With Christmas looking a little uncertain at the moment, we could all do with a bit of festive sparkle. And what better way to indulge in seasonal cheer than with a stunning light display?! Christmas light sales were up 238% last year1, and the joy they provided in those dark times was unparalleled. So, let’s carry that momentum into this year! The perfect pick-me-up, suitable for all ages and completely safe no matter the Covid restrictions, a charming outdoor Christmas lights display will bring your family together and put you straight into the festive mood. So let’s get this Christmas party started!
Dunham Massey Christmas Lights
Where: Dunham Massey Hall, Wood House Lane, Altrincham, WA14 4SJ
When: 19th November 2021 – 3rd January 2022
Ticket Prices: Adult – £21 (£29 with parking), Child (3-16) – £13.50, Under 2 – Free, Family – £74 with parking.
Christmas is back at Dunham Massey with a festive bang! The beautiful National Trust property promises over a million outdoor Christmas lights, lasers and sounds, plus glimmering waterside reflections and dazzling tunnels of light for 2021’s Christmas season. Make sure that you keep your eyes peeled for Father Christmas as you explore, and don’t forget to sample the vast range of festive food and drink provided by independent street food vendors on your way out!
Find out more about the Dunham Massey lights here.
Alnwick Gardens Light Trail
Where: The Alnwick Garden, The Gardeners Cottage, Greenwell Road, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1HB
When: 3rd December 2021 – 2nd January 2022
Ticket Prices: £12.10 per person, Under 4’s – Free
The biggest light trail in the North East is geared up to provide you and your family with an extravaganza of lights and sounds that will enchant all ages. As one of the only venues allowed to open their light trail last year, Alnwick promises to continue spreading the hope and positivity they instilled in their 2020 display, only this time much bigger and much better.
Check out the Alnwick Gardens light trail site here.
Lincoln Castle Illuminated 2021
Where: Lincoln Castle, Castle Hill, Lincoln, LN1 3AA
When: 11th December 2021 – 23rd December 2021 (Dog-friendly days – 15th and 22nd December)
Ticket Prices: Adult – £8, Child – £5.50, Family – £21.50
This year, Lincoln Castle is pulling out all the stops, offering an immersive range of outdoor Christmas lights and decorations to guide the way through the castle grounds. The ticket prices given above include access to the Illuminated Wall Walk as well as the castle grounds, which provides you with a birds-eye view of the castle illuminations and spectacular views of the city. With specific dog-friendly days available, too, make sure you bring along your furry friends for a family evening out to remember.
You can find more information on Lincoln Castle Illuminated here.
Where: Anglesey Abbey, Quy Rd, Lode, Cambridge CB25 9EJ
When: Every weekend from 3rd to 19th December 2021
Ticket Prices: Adult – £17.50, Child (5-17) – £14, Under 5 – free.
Anglesey Abbey will be practically alive this year, with visuals provided by The Projection Studio and nature-themed projections created by Cambridge Film Projects alongside their exciting light shapes and illuminations. On top of this, local author Robert Macfarlane and illustrator Jackie Morris will be lending their voices to recordings of their latest nature-themed poems. So be prepared to have all your senses dazzled at this one!
Take a look at Anglesey Abbey’s lights here.
Enchanted Audley End
Where: Audley End House, Audley End Rd, Audley End, Saffron Walden CB11 4JF
When: Every Thursday – Saturday from 9th to 23rd of December 2021, then 27th – 30th December 2021
Ticket Prices: Adult – £14-£16, Child – £9.50-£11.50, Family £37.50-£43.50
Explore the spectacular grounds of Audley End in even more splendour this Christmas, with a broad assemblage of sounds, colours and illuminations ready to captivate you. Follow the candle-lit pathways towards a vast tunnel of light, a lovely fairy garden, a river adorned with lilies and many more delights to mesmerize people of all ages. With food stalls, fairground rides and toasted marshmallows waiting for you at the end, Enchanted Audley End is a night you don’t want to miss.
For more about Enchanted Audley End, check their website.
Where: Hever Castle, Hever Rd, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG
When: 20th November 2021 – 3rd January 2022
Ticket Prices: Adult – £19, Child (5-18) – £11.50, Under 5 – Free
With the charming ‘Adventures of Pinocchio’ theme, Hever Castle’s culmination of illuminations, colours and outdoor Christmas lights will guide you through the grounds with a beautiful visual story. Beginning in Geppetto’s workshop and leading you through the plot of the well-loved fairy tale, Hever’s immersive Pinocchio trail will awaken the child within everyone. Of course, your favourite characters will be wandering around ready to greet and guide you too, so wrap up warm and let your conscience be your guide around this trail!
Take a look at Hever Castle’s Christmas plans here.
Hylands Estate’s Enlightened
Where: The Pleasure Gardens, Hylands Park, London Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 8FS
When: 26th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022
Ticket Prices: Adult – £12-£16, Child (4-15) – £9-£12, Family – £38-£55
Hylands Estate’s Enlightened returns after a busy Christmas last year with a longer route and even more magical light installations. With their outhouses bedecked and trees aglow, Hylands invites you to explore their estate this Christmas. Its vast tunnel of light, illuminated fairy garden with signs spelt out using multi-coloured lights, musical delights, and staff filled with the Christmas spirit to help you along the way guarantee a treat for all the family.
More about Enlightened can be found at Hylands Estate’s website.
Blenheim Palace Christmas Gardens
Where: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PP
When: 19th November 2021 – 3rd January 2022
Ticket Prices: Adult – £22.50, Child (3-16) – £16, Infant (0-2) – Free, Family – £74, with parking
A National Trust Christmas may be the best Christmas! The charity is stepping up its festivities this year, and the well-loved Blenheim Palace will be at the heart of the celebrations. Their brand new installations include shards of light scattered across the lawns in their Heart of the Stars display, a blazing fire garden, and colour changing light tunnels. Add in a soundtrack of classic Christmas tunes, and Blenheim Palace becomes a place you don’t want to miss this season.
Check out Blenheim Palace’s website for more.
Where: Wakehurst, Selsfield Rd, Haywards Heath RH17 6TN
When: 25th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022
Ticket Prices: Adult – £8.95 – £16, Child – £4.50 – £10, Under 5 – Free
Wakehurst’s grounds are being transformed into a veritable Eden this Christmas, taking their inspiration from the beauty of nature. Their Walled Garden will become an enchanting Twilight Garden, complete with glittering glow worms, their Black Pond will be decadently lit up, plus tendrils of fire will illuminate the lawns. On top of this, a magnificent willow tree sculpture will demonstrate seasonal changes, and fascinating digital displays will document the journey of seeds in animations projected onto the trees. This is an adventure you’ll want to experience over and over!
For more about Glow Wild, take a look at their website.
Westonbirt Enchanted Christmas
Where: Westonbirt Arboretum, Westonbirt, Tetbury GL8 8QS
When: 26th November 2021 – 21st December 2021
Ticket Prices: Adult – £18, Children – £9
Father Christmas has lost his reindeer! Help him find his friends and recover his lost presents at Westonbirt’s Enchanted Christmas trail. Illuminated trees and pathways will guide you through this entertaining treasure hunt, and keep your eyes out for Santa’s elves and the very helpful trees for clues. But watch out for the storm, and don’t get lost! If you manage to find all the reindeer, Father Christmas will be waiting to thank you in person and welcome you to the Christmas village brimming with beautiful stalls and tasty treats.
More details can be found on Westonbirt’s website.
Christmas At Wollaton Hall
Where: Wollaton Hall & Deer Park, Wollaton Park, Nottingham, NG8 2AE
When: November 26th 2021 – January 9th 2022
Ticket Prices: Adult – £19.25, Child (3-16) – £13.75
With such enchanting place names as Rainbow Walkway, Star of Wonder and Deer Park, who wouldn’t want to check Wollaton Hall’s light trail out?! See Christmas in a different light this year with Wollaton’s stunning festive experience, promising glorious tunnels of light, glowing animal statues and extraordinary displays to die for. Check out the map on their website for more details!
Where: Lightwater Valley Theme Park, North Stainley, Ripon HG4 3HT
When: Weekends in December and 21st – 23rd December 2021
Ticket Prices: £12.50 per person, Under 2- Free
Lightwater Valley is bringing Alice in Wonderland to the theme park for their Christmas lights. All your favourite characters from the classic tale will be brought to glittering life in this beautiful light trail, even the fearsome Jabberwocky. Alongside a to-scale Flower Garden with life-sized mushrooms and illuminated tulips, this Alice in Winterland display will bring many a child’s favourite story to life in a way no one could have imagined.
Take a look at Alice in Winterland here.
Although an outdoor Christmas lights trail will be fun, they’ll require pre booking. So ensure you are fully prepared and in time for your allotted slot to really enjoy any of these beautiful outdoor Christmas lights trails. We hope these lights will bring Christmas to life for you this year, and wish you a safe and merry season wherever you may spend it!
Angela Waxler is an ex florist, a professional gardener and has been working in the industry for well over 25 years. Angela has worked with brands all over the world during her career.