2020 was a year of change
This year has seen the world as we know it change forever. Back in March 2020, the world ground to a halt, and effectively went into hibernation as the 1st lockdown took effect across the globe in a bid to curb the covid pandemic. Everything bar banks, essential shops, care providers closed, resulting in school children staying off school for 6 months, and parents battling the challenges of home schooling whilst juggling working from home or getting their heads around being furloughed.
2020 has been a year like no other, so enjoying pockets of joy when they present themselves is more important than ever. One such moment came with Lap Land Silverstone this week. Mention the name Silverstone, and there is no doubt that many will be able to instantly picture an image of racing cars doing laps on one of the most iconic race tracks in the world!
Nestled in the hills of Northamptonshire, Silverstone is home to the British F1 GP, MotoGP and has been elevated to iconic status thanks to the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher et al.
Now, Silverstone like many businesses all over the world has been hit badly by the effects of the pandemic. All races on the calendar were cancelled, resulting in huge losses financially. As we begin to be allowed to venture out and enjoy days out, socially distanced, Silverstone put their thinking caps on and came up with a very clever idea…….. to turn the track into a light show with a difference, creating Lap Land Silverstone.
Think Christmas lights, set up to tell you a story as you drive round the track, all whilst listening to festive music that we all know and love, with laser lights replicating the northern lights above you and spectacular displays at ground level!
A light display like no other
We were very kindly gifted our tickets for Lapland and also a viewing of The Snowman from the lovely Terri at The Strawberry Fountain, something I am immensely grateful for as I am a key worker and work long shifts in the NHS. This magical evening was a way to give something back to my family and create a bit of Christmas magic.
My little boy is racing car mad (most likely because my husband builds Lewis Hamilton’s race car) and is a big fan of Silverstone. To be able to drive on the track was a dream come true and made all the more special thanks to the light display!
There is an undeniable sense of excitement as you drive on to the track and cross the green and white rumble strip as you make your way to the start. You may be in a humble road car, but I defy anyone to say they don’t for at least a fleeting moment wonder what it would be like to be sat in an F1 car doing the same thing.
From the moment the light display starts, everything pays homage to the race track, with the oversized baubles replicating various countries/Christmas traditions, to the racing line beams designed to show you how fast an F1 car travels through that part of the track, to making you feel you’re in pole position and building the excitement to the next stage, to driving along the pit straight with strobe lights and smoke machines adding to the experience.
Everything has been carefully thought out and kept true to the racing heart throughout.
There are some areas that could be filled out with some static Christmas displays, and perhaps some snowy scenes as well, but for a first attempt it was still pretty good, and kept my 2 children entertained the whole way round. The end of the display features jets of fire, not dissimilar to the end of season fireworks at the finale of a race.
It may also improve the experience if the stewards staggered the cars in a zig zag fashion so you’re not seeing the back of the car in front all the time, but these are small areas to consider in the grand scheme of things.
At the end of the light display, you have the option of paying for a screening of The Snowman. The cars are directed to a large car park (similar to when queuing up for a ferry) and at the front is a huge screen. To hear the movie, you need to tune your car radio to the frequency they give you and then the audio is streamed through your radio.
Prior to the start of the screening, the audience are invited to join in a game using their mobile phones. It provided great entertainment whilst we waited for all the cars to park up!
But back to the screening, The Snowman is a childhood classic and loved by everyone, and it was certainly a big hit with all of us.
There is the option to purchase food before the screening, as well as some souvenirs, but we chose not to as my little boy has multiple allergies. They are also quite pricey, so it’s worth bearing this in mind. Instead I brought along our own popcorn to enjoy!
Is Lap Land Silverstone covid safe?
If you’re concerned about whether you can keep to a safe and socially distanced appropriate gap from other people, then the answer is absolutely yes. Unless you get out of your car for the toilet or to buy food or drink before the showing of The Snowman, you don’t get out of your car and don’t need to. Everything is built around staying in your car, making it one of the safest Christmas experiences around!
If you get the opportunity to go, then we thoroughly recommend you visit Lapland Silverstone. Overall we give the experience an 8.5/10.
here is an updated review of the 2021 Silverstone Lap of Light experience by Jenny in Neverland.
(Tickets were gifted in exchange for a review. All opinions belong to Nathalie from Intolerantgourmand).