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Incredible Twilight Trail light show opens at Manchester city centre’s newest park

The family-friendly experience has taken over Mayfield Park.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 15th November 2023

Wandering around twinkling light installations has become a popular festive activity for thousands every winter, and thanks to a new Twilight Trail at Mayfield Park, you don’t even need to leave the city centre to see one. 

This brand new trail (in Manchester‘s brand new 6.5 acre park) brings a giant Christmas tree that flashes in time to music, disco ball installations over the river, a fire pit area where you can roast marshmallows, and a spirograph tunnel. 

It even has a disco soundtrack curated by nightlife favourites La Discotheque and the play park has been included in the trail for the little ones.

The dazzling light trail runs alongside Winter Island, Freight Island’s seasonal festival, where some of the city’s best food operators will be serving Christmas specials. 

The Twilight Trail itself is a budget-friendly festive activity with tickets starting from just £9, and is just a short walk from the trains, buses and trams that stop at Manchester Piccadilly. 


The immersive winter light trail is the first of its kind to be held at Mayfield Park and will run all the way through to New Year’s Eve. 

Visitors will join The Twilight Trail at the main entrance to the park, then spend around 30 minutes exploring, surrounded by twinkling illuminations. 


The light trail ends at Freight Island itself, where you can dig in to the Winter Island food offering or say hi to the Big Man himself at a Visit Santa Experience. 

There’s plenty of food and drink on offer, from a build-your-own boozy hot chocolate bar from Cocoa Cabana, to the Smoking Coal German BBQ, serving a whole bratwurst menu, Schweinshaxe in a bun, and a classic hog roast butty. 

Cheese fanatics will want to take a quick detour to Formaggi by Lazy Tony’s, where you can tuck into all sorts of oozy, melty cheese dishes, like Italian-American toasties, deep fried burrata, melted Camembert, and roast potatoes with poutine toppings. 


That’s not to mention all of Freight Island’s resident traders – Burgerism, Voodoo Ray’s, Lazy Tony’s Lasagnaria, Patel’s Pies, Payal, Mia’s Arepas, FUKU, Mega Gyros, Oh My Cheesecake, and Fry-By are all open for business as usual too. 

The Visit Santa Experience will take over the Plant Room, where for £22.50 kids can meet Father Christmas and his elves, receiving a small Lego gift, a Lindt Chocolate and photo opportunity (it’s free for accompanying adults). 

Laura Percy, development director at LandSecU+I, leading the regeneration of Mayfield, said: “The new Twilight Trail promises to be a brilliant addition to both Mayfield Park and the whole of Manchester city centre, complementing the Christmas markets, which are such a popular destination for thousands of visitors every year.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer our neighbours in Ardwick and Brunswick, particularly families, a large number of complimentary tickets so that as many people as possible can come and enjoy the Trail.

“The spirit of innovation at Mayfield is long-established and it’s great to see our partners at Freight Island continuing to push the boundaries with this exciting autumn programme.”


Jon Drape from The Twilight Trail said: “We are thrilled to bring a new festive experience to Mayfield Park this year. 

“The Twilight Trail’s unique light installations will completely transform this incredible park. We are very proud to be able to deliver such a wonderful experience at an affordable price this year, whether for the family, groups of friends or a date night.

“Combined with the opportunity to visit the brand-new Winter Island next door we believe Depot Mayfield is set to be an unrivalled Christmas destination in the UK.”

Tickets for the Twilight Trail are on sale now here

Adult tickets are £9 in November and £10 in December, while family tickets start at £28. Children under two go free. 

Featured image: The Manc Group