Christmas light trails UK: 15 best places to visit this festive season - from Blenheim Palace to Kew Gardens

Dazzling displays of Christmas light trails across the UK will be sure to get you in the festive spirit - here are some of the best to go to

Christmas is just around the corner and one activity for all ages which has soared in popularity in recent years is going to a festive light trail.

Various country parks, botanical gardens and estates across the country host these trails - where you can see huge displays of colourful festive lights.

Sign up to our Travel Guide newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

There are many to choose from but here are the best places you can visit to see a spectacular display this Christmas.

Where are the best Christmas light trails?

Kew Gardens, London

At Kew Gardens you can discover sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections, and colourfully lit-up trees on your way to the panoramic Palm House light display.

Journey through flickering flames in the Fire Garden, spot larger-than-life illuminations and even say hello to Father Christmas on your way!

When: 17 November - 9 January

Ticket price: Off-peak – £21.50, peak – £26.50

You can book here.

Illuminated Light Trail, Blenheim Palace, Oxford

Blenheim Palace is a firm favourite for the Christmas light trail.

With over a million lights, lasers and seasonal sounds filling the air, there is much festive fun to enjoy.

You can journey through the Palace’s picture-perfect gardens and explore glittering tunnels of light.

When: 19 November - 2 January

Ticket price: Adult - £22.50

You can book here.

Christmas at the Botanic, the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

In Edinburgh, the Royal Botanic Garden hosts a spectacular display of lights alongside dancing waterside reflections and a fire garden.

One you don’t want to miss if you live in Scotland!

Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available to book online only.

When: 25 November – 2 January

Ticket price: Advanced adult ticket – £20, on the day adult ticket - £22

You can book here.

Christmas at Killerton, Exeter

For 2021, a brand new, after-dark illuminated trail through festive gardens comes to Killerton in Exeter.

There’ll be over a million lights and larger-than-life illuminations.

When: 26 November - 2 January (except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day)

Ticket price: Adults from £18

You can book here.

Luminate Wales, Margam Country Park, South Wales

Enjoy a captivating light trail through the stunning, historic gardens of Margam Country Park and Castle, set to ambient music.

You can immerse yourself in the mile long walk with new elements added to the 2021 trail.

The trail will take circa 60-90 minutes to complete.

When: 18 November – 24 December

Ticket price: Adults £15-£17

You can book here.

Enchanted Winter Garden, Antrim Castle Gardens, Northern Ireland

This Christmas Antrim Castle Gardens in Northern Ireland will be transformed with thousands of sparkling bulbs and twinkling fairy lights.

The beautiful surroundings will come alive with the festive lights, filling the trees and turrets of the winter garden.

When: 27 November – 21 December

Ticket price: Adults – £6

You can book here.

Christmas at Bute Park, Cardiff

See a breathtaking spectrum of Christmas illuminations, sculptures, and special effects, all set within the spectacular grounds of Bute Park in Cardiff.

The route is just less than a mile and will take in a special ‘Fire Garden’, an immersive ‘Sea of Light’ installation, and locally produced street food and drink stalls.

When: 25 November – 31 December

Ticket price: Adults (16+) – £18

You can book here.

Thursford’s Enchanted Journey of Light, Norfolk

Thursford’s light trail will take you into Santa’s Magical Journey Building, travelling past penguins and polar bears to giant-sized teddy bears.

Throughout your journey you will be able to meet lots of fantasyland characters including the snowman family.

The Lantern Light Extravaganza also includes a festival of luminous sculptures.

When: 19 November – 23 December

Ticket price: Adults and children starting at £16

You can book here.

Lightopia Seasonal Wonderland, Alton Towers

The Lightopia Seasonal Wonderland, a new 2021 experience, is coming to Alton Towers.

It is Europe’s longest light and lantern trail with an immersive walk-through the four seasons.

There will be a mix of spectacular lanterns, immersive light installations, and colour transformations.

When: 27 November – 2 January

Ticket price: From £20

You can book here.

Lightopia Crystal Palace, London

The award-winning Lightopia will also be returning to the historic Crystal Palace Park in London.

It promises to be London’s finest festival of lights this Christmas.

The palace will be reborn in light with incredible installations and routes.

When: 19 November – 2 January

Ticket price: From £19.50 off-peak

You can book here.

Christmas at Trentham, Trentham Gardens, Staffordshire

Christmas at Trentham is a brand-new illuminated trail where you can see the stunning historic landscape in a new light.

The grounds will come alive with a visually stunning, multi-sensory mix of light, fire and sound.

Celebrate an enchanting winter wonderland and enjoy festive food and drink along the route.

When: 26 November - 9 January

Ticket price: Adults - £21.50

You can book here.

Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Cotswolds

Adventure through the illuminated trees of the arboretum in the Cotswolds as part of their Enchanted Christmas.

You can speak to the trees and tree elves for clues… If you manage to locate all the Reindeer you may catch a glimpse of Father Christmas!

When: 26 November - 21 December

Ticket price: Adults -  £18

You can book here.

Winterfest - Reunited in Light, Wembley Park, London

Wembley Park’s free winter lights trail will return this year.

This year’s theme is ‘Reunited in Light’ featuring brand-new commissions and art installations.

The trail includes the 25ft LED Christmas tree made up of 100,000 lights, which this year will be dressed with brand-new digital artwork ‘City Lights’ - commissioned by Brent artist Yoni Alter.

When: 25 November – 4 January

Ticket price: Free

Find out more here.

Lightopia Festival, Heaton Park, Manchester

The award-winning Lightopia is back and ready to light up Heaton Park this Christmas.

It will be brighter than ever with brand new installations and routes.

When: 25 November - 3 January

Ticket price: Adults - £20

You can book here.

Luminate Coombe, Coombe Abbey Park, Coventry

Join the enchanting journey through the historic grounds of Coombe Abbey Park in Coventry.

Immerse yourself in the mesmerising mile long trail, with stunning lighting elements and fabulous light play, all set to ambient music.

When: 18 November - 24 December

Ticket price: Adults - £15-£17

You can book here.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our email newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.