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18 lovely light trails near you

You glow, girl! At least, you will at one of these fabulously festive light trails to visit – all doable in less than 90 minutes from Berkshire. Scarf on, boots strapped: let's admire some twinkling.

Windsor Great Park Illuminated, Windsor, Berks, 18 Nov – 9 Jan

WINDSOR ILLUMINATED LIGHTS

Christmas is coming and Windsor Great Park’s inaugural illuminated trail is the one to book. The trail, produced by guys behind Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, will feature a field of lights that will extend more than 1,400 sqm, fountains of projected flowers and holograms of woodland creatures. Prepare to be dazzled. Open from 4.30pm-10pm. Tickets: Adults £21.45, Child, £13.20 and Family £74.80.

Twilight Trail Biscuit Town, Abbey Quarter Reading, 4 – 31 Dec

READING TWILIGHT TRAIL

Is it even Christmas without the flicker of candlelight or a megawatt display to ooh and ahh? Reading’s Twilight Trail is back – a magical festive wander through a sea of sparkles and illuminations in the iconic Abbey Quarter. This year the trail features a light installation that celebrates Reading’s biscuit-making past, interactive elements and the Abbey Ruins come alive with sound and light. It’s basically Reading’s answer to Studio 54 – there’s even a bar. Tickets (adults £8, kids £6) must be booked in advance. Under 2s are free.

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.

Glow 2021, RHS Wisley, Woking, Surrey

See the garden come alive at night with fantastical illuminations to light your way on Wisley’s enchanting festive trail. This year, the garden will glow even brighter with more lights, fire candles and fountain displays, as well as the return of a spectacular horticultural display inside the Glasshouse. It’s on from Fri 19 Nov until 4 Jan, and all tickets must be booked in advance.

The Enchanted Gardens of Light, American Museum, near Bath, Somerset, 9 – 31 Dec

The entire house, gardens and woodland will be bathed in colour, with sparkling reindeer and twinkling tunnels of light. Spiced apple drink, mulled wine and hot choc will help keep your illuminated pecker up.

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.

The Illuminated Garden at West Green House, near Hartley Wintney, Hook, 27 Nov – 30 Dec

Illuminated red tulips light trail West Green House Hartley Wintney Hook Hampshire

Gigantic shimmering flowers, glowing fairies and a forest of illuminated red tulips – the famous Opera Garden at West Green House in North Hampshire undergoes it’s stunning annual winter transformation from late November. Look out for lit water lilies floating on lakes, bridges turned into tunnels of lights and classical follies twinkling in the darkness. Beautiful.

Enlightened at Staunton Farm, Havant, Hants, 3-2 Dec

Enlightened Staunton Farm Hampshire Havant light trail

Coming to Staunton Farm in Havant for the first time this winter, a magical illuminated light trail with light installations and enchanting moments along a specially crafted route. The specialist Insta-worthy installation is set to include huge twinkling tunnels, beams of light into the night sky, enchanted woodlands and err, talking trees! 

Christmas at Stourhead, near Swindon, 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.

Lap of Lights, Silverstone Circuit, Northants, 25 Nov – 3 Jan

Silverstone Circuit Northants lap of lights

The only light and laser drive in the UK, Silverstone Circuit‘s spectacular Lap of Lights event returns this year. 400,000 individual fire lights and 440 laser beams powerful enough to hit the moon – wowzer – as you cruise around the famous race track, spin out a few pirouettes on the illuminated Ice Trak, then warm up with hot dogs and gluhwein in the alpine style food hub afterwards.

CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY

Christmas at Kew, Kew Gardens, Richmond, London

Christmas at Kew Gardens.
Christmas at Kew. Photo credit Jeff Eden

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.

Want more festive fun? Check out our round-up of the best ice rinks for 2021

Find more ideas here

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1 comment on “18 lovely light trails near you”

  • Shell November 19, 2021

    Great article would like to know if there are any accessible light shows for my husband in a mobility scooter, you added this info on your bluebell walks earlier in the year and made us all feel included xxx keep up the good work in your emails and articles xx

    Reply

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