The UK’s largest Christmas tree
I had the fortune to visit my girlfriend this week, meeting her at Cheshire Oaks in the North West of England for a spot of Christmas window shopping before heading up to hers.
As we pulled into the complex, the sight of an enormous Christmas tree loomed into view. Parking nearby, the impressive structure dominated the car park that it was set up in, and certainly looked taller than the large Norwegian tree I’m used to seeing annually in Trafalgar Square.
It turns out that this is, in fact, the UK’s largest Christmas tree. Impressive.
A closer inspection showed that it was, in fact, man made, which for me isn’t strictly a tree of any kind, but there was a charity collection taking place outside (for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd) which helps ease the fib along.
The tree is a steel-based construction which uses a dozen steel foundation pins each sunk 12m into the ground to keep it upright. With over 4 tonnes of lights and another tonne of nuts and bolts, the whole structure is an awesome feat for something which is only a short term feature.
In fact, on top of the 450 hours it took to fabricate the steel, it took an additional 680 hours to build! That’s almost seven weeks of non-stop work to get the final result.
It’s an impressive sight, and free to visit, though donations are encouraged. That said, once you’ve seen it, there’s little more to do other than to wander through the middle, pose by the fake reindeer and marvel at the conical internal structure.
If you’re in the area, I’d definitely say it was worth looking at, though I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go too out of their way for an experience that lasts only a few minutes. Though, of course, there is always the lure of the designer outlet while you are there.
Would you make a special visit to see this tree, or is it something you’d only be inclined to visit as part of a trip to the stores nearby?