Located amongst a busy row of shops and takeaways in Newport is a lane that leads down to the home of Sheila Gill, the owner of local Picton Arms on Commercial Road.
Sheila, with the help of her friend Billy, spend weeks decorating her house every year in order for it to be ready for the Christmas season.
Bringing the spirit of Christmas to life for the public to enjoy is admirable enough, but Sheila has a deeper reason – it’s for charity! After over 50 years of charity work in her pub, the land lady now opens her very own winter wonderland for visitors in exchange for donations.
It’s well worth a visit, particularly if you have children… on your way, the bushy surroundings twinkle with thousands of light and colour – magical!
In the garden, a grotto adorned in lights and baubles houses Father Christmas! As I walked towards the garden canopy, a snow machine fired up as the man himself appeared to greet me. I’m sure youngsters would find this a memorable experience.
Inside the conservatory is bursting with festive lights, ornaments and a table of refreshments…
I left full of festive cheer as not only is the place an extraordinary spectacle, it’s also a reminder of the generosity and good will that is really at the heart of this special season.
If you’d like to visit, Santa and the illuminations are there 4-8pm every night until Christmas. It’s just off Stow Hill, Newport, NP20 4HA (and is signposted).