6 brilliant outdoor Christmas light trails to brighten your wintry weekend

Posted on 13th Dec 2022. In , , , , ,


It’s the most wonderful time of the year to stay in and drink mulled wine or get out, visit a UK Christmas market and go see the Christmas light trails near you. We’ve picked six Christmas illuminated trails that are channelling the magic of Christmas at sites across the UK in 2023.

Hosted in palaces and botanical gardens, these Christmas lights trails are straight from the pages of a winter fairy tale and feature twinkling lights, glowing flowers, colourful trees and amazing illuminated installations. Santa may make an appearance, too!. So wrap up in your toastiest clothes and let’s ho, ho, ho.



Selected dates from 15 November 2023 to 7 January 2024

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew’s sell-out Christmas trail is returning to bring a sprinkle of magic to the festive season. The stunning after-dark display features old favourites and brand new installations in an extravaganza of music and illuminations.

Expect eyes to light up as you take the enchanting winter trail through tunnels of light and prepare to be mesmerised by the flickering flames of the fire garden. If you can tear yourself away from the stunning displays, check out the delicious delicacies on offer including hot chocolates and tasty street eats.

Cost: Tickets start at £19.50 for members and £22.50 for non-members

Stay here: Lulubelle Houseboat

Want more things to do in London?

Pics credit: My Christmas Trails



Selected dates from 17 November to 31 December 2023

The National Trust’s Dunham Massey in Cheshire is home to a gorgeous Georgian house, landscaped garden and an ancient deer park. This Christmas enjoy the sparkling trail of lights and sound as you explore the beautiful festive grounds.

Sparkling tunnels of stars, colour-changing lake reflections and oversized flowers and are just a few of the stunning displays you’ll see on this Christmas trail. Visitors can also enjoy something to eat and drink during the trail and funfair rides are on offer for thrill-seeking family members!

Cost: Tickets start at £19 for adults and £12.50 for children

Stay here: Church Mews Apartment, Manchester

Pics credit: My Christmas Trails



Selected dates from 17 November – 31 December 2023

Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest in Kent is home to a world-leading collection of conifers – could it get much more Christmassy than that? This year, its glittering after-dark Christmas trail returns for seasonal surprises including neon installations and Liquid Sky, a new display for 2023.

Don’t forget to watch out for Father Christmas as you explore the woods and waterside displays and be sure to finish the trail in cosy style with a mug of hot chocolate and a toasted marshmallow.

Cost: Tickets start at £19 for adults and £13 for children.

Stay here: Daisy Chain Cabin

Pics credit: My Christmas Trails



17 November 2023 – 1 January 2024 

Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire will be lit in full glory this year as its popular Christmas Light Trail returns more breath-taking than ever before – giving you the perfect excuse for a weekend in Oxford.

Wrap up and wander under Christmas canopies between the trees, feel the love with illuminated heart-shaped arches and stroll through rainbow installations in this truly magnificent setting.

To bring even more festive cheer to your hearts, this year Blenheim Palace is offering a second festive event inside the Palace itself. The Palace has been transformed to tell the story of Sleeping Beauty with a creepy forest lair, frozen castle and enchanted bedroom – a truly unforgettable experience! Please note that this is a separate event and will require an additional ticket.

Cost:Tickets start at £18.50 for adults and £13.50 for children.

Stay: The Harcourt Arms in Harcourt Stanton or the Royal Oak in Ramsden are lovely Oxfordshire pubs with rooms that come with a cosy Christmas vibe.

Pics credit: My Christmas Trails



Selected dates from 24 November to 31 December 2023

Head to Belton House in Lincolnshire for a spellbinding after-dark Christmas trail around its formal estate and gardens. This National Trust 17th-century country house is beautiful all year round but it’s extra special at Christmas with its festive illuminations.

Follow the Christmas trail and lose yourself in a magical wonderland of natural beauty and carefully curated light displays featuring super cute robins, rainbow trees and giant blooms. Round off your trip through the grounds with a seasonal snack from one of the street food vendors and a cup of something hot to warm the cockles.

Cost: Tickets start at £15 for adults and £10 for children

Pics credit: My Christmas Trails



Selected dates from 1 – 31 December 2023

Stourhead in Wiltshire is famous for its stunning gardens, which appeared in Pride and Prejudice (2005). And now, for the fifth year running, this wonderful National Trust stately home has a Christmas trail that’s not to be missed.

Wander through trees wrapped in lights, pass through twinkling tunnels and keep your eyes peeled for a chance to spot Santa Claus himself! Hot chocolates and street food snacks are also available and you can even toast yourself a marshmallow while you warm up after the trail.

Cost: Tickets start at £15 for adults and £10 for children

Pics credit: My Christmas Trails


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Claire Robinson Founder of Weekend Candy
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