With more than 15,000 visitors a year the Galgorm Castle Fairy Trail is going from strength to strength.
Since opening in 2017, the Fairy Trail has been enchanting visitors of all ages, and families can now book to take their children around the magical experience from its base, the magical Toadstool Cottage.
Special events are held throughout the year at Easter, Halloween, Christmas and over the summer holidays.
“We have families and school groups at our seasonal events that are based on an interactive outdoor experience,” said Stacey Mellon of the Galgorm Castle Fairy Trail. “When the children arrive, they are given a special trail map with a range of interactive clues and puzzles to solve through the spectacular woodland trail in the heart of the Galgorm Castle Estate.
“They can complete it at their own pace whilst observing social distancing and discover some of the unique places through the forest.”
From a Wizard School to a Troll Swamp, every addition has been painstakingly designed by local craftsmen to enchant children.
“All the features have been specially created and many hand-carved,” said Stacey. “There are fairy houses, little fairy doors, gates and tunnels, and even a fairy library and the ever-popular Wizard School
“All the stops along the trail have a different theme and name to keep it interesting and stimulating for our visitors, and there are some lovely surprises as they explore.”
Taking up to two hours to complete, the trail is an integral part of the historic Galgorm Castle Estate near Ballymena, which boasts a café as well as the Galgorm Resort’s Castle Kitchen + Bar restaurant.
In October, the forest is turned into a magical Halloween wonderland.
“At the Halloween events, we introduce a wide range of live characters to the trail, to really bring the experience to life. Stacey explained. “Large as life fairies, zombies, mummies and other characters, created to entertain rather than frighten the younger children.
“At the Christmas event, a troop of elves lead our fairy-seeking visitors into the forest, where they encounter festive characters along the trail and at the end, Santa is waiting to meet them.”
All the special event guided tours can be booked in advance with set booking times, for up to 40 people.
School and other groups can also book, with additional activities available, including crafts.
The Galgorm Castle Fairy Trail is open to visitors all year, seven days a week from 10am to 7pm (peak season) and 10am to 4pm (off-peak) and maps are available to collect on arrival. The trail can cater for up to 60 people every 30 minutes.
Seasonal trails and special events vary in times and run over specific dates on a ticket only basis due to demand.
Booking for the Galgorm Castle Fairy Trail, and for special events is via galgormcastlefairytrail.co.uk.