AN EAST Lothian "winter wonderland" has been described as an "absolute shambles".

The now-cancelled Enchanted Balgone, a Christmas-themed event run by Enchanted Festivals, was being hosted at Balgone Estate, south of North Berwick, since the start of December.

It has offered revellers funfair rides, Christmas activities, local food and drink, as well as a light trail through the grounds of the estate.

However dozens of disappointed visitors have taken to social media to give unfavourable reviews, alleging that much of what was promised in marketing materials has not been delivered.

The National: Promotional image of what Enchanted Balgone was going to look likePromotional image of what Enchanted Balgone was going to look like

Events company Enchanted Festivals was running the event and Balgone Estate representatives were keen to stress that they are only the hosts.

A spokesperson for Enchanted Festivals stated that all "comments are being taken seriously".

Lynsey Henderson, 39, of Ormiston, went to the event on December 2 with her husband Colin and niece Phoebe, five, and warned other families "not to waste their money" at Enchanted Balgone.

"I want to make sure other families don't experience what us and hundreds of other families have experienced," she claimed to the Courier.

"I attended on the opening night after paying £18 for a ticket for an adult and £8 for a child.

"It was nothing short of diabolical to say the least.

"The advertisement promised all sorts of wonderful Christmas activities.

"The light trail was pretty non-existent and the funfair wasn't even open.

The National: The Enchanted Balgone light trailThe Enchanted Balgone light trail

"We purchased tickets for the rides, yet no one told us they weren't open.

"There was a tent with a few craft bits and that was your lot.

"The food was extremely overpriced; there was definitely nothing enchanting about it at all.

"I have contacted them via numerous sources and had no response.

"Balgone, however, have been fantastic, but they are unable to assist as it's not their event."

She added: "I don't want already-struggling families in East Lothian to think this is going to be some magical event for their kids as it's far from it.

"I had a very upset five-year-old niece and I would hate for any other kids to be upset by this absolute shambles."

One of the biggest draws to the event were the lights, which were advertised in promotional images as covering the estate area in vibrant colours, but Lynsey described these as nothing more than "fairy lights" that weren't all working.

Another visitor who spoke to The East Lothian Courier described the experience as "bizarre", citing a Santa-themed train ride aimed at children that featured a handless mannequin in a Santa suit with an electrical tape belt surrounded by palm trees as an example.

The National: The Santa train ride at Enchanted Balgone with palm treesThe Santa train ride at Enchanted Balgone with palm trees

He added: "This reeks of grifting – it's nothing as what was advertised.

"My feeling is that it has been hastily put together – there will be some really disappointed families."

The National: The entrance to Christmas activities at Enchanted Balgone

Although the vast majority of comments about the event on the Balgone Estate's Facebook page have been critical, some posters were happy with the experience.

One said: "Been here today and what a fantastic day it was, the lights were brilliant – few not working – but the kids never noticed."

Another wrote: "We would go back, my six-year-old loved it."

A spokesperson from Balgone Estate said: "Balgone Estate has been contracted to provide the venue for the Enchanted Festival event which has been curated, managed and operated by Enchanted Festivals.

"We have not been involved in the planning or management of this event and therefore cannot influence how the event is being run.

"We are, however, extremely saddened to see the negative reviews from disappointed customers on social media – Christmas is such a magical time of the year and this event should be fun for everyone.

"We only hope that Enchanted Festivals hear this feedback and act on it."

The National: The muddy entrance at Enchanted Balgone - Sara Julia CampbellThe muddy entrance at Enchanted Balgone - Sara Julia Campbell

An Enchanted Festivals spokesperson said: "We are obviously very concerned about anyone who feels that our event was disappointing.

"As a company, we have been organising Foodies Festivals all around the UK for more than a decade and are a market leader in this field.

"This year, we wanted to expand our Christmas event, usually held at the EICC with hundreds of satisfied visitors, to make it even more festive and family-friendly.

"We have planned this for several months with Balgone Estate as well as other partners such as local food suppliers, and have some very positive feedback from many of our visitors, so these comments are being taken seriously and we are contacting those people to discuss this further."

Entry for the event was £39 for a family during the evening, including the light trail, and £24 during the day, including access to the hay maze.