15 Twinkly light trails to visit
You glow, girl! At least, you will at one of these fabulously festive light trails to visit across Glos, Worcs and beyond. Scarf on, hot choc at the ready, time to get twinkly.
An Enchanted Christmas, Westonbirt, Glos, 26 Nov – 21 Dec
The annual classy Christmas light trail from Westonbirt is a real treat. This year the mission is to reunite Father Christmas with his lost reindeer, and experience mesmerising light displays and stunning spectacles along the way, of course. The stunning arboretum will be shimmering with coloured lights and special effects, and head to the Christmas village for vintage fairground rides and lashings of hot chocolate.
Spectacle of Light, Sudeley Castle, Cheltenham, Glos, 26 Nov – 30 Dec
Explore this magical after-dark experience, now in its 6th year. Follow the illuminated trail around the beautiful castle grounds, all set to music, plus new for 2021, see the Light Curve and flickering Flames of the Queen’s Garden. Then go warm up with spiced mulled wine, hot chocolate, food and doughnuts from the Castle Terrace. Book by 25 November and get 10% off tickets.
Enchanted Light Trail, Cotswold Farm Park, Cheltenham, Glos, 26 Nov – 31 Dec
This quirky trail is one for the animal lovers – feed the livestock their evening snacks before they settle down for the night in the twinkling Festive Animal Barn! Then set out on the illuminated trail through the paddocks, stopping off for a warm by the firepit and a cheeky toasted marshmallow before exploring the transformed woodland where the trail reaches a glittering finale.
Winter Glow, Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcs, until Jan
Wrap up warm and prepare to be spellbound – Winter Glow is a dazzling outdoor illuminations trail, made from thousands of twinkling Christmas lights. Not only that there’s a huge covered ice rink, a giant 120ft observation wheel to ride on, personalised santa experiences and fabulous food quarter to explore.
A bit further afield … (but not much!)
Christmas at Longleat, near Warminster, Wilts, 6 Nov – 3 Jan
This year Wiltshire’s famous safari park hosts the UK’s biggest singing Christmas tree, plus the iconic maze will be lit by magical lights to guide the way (like a modern-day wise man and the north star, don’t you think?). There’s also a festive train for little visitors, and a theatre show too.
Winter Light Trail, Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Bucks, 13 Nov – 23 Dec
Waddesdon Manor goes BIG with its light displays and this year’s no exception with a series of installations, light tunnels, a light show on the Rothschild manor’s facade each day at dusk and an exhibition from light artist Leo Villareal celebrating the completion of Illuminated River (the longest public art commission in the world) lighting nine central London bridges. Enjoy the magical lights, then get stuck into some festive food and shopping at the fair, or head to The Five Arrows restaurant for a seasonal menu.
Christmas at Blenheim, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxon, 19 Nov – 2 Jan
You can expect to enjoy over a million lights, lasers, and seasonal sounds at Blenheim this Christmas. Tunnels of light and dancing reflections, and on top of the splendour, a bustling Christmas market with winter street food and festive displays. You can also see the story of The Nutcracker re-imagined within the Palace’s rooms.
Coombe Abbey, near Coventry, Warks, until 24 Dec
As if Coombe Abbey Park isn’t magical enough, see it all lit up on this mesmerising mile-long trail. There’s ambient music too so you can really get in the festive mood. Wrap up warm!
Christmas at Stourhead, Stourton, Wilts, 26 Nov – 2 Jan
Stourhead’s gardens in Wiltshire are impressive at the best of times, but they’re sensational at Christmas, with over a million lights and lasers bouncing about. Think sparkling tunnels (we defy you to resist taking a selfie in there), flickering flames and larger than life illuminations. Call in at nearby Bruton (yes, we know it’s in Somerset) for the best pizza ever at The Chapel. From £14.
Swindon Town Gardens Enchanted Light Trail, Swindon, Wilts, 2-31 Dec
For the first time ever, Swindon’s already pretty Town Garden is being transformed into a winter wonderland with a trail of super-impressive displays lighting up the gardens. From £6.
Warwick Castle, Warks, 27 Nov – 3 Jan
Christmas at the Castle is returning with a stunning light trail. Expect to see the grounds and gardens dressed in thousands of twinkling lights with breath-taking projections on the castle walls. If you’re feeling brave enough there’s also an outdoor ice skating rink.
And light trails in the capital ..
CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY
Christmas at Kew, Kew Gardens, Richmond, London
Returning for its ninth year, Kew Garden’s winter trail is back lighting up the night skies with sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections and trees drenched in jewel-like colour as well as the panoramic Palm House light display. It’s on from Wed 17 to Sun 9 Jan, 4pm-10pm. Its timed entry and capacity is limited, so advance booking is essential.
Palace of Stardust, Hampton Court, London
Enter a whimsical world of planets and stars on an enchanting new light trail at Hampton Court Palace this winter. The trail winds through the palace’s formal gardens, where you’ll find a fantastical wonderland of clocks, moons, planets and sundials. It’s on from Wed 8 Dec until 3 Jan from 4pm-8pm.
Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath, London, 26 Nov – 9 Jan
New this year, the sweeping grounds of this neoclassical stately home (which you may recall from the end of Notting Hill) are to be decked out with a magnificent, glowing path. It’s set to be a multi-sensory experience, and there’s even a VIP terrace bar for festive cocktails after.
Lightopia Festival, Crystal Palace Park, London
This year Lightopia moves to Crystal Palace Park in south-east London. The award-winning lantern and light festival is a visual spectacular with interactive exhibits, immersive light installations and a magical illuminated trail. It’s on from Fri 19 Nov until 2 Jan.