.
Due to the volume of people in attendance on press night, there was a long queue and wait to get onto the actual track – it felt more like you were waiting on the motorway than an actual race track – but luckily, everyone in our car was in good spirits thanks to the company of Radio Silverstone, which will be running a special lap of lights programme full of Christmas tracks!
Once we got onto the track, the excitement began (especially for my F1 fanatic dad!)
The lap features over 440 laser beams and 400,000 festive lights throughout the self-drive lap where you follow Santa on his round the world journey – you never quite knew what you would expect and with every turn, there was a different surprise in store.
For us, considering we can be quite judgemental on what’s good and not so good – we really enjoyed the light displays and I think the excitement of actually driving on the Silverstone race track (much slower than the F1 drivers, of course) was a big highlight for all of us.
I could certainly see this as an event kids would enjoy and (hopefully one day) when I’m lucky to be a parent, it would be a brilliant experience for our kids to witness!
What to expect
I would say the main place to visit (apart from the actual lap of lights itself) is The Lodge.
The Silverstone Wing has been transformed into an atmospheric alpine lodge that features the first-ever skating rink to appear inside the world-famous motor racing circuit. The ice rink is built in and around the Formula 1 garages and pit lane which is an experience itself and looks amazing when it’s all illuminated – you can also grab some refreshments like the luxury hot chocolates which tasted amazing!
The Lodge is a place where you could spend the whole afternoon/evening as it features festive, après fun! It’s also incredibly warm inside so you can defrost from the cold outside whilst you’re entertained by the band who are actually very good! There’s even a Santa on the DJ decks!
There’s a lot of activities for all ages to get involved with such as axe throwing, curling as well as a children’s cinema and sweetie bar (which this big kid here really loved!) The vibe in the lodge apparently adapts to its audience with a family relevant atmosphere in the day moving to more of a party feel as the evening progresses.
Sadly, we didn’t get the chance to experience any of the activities like the Ice Trak and axe throwing, due to our food taking too long to arrive (it took over an hour to arrive) meaning activities started to shut at 9am even though the ticket advertises everything finishes at 10pm.
So I guess that’s a reason to book again!
But speaking of food; there’s a really varied menu to choose from and lots of things to eat and drink. You have festive hot dogs, loaded fries, waffles and alllll the mulled wine and festive punch! Even though it took a long time to arrive, it’s decent food and you can either order at the bars, or via the app which you can scan on your table via a QR code.
Top tips for visiting
After doing the experience myself, I thought I’d use this time to share some top tips:
- Once you arrive, do the lap of lights experience first. This is because the lap is at a different entrance to where the Lodge and other activities are, so due to how big the place is, there’s a lot of driving to and from each place, so save yourself and do the lap first, then park up and enjoy what the lodge has to offer as we ended up going to the lodge first, then to the lights and back again!
- Be prepared to get your pennies out – it’s going to be an expensive evening depending on how many of you are attending – for four of us, food came to around £50 and drinks an added extra, plus the ticket price itself and any activities. But I guess you can forgive this as it’s Christmas and a unique event to enjoy.
- Order food asap! There was a period of time when they had to shut the kitchen for 30 minutes due to the overwhelming amount of orders they received – but this might be down to first night vibes. Either way, get in quick!
Lap of Lights tickets are from £30 per car. The Ice Trak is from £8 for adults, £6 per child. Entry to the Lodge is free with a Lap of Lights ticket. The Lodge and Ice Trak open at 13.30 each day, with Lap of Lights bookings from 5pm. The event opens on 26th November and runs through to 3rd January (closed on 29, 30 November, 6, 7, 25 December).
Full details and booking at www.silverstone.co.uk
Will you be attending this event in Northamptonshire? Despite it’s teething problems, I think it’s a grand event to attend this Christmas!