Christmas lights trail to spread festive cheer at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park Shannon Group launches charity appeal

Monday 30th November 2020: Shannon Heritage, a Shannon Group company, is holding a special festive Christmas lights trail through Bunratty Castle and Folk Park running from the 4th to 23rd December, which is guaranteed to spread festive cheer. This year, mindful of social distancing, visitors will get a unique opportunity to enjoy an enchanted walk through the winter woodlands and twinkling lights of Bunratty Folk Park and an opportunity to support a very worthy charity.

“While we may not be able to do our usual Santa event at Bunratty Castle & Folk Park this year, we wanted to give visitors an opportunity to experience a magical Christmas and help us raise the spirits at Crumlin Children’s Hospital. To do this we have created a ‘Giving Tree’ at our Folk Park entrance building, where visitors and members of the public can donate a gift in aid of CMRF Crumlin Toy appeal, one of our Shannon Group’s chosen charities for 2020.

“This charity is dedicated to providing vital funding to paediatric research and critical supports to sick children from all over Ireland who attend CHI Crumlin for diagnosis and treatment. We would encourage anyone who would like to drop off a toy to do so at the Folk Park where our staff will be happy to donate your gift to this worthy cause,” said Vanessa McTigue, Head of Commercial Operations for Shannon Heritage.

Set in 26 acres, the fully outdoor, walk through Christmas lights trail experience at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, is a perfect venue for a pre-Christmas celebration. Pre booking is essential as tickets are limited. The event is capacity controlled and is fully in line with all Covid 19 guidelines. 

As Santa has to adhere to social distancing, he will not be able to sit and chat in his grotto with children as he would have done in previous years. He will however be making a whistle-stop visit to the drawbridge of Bunratty Castle to deliver a very special Christmas message before taking off to his workshop in the North Pole leaving his most important personnel in the park to step into the breach in his absence!

Mrs Claus will be holding the fort in the Golden Vale farmhouse as she busily prepares for Christmas. Visitors can enjoy the wonder of the beautifully decorated festive windows of the Corn Barn, where the reindeers are preparing for their journey to the North Pole and the elves are busy making toys in their workshop.

The Folk Park farmhouses will be adorned with traditional candlelight, and the village street will be illuminated for the occasion. Seasonal characters, including Scrooge, the Grinch, and Jack Frost will be on hand to enthral and entertain young and old as they make their way through this magical festive trail. The Bunratty musicians will add to the wonderful Christmas atmosphere in the Folk Park.

Festive illuminated displays including the abominable snowman of Bunratty, the giant Christmas jumper of the Earl of Thomond, the twinkling lights of the Bunratty Polar Express, and a traditional nativity scene, are all on the menu this Christmas season.

“As 2020 has been a very challenging year for all of us, we will have a special Christmas Wishing Tree as part of our festive experience. At the Wishing Tree we are encouraging visitors to bring along a special message to place on the tree with their wishes, dreams and hopes for the year ahead,” said Ms McTigue.

Tickets for the pre-booked event can be purchased online on Information on the event can be found

For a full list of the CMRF Crumlin Toy Appeal Wish List visit