IT TOOK six 18 tonne trucks to deck out Blenheim for Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Palace, a further four for the lighting and sound equipment, plus a full size Cinderella carriage.

It means that the historic palace is 'absolutely oozing with fairytales, like never before', director of Culture Creative, Zoe Bottrell tells me.

Now installed in the palatial rooms for the first time, Christmas at Blenheim has really pushed the boat out with extensive indoor and outdoor offerings.

“Yes, it’s a big investment for Blenheim, but we were both only interested in producing a high quality Christmas experience,” Zoe adds.

“It’s exciting and a bit scary, but has certainly got our creative juices running. And as the curator, it’s about putting my ideas into practice.

"We wanted something to reflect the palace, but rather than just dress up the opulence, we wanted to create a story thread.

"There is also a more sentimental moment in the chapel with time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and make a wish.”

Considering that last year the entire Illuminated Christmas trail sold out, Zoe has introduced a new water lily show, a cathedral of light and a new fire garden, to wow the crowds.

There is also a giant Christmas market with 80 stalls running until December 16.

With 200,000 people expected at Blenheim, and seven similarly orchestrated experiences being unrolled across the country, from London Zoo to Kew and Beaulieu, Zoe has her work cut out for her, with 130 crew and 27 events to orchestrate.

“I can’t wait,” she says.