The record-breaking new children's attraction where it’s Christmas all year-round | The Sun

THE world’s largest play structure, Elfwin Drin, has opened in Northumberland – and it celebrates Christmas all year round.

Lilidorei, where the new play structure has opened, is a magical village with its own fantasy lore in the grounds of The Alnwick Garden.

It is the home to nine clans – including Elves, Fairies and Trolls – who can’t be seen by humans.

They worship Christmas throughout the year and are overseen by the Squiffles.

Their fairytale houses are brought to life by state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems.

You can follow sparkling footpaths between Christmas trees to peer through the windows and ring the doorbells of the clan houses.

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While doing so, you’ll hear the beating hearts of the colourful mushrooms that tower over visitors.

The King of Lilidorei's castle doubles as a playhouse with 295ft of tube slides, 558ft of bridges, 10 towers and a sliding pole.

The accessible structure stands 85ft tall – the equivalent of an eight-storey building.

That means Elfwin Drin is nearly 20ft taller than the Angel of the North, the iconic sculpture that many of the expected 200,000 annual visitors will pass on their way to Lilidorei.

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The immersive attraction is great for old and young kidsCredit: Stuart Forster
The idea was thought up more than 10 years agoCredit: Stuart Forster

Jane Percy, the Duchess of Northumberland, came up with the idea of Lilidorei about 10 years ago.

“I started realising that I wanted to do something that was better at Christmas than it was in the summer,” explains the Duchess, who is also the founder of The Alnwick Garden.

“It's better at night and better in the winter months. In the summer is all about playing but in the winter, every single tree is going to light up and it will be the place to come in the UK to see Christmas,” she predicts.

“The story behind Lilidorei is really important…there's lots of questions but no answers,” adds the Duchess, playfully, about encouraging children to use their imaginations.

“The reason for this story is to get children to put their phones back in their pockets…you do not see children on mobile phones,” she says, adding that the attraction is for everyone.

Visitors will be encouraged to play in Elfwin Drin and on the village green by Nathan Bonk, Lilidorei’s top hat-wearing Head of Play, and his team of Secret Keepers.

“We'll help everybody who visits, explore the limits of their imagination and try to come up with stories to explain the mysterious things that are happening around the village of Lilidorei,” explains Nathan in his American accent.

“They have the time of their lives on Elfwin Drin, exploring all the nooks and crannies and swinging bridges, slides and that,” he adds.

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Local primary school children will have opportunities to visit Lilidorei during term times without paying for entry as part of the attraction's Free Friday initiative.

Otherwise, tickets to visit Lilidorei cost £15 (£16.50 with a donation to The Alnwick Garden Trust) for children aged between three and 16 and £12 (£13.20 with a donation) for adults.

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