County Durham students have been reaching for the stars quite literally after being drafted in decorate the tallest Christmas tree in the North East with 750 metres of fairy lights.

Standing at an impressive 30 metres tall, the festive evergreen completes AGLOW, an exciting new Christmas light trail which opens at Auckland Castle from November 22 to December 31 -  excluding Christmas Day.

The Northern Echo:

Eight volunteers from East Durham College’s Houghall Campus have been busy adding the finishing touches.

The students - led by their tutors - have been working alongside the team setting up AGLOW, which boasts the longest festive light tunnel in the UK.

The students have been creating light installations in the tree canopies, honing their arboriculture skills and gaining valuable experience working on the historic estate.The Northern Echo: Decorating the region's tallest Christmas tree at Auckland Castle

Andy Nesbitt, Head of Parks and Gardens at The Auckland Project said: “This is a great learning opportunity for students to be involved in an event such as AGLOW, which is sensitively using the natural landscape to celebrate the holiday season.

 “The college has been helping with practical tree management here at The Auckland Project for a number of years and we’re pleased the students can be involved in the set-up of our first large scale Christmas event, using the estate assets to help develop their arboriculture skills even further.”

Working together to position the one-and-a-half-mile long trail within the ancient Castle grounds in Bishop Auckland, visitors will enjoy views of the Deer Park and River Gaunless.The Northern Echo: Decorating the region's tallest Christmas tree at Auckland Castle

Along the route 17 immersive light installations including a 100-metre-long tunnel of 100,000 stars, large-scale illuminations with lasers, neon ropes, mirror balls, LED vines and starburst trees will enchant and enthral festive visitors.   

Edward Perry, CEO of The Auckland Project said: “As in many homes across the country, the Christmas tree at AGLOW will be the festive centrepiece of our holiday season here at Auckland Castle. It's an impressive tree within our beautiful castle grounds and we’re delighted that it can be a part of the hour-and-a-half long light trail.

 “A lot of planning has gone into creating AGLOW and we’re looking forward to welcoming families and friends from across the region when we open soon.

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Tickets for AGLOW, one of the largest light trails in England, are on sale now.

Tickets are £21.50 for adults, £14.50 for children or £66.50 for families (consisting of one adult and three children, or two adults and two children.) Children aged two and under enter for free.  

The Auckland Project Annual Pass Holders receive 20 per cent discount on the ticket prices.  Tickets can be booked on the website: