Visit our Nordic wonderland

A free festive installation which aims to capture the magic of Christmas morning has returned to Warrington by popular demand.

At No. 25 can be found in Golden Square – just across from Costa and opposite River Island and TK Maxx in the former Warrington Runner unit.

Culture Warrington commissioned two artists – Erica Wilkinson and Lauren Muir – to transform the retail space into a winter wonderland that is now open until the end of the year.

The Warrington duo have created a Nordic-influenced space inspired by the term ‘Hygge’ which is all about feeling cosy, comfy and content.

The evocative installation, supported by Warrington Borough Council, gives the impression of a family home at Christmas but it is also a practical space where families can take a break from the shops.

There is a table for children’s crafts where festive messages can be left for future visitors and a snug where people can sit and relax, play board games and read books supplied by LiveWire’s libraries.

Special pop-up events and performances will also be taking place in the space at scheduled times – all inspired by Nordic folklore. This includes cosy storytelling sessions with Story Stitchers and appearances by ‘Tomte’, a Scandinavian festive character.

Leah Biddle, Cultural Manager at Culture Warrington, said: “We’re delighted to bring At No. 25 back to Golden Square for a second year given how well received it was in 2021.

“The aim of the installation is to spread festive cheer by recreating the magic of a family home on Christmas Day but we also wanted to offer something a little bit different this time around.

“So Erica and Lauren came up with a Nordic twist for the space and have done a gorgeous job in bringing it to life.”

Erica is a freelance artist specialising in sculpture and installation. She is also a youth worker at Warrington Youth Zone. Lauren specialises in printmaking and digital art and currently works with children with additional needs at primary schools around Warrington.

The pair have worked together on several projects in the past and deliver creative sessions under the name See Change Art Club.

Lauren said: “We are hugely passionate about creating safe and nurturing creative spaces. Our aim is to provide opportunities for art to be engaging and accessible for people of all backgrounds and abilities.

“So At No. 25 has been an absolute dream to work on and we have enjoyed incorporating the work of other local artists and groups into our own vision for the space. We hope that the space feels like ‘home’.”

More than 1,200 people visited the installation in the opened weekend as part of a wider festive celebration in the town centre at the end of November – Warrington Weekend Wonderland.

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for culture, added: “I’m delighted that At No. 25 has returned to Golden Square. Last year’s installation was a real success, and I’m looking forward to this year’s Nordic-themed space providing a range of creative and interactive activities for the whole family.

“There will be a feast of free, festive fun, from craft sessions and storytelling workshops to live performances – all aimed at getting everyone into the Christmas spirit and bringing smiles to faces at this special time of year.”

At No. 25 is open daily from 10am to 4pm until 31 December with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and 27 December.