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Gardens of light and Christmas illumination trails in the UK

A fairytale experience for the whole family

Published by
C. 'silver-tooth' Sharpe·23/11/2022
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Pirates, it's that time of year when everyone is seeking the most cosy and festive things to do. Across the UK, grand houses, historic palaces and ancient woodland trails and being given a Christmas makeover to transform them into sparkling light trails, dotted with immersive light displays and soundscapes.

Take a peek at some of the UK's best light trails - it's the perfect winter activity for the whole family.

Destination

  • United Kingdom
  • England
  • Scotland

Details

London: Christmas at Kew

Image by Richard Haughton

A winter classic that takes over the iconic Kew Gardens in London, this winter light trail is one of the best in the country. After dark, the trees are covered in lights and the mind-blowing illuminations across the vast botanical gardens are one of a kind. Feel extra festive by stopping at the local street food vendors for spiced winter warmers or hot chocolate.

Tickets are available from Wednesday 16 November 2022 - Sunday 8 January 2023

Sussex: Wakehurst Glow Wild

Image by Jeff Eden

Wakehurst is Kew Garden's wilder little brother, with 500 acres of Sussex woodland and a wild botanic garden. During Glow Wild, the gardens are transformed into a winter lantern trail, with immersive soundscapes, glowing lanterns and incredible projections. New for 2022, Wakehurst will feature a never-before-scene route and brand-new installations.

Tickets are available from Thursday 24 Nov until Sunday 1 January 2023.

Manchester: Christmas at Dunham Massey / Forest

The massive Dunham Massey estate, just outside Manchester, hosts an after-dark illuminated trail across its gardens each year. Sparkling tunnels of light and massive illuminations await you here. A sure winner for kids and adults alike.

Tickets are available from 18 November 2022 to 2 January 2023

Buckinghamshire: Waddesdon Manor Winter Light

The grand country house of Waddesdon Manor was built in the style of a French châteaux and is one of the most visited properties within the National Trust's collection. Over Christmas, the estate is given a magical makeover to fill it with twinkling lights and glowing gardens. There is a stunning Winter light trail across the Pleasure grounds, complete with sound and light installations. Thankfully, every grounds ticket includes not only the Winter light trail but also access to the Christmas Fair (Every Wednesday-Sunday until 18 December).

Tickets are available Saturday 12 November – Monday 2 January 2023

Cheshire: Chester Zoo - The Lanterns

This fur-ocious event sees Chester Zoo transformed into an enchanting wonderland. You'll see the zoo in a whole new light (pun intended) with colourful, jaw dropping animal lanterns and festive food on your journey around the zoo.

Tickets are available from Friday 11 November - Friday 23 December

Blenheim Palace

Copyright is Richard Haughton @ Sony Music 2021

Blenheim Palace is already a World Heritage Site and one of the UK's greatest palaces, but over the festive season it has been made over into the perfect Christmas day out. There's a big Christmas Market, the palace itself has been given Snow Queen re-imagined theme and the gardens have a light trail that includes a million lights.

Tickets are available from 18th November 2022 - 2nd January 2023

Edinburgh: Christmas at the Botanics

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh dates back to 1670 and today has more than 13,000 plant species. This Christmas you can explore the grounds like never before, with candlelit trails, stunning installations and light tunnels that will make for the perfect Instagram snap.

Tickets are available from 17 November - 30 December 2022

Yorkshire: Stockeld Park illuminations

Stockeld Park is an adventure park in the middle of a 2000-acre agricultural estate and also Yorkshire's biggest Christmas tree plantation with over half a million Christmas trees onsite. This winter you can experience what is arguably one of the biggest light displays in England, combining sound, light and animations with ancient woodland.

Tickets are available from 19 November 2022 - 3 January 2023

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