THE grounds of Witley Court, near Worcester, are the setting for festive enchantment, thanks to a display of special lighting.

Visitors will be able to follow an illuminated trail through the gardens, taking in the magic with everything from fairy lights to talking trees along the way, and ending up at the dramatic ruins of the court.

The event will give visitors a rare opportunity to explore this historic estate after dark. Marshmallows, mulled wine and hot chocolate will be available and last-minute Christmas shopping can be done in the festive shop.

Witley Court was once of the great country houses of England, reaching its peak in the Victorian period when it was the setting for extravagant parties and royal entertainments.

After a devastating fire in 1937, it became one of the country’s most spectacular ruins. It is still possible to gain a sense of the opulence and scale of the 19th-century interiors, as well as to see the earlier layers of the building’s history laid bare by the fire.

The Enchanted Witley trail will be open on Thursday-Sunday, December 13-16, and Thursday-Saturday, December 20-22, between 4.30pm and 9pm.

Admission for English Heritage members is adults £8, children £5 and families £21. For non-members, the charges are £12, £7.50 and £31.60.

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 0370 333 1183.