Welcome to the most festive pub in the UK.
The Queen Victoria Inn on the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England has been transformed into “The Gingerbread Inn” with 60,000 fairy lights and a 22-foot (6.7-meter) snowman made of beer bottles.
It took four days for a team of four people to cover the exterior walls of the pub in gingerbread men, sweets, candy canes, and thousands of bulbs requiring 3 miles (5 kilometers) of wiring.
The stunning display is hooked up to its own circuit board separate from the pub’s main electricity supply.
52-year-old landlord Mark Walton started the tradition four years ago in aid of the Children’s Hospice South West charity—and he managed to raise nearly $6,400 (£5,000) last year alone.
This year, however, he added a giant snowman made out of 2,500 empty beer bottles to the grounds of the pub. Outside the pub, he has placed two large buckets for people to leave donations so he can achieve his goal of raising $7,700 (£6,000) during this year’s celebration.
“When people see it, they just say ‘wow’,” said Walton, who is also a father-of-three and a grandfather-of-one. “People come from all over the world to visit us at Christmas. It’s good for business and the charity does very well out of it.
“When we did the switch-on, it was great to see if all lit up for the first time. I was taken back because it was so awesome.
“Seeing the photos is one thing, but it’s hard to comprehend the size of it until you’re actually here,” he added. “It’s quite a sight and it’s worth all of the hard work.”
In fact, Walton’s pub gets so busy in December, he no longer accepts bookings for the whole month—so people will travel for hours to see his lights.
“Traditionally we are a country pub in the middle of nowhere and people do travel a long way to see us,” said Walton. “It is amazing to look at. I’ve known people travel up from Southampton and down from the midlands.
“We have covered every inch of the pub—and at this time of the year, it does become the centerpiece of the village.”
This year’s lights—which were officially turned on for the 2019 festive period on the evening of November 24th—will remain illuminated until early January.
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