Lilidorei at The Alnwick Garden: World’s biggest children’s play park opening in UK in 2023 gets first test

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Lilidorei at The Alnwick Garden is due to open this spring and one lucky 11-year-old has just had the chance to test it for the first time

The world’s biggest children’s play park Lilidorei is due to open in the UK in 2023, and this week it has been trialled for the first time by a lucky 11-year-old. Jessica King from north Kent was the first ever child to step foot on Lilidorei at The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland after winning a competition to give her the experience.

The fantasy village development is set to be a one-of-a-kind magical adventure where it’s Christmas all year round and where fantastical creatures such as goblins, elves, dwarves and pixies are plentiful. The vision behind the new Lilidorei park aims to help children and adults ‘return to their senses’ and enjoy time away from screens and technology.

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Speaking of her time at Lilidorei, tester Jessica said: "It was wonderful to see how it was being built and how everything is coming together; I’m sure it will be a big hit and everyone’s experiences will be memorable."

The development has cost £15m and will feature a settlement of earthy wooden houses for children and their parents to explore. The idea for the park was dreamt up by the Duchess of Northumberland, with the name meaning ‘the children’s adventure with play at its heart’.

She hopes to get children to use their imaginations in a screen-free environment and ‘awaken’ their senses as they venture through the gigantic play structure.

The Duchess of Northumberland said: “Lilidorei has lived in my imagination for the past 12 years and I am delighted to bring my creative vision to life.

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“The saddest thing is when scientists disprove theories, and we are told that the Loch Ness monster doesn’t exist or that the tooth fairy isn’t real or that Santa is make-believe.

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“Lilidorei turns all this upside down. It exists and it is captivating. We cannot wait to open the doors to Lilidorei and release the magic.”

Costing £15m, the forest clearing will feature a settlement of earthy wooden houses where fantastical creatures such as goblins, elves, dwarves and pixies are. Visitors will be transported to a magical universe through the unique use of immersive sound and zip wires, with slides and climbing walls connecting each area.

Jessica King, 11 visited Lilidorei after winning a competitionJessica King, 11 visited Lilidorei after winning a competition
Jessica King, 11 visited Lilidorei after winning a competition | Lilidorei

As part of The Alnwick Garden charity, Lilidorei has committed to offering “free fridays” during term time to ensure that every schoolchild in Northumberland and the surrounding areas has the chance to visit the attraction for free during their primary years’ education.

A date has not yet been set for Lilidorei’s opening but it is expected to be in April 2023.

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