These brilliant outdoor Christmas light trails will brighten your wintry weekend

Posted on 4th Dec 2020. 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 8 Christmas illuminated trails that are channelling the magic of Christmas at sites across the UK.

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 – ho, ho, ho. So wrap up in your toastiest clothes and let’s ho, ho, ho. Covid restrictions may be in place at individual displays so be sure to check these in advance.


17th November 2021 –  9th January 2022

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, artwork and illuminations.

Expect eyes to light up as you take the enchanting winter trail to the panoramic Palm House light display 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 £21.50 for adults

Want more things to do in London?

Pics credit: My Christmas Trails


19th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022

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 as you explore the beautiful festive grounds.

Majestic, sparkling tree canopies, colour-changing lake reflections, tunnels of lights and glittering deer are just a few of the stunning displays you’ll see on this Christmas trail.

Cost: Tickets start at £21 for adults and £13.50 for children.

Pics credit: My Christmas Trails


Selected dates from 19th November 2021 – 3rd January 2022

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 over one million lights and fabulously colourful illuminations.

Also watch out for Father Christmas as you explore the woods and waterside displays. Finish the trail in cosy style with a mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine.

Cost: Tickets start at £20 for adults and £13.50 for children.

Pics credit: My Christmas Trails


Selected dates from 19th November 2021 – 3rd January 2022

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.

Wrap up and wander under Christmas canopies between the trees, decorated with baubles and stars; grab a mulled wine or hot chocolate and stroll through colour-changing illuminations including larger than life arches of light 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 story of the Nutcracker will unfold in this historic building with a Candy Cane Kingdom of Sweets and magical Land of Snow to explore – a truly unforgettable experience! Please note that this is a separate event and will require an additional ticket. Why not make a weekend of it with our guide to a weekend in Oxford?

Cost:Tickets start at £22.50 for adults and £16 for children.

Pics credit: My Christmas Trails


Selected dates from 25th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022

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 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 that will transport you to another world – you might even be lucky enough to spot Father Christmas on your travels!

Cost: Tickets start at £20 for adults and £14 for children.

Pics credit: My Christmas Trails


26th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022

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

Wander through trees wrapped in lights, see glowing reflections dance on the famous lake and be utterly spellbound by the music and light combinations that flood these stunning grounds with festive magic.

Cost: Tickets start at £20 for adults and £14 for children.

Pics credit: My Christmas Trails


1st December 2021 – 3rd January 2022

With laser beams powerful enough to hit the moon and the chance to drive this iconic formula one circuit by night, this is the perfect light show who those looking for full throttle festive entertainment! Even Santa knows that this event is unmissable and will be making regular appearances so you can update him on your Christmas wish list!

This year visitors will also be able to try out the new Ice Trak (a fabulously illuminated ice rink), cosy up in the wintery themed lodge, grab a bite to eat and check out the children’s cinema – something for the while family indeed!

Cost: Tickets start at £30 per car.

Image credit: Lap of Lights


3rd – 31st December 2021

Taking place in the atmospheric Forbury Gardens and Abbey Ruins, this biscuit-themed light trail tells the story of Huntley & Palmers, one of the UK’s best loved biscuit brands and the reason behind Reading’s ‘Biscuit Town’ moniker.

As well as incredible light installations showcasing the biscuit making process, this amazing event also includes performances from local school children and fabulous food and drink options so that you can eat, drink and be very merry indeed. Whilst you’re in Reading, make a weekend of it with our handy guide to things to do in Reading.

Cost: Tickets start at £8 for adults and £6 for children.

Image credit: Living Reading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

In this article

Claire Robinson Founder of Weekend Candy
Your weekend starts here, baby
Brilliant experiences, easy breezy itineraries, inspired spaces to stay, imaginative things to do and extraordinary places to visit. In short, your go-to destination for an incredible UK weekend or mid-weeker. Funny, honest and unfiltered - jump in.

Instagram Stories

Hook up on instagram - /weekendcandy

Have you seen
these yet?
The Weekend Edit & Weekend Mini
Get the latest and greatest weekend stays, eats, and guides direct to your inbox, weekly or monthly