Christmas without lights would be like tea without biscuits. It simply won’t do. As the days darken ever earlier, the lights going up in people’s homes and gardens and in our streets and parks are a welcome, comforting and heart-warming sight.

If you’re looking for a magical experience to get you feeling festive, our guide to eight of the best Christmas light trails in England will point you in the right direction. Gather some friends, wrap up warm and prepare to be truly delighted.



Stockeld Park, Harrogate

Christmas lights at Stockeld Park

Christmas lights at Stockeld Park. Image by STOCKELD PARK

The ancient woodland attached to the estate of this grand North Yorkshire country house, is transformed into an enchanted forest, complete with fairytale creatures and a mesmerising lakeside light show that shouldn’t be missed. Reputedly one of the best Christmas light outdoor events in Yorkshire, it’s a wonderful experience for children and grown-ups. And little ones can meet Santa in his magical grotto, too. 

Book here





Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Blenheim lights

Blenheim lights. Image by BLENHEIM PALACE

Blenheim is a marvellous sight at any time of the year, but this Christmas, it’s even more magical with a brand new after-dark illuminated trail. The Palace’s interior has also been transformed into The Kingdom of The Snow Queen. These two experiences combined make for a glittering evening out. 

Book here





Thursford’s Enchanted Journey of Light, Norfolk

Christmas lights at Thursford

Christmas lights at Thursford. Image by THURSFORD

Come November, penguins, polar bears and elves take up residence in the quaint Norfolk village of Thursford. The trail takes you both inside and out, with lots of illuminated creatures and scenes to marvel at, from underwater worlds to the wild North Pole. And apparently, you need to watch out for the naughty mushroom gnomes.

Book here





Lightopia Festival, Manchester

Lightopia at Heaton Park

Lightopia at Heaton Park. Image by LIGHTOPIA

The award-winning light show returns to Heaton Park for a third year, featuring a glittering tunnel and breath-taking installations. The fiery Phoenix Bird and the giant interactive piano walkway are not be missed. Mesmerising fun for the whole family. 

Book here





RHS Glow, Wisley - Surrey

Christmas lights at RHS Glow Wisley

Christmas lights at RHS Glow Wisley. Image by ALEX MANDERS

The Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley in Surrey opens its doors to a new illuminated route around its gardens. Promising to be even bigger and brighter this year, with more light, fire and fountain displays than ever before. The white Christmas display inside the Glasshouse is not to be missed, and you can pick up some gifts in the mini Christmas market. 

Book here





Christmas at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - London

Kew Gardens Christmas lights trail

Kew Gardens Christmas lights trail. Image by SARAH BRAY

Kew was one of the first places to adorn their gardens in twinkling lights and this year, they celebrate their 10th anniversary. The artistry involved in their displays is spectacular, and this Christmas, they’ve created a new route to accentuate even more of the grounds. Wander beneath colourful archways and marvel at neon trees and branches laden with twinkling stars. 

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Longleat Festival of Light, Wiltshire

Christmas at Longleat

Christmas at Longleat. Image by DAVID WHIDBORNE

Roald Dahl fans – and to be honest, who isn’t? – should prance on over to Longleat’s Festival of Light and step into The Wondrous Worlds of Roald Dahl. You’ll meet all of your favourite characters including the 5-metre tall BFG, and experience the enchanted Christmas Tree Show and Santa Train. 

Book here





Christmas at Stourhead

Christmas at Stourhead

Christmas at Stourhead. Image by NATIONAL TRUST STOURHEAD

Sparkling tunnels, giant baubles and trees bejewelled in over a million lights – Christmas at Stourhead delivers a feast for the senses. Gaze at the beautiful lakeside reflections, linger in the mesmerising fire garden and stop for a treat from one of the delicious street food stands. 

Book here



Feeling inspired to get away this winter? Take a look at our recommended accommodation. From cosy cottages to luxurious country spa hotels, there’s a place for every budget. 

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