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12 lovely winter light trails in Northants and beyond

You glow, girl! At least, you will at one of these fabulously festive light trails to visit this festive season. Scarf on, boots strapped: let's admire some twinkling.

Winter Light Trail, Delapré Abbey, Northampton, 19 Nov – 2 Jan

Delapre abbey xmas light trail northampton

Lose yourself in the breath-taking grounds of Northampton’s historic Delapré Abbey this winter, where the fairytale walled garden and woodlands are lit up with colourful tunnels of light, sparkling trees and magical soundscapes. There’s a ski lodge bar serving hearty food and warming winter cocktails for that little bit of extra Christmas sparkle too. You can even pre-book your own cosy mini wooden chalet for up to 8 people and Muddy paws are welcome. If you’re feeling extra special book in to Hibiscus fine dining restaurant for their sumptuous tasting menu (Thurs-Sat evenings).

Lap of Lights, Silverstone Circuit, Northants, 25 Nov – 3 Jan

Silverstone Circuit Northants lap of lights

The only light and laser drive in the UK, Silverstone Circuit‘s spectacular Lap of Lights event returns this year. 400,000 individual fire lights and 440 laser beams powerful enough to hit the moon – wowzer – as you cruise around the famous race track, spin out a few pirouettes on the illuminated Ice Trak, then warm up with hot dogs and gluhwein in the alpine style food hub afterwards.

Winter Light Trail, Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Bucks, 13 Nov – 23 Dec

Waddesdon Manor goes BIG with its light displays and this year’s no exception with a series of installations, light tunnels, a light show on the Rothschild manor’s facade each day at dusk and an exhibition from light artist Leo Villareal celebrating the completion of Illuminated River (the longest public art commission in the world) lighting nine central London bridges. Enjoy the magical lights, then get stuck into some festive food and shopping at the fair, or head to The Five Arrows restaurant for a seasonal menu.

Christmas at Blenheim, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxon, 19 Nov – 2 Jan

You can expect to enjoy over a million lights, lasers, and seasonal sounds at Blenheim this Christmas. Tunnels of light and dancing reflections, and on top of the splendour, a bustling Christmas market with winter street food and festive displays. You can also see the story of The Nutcracker re-imagined within the Palace’s rooms.

Coombe Abbey, near Coventry, Warks, until 24 Dec

As if Coombe Abbey Park isn’t magical enough, see it all lit up on this mesmerising mile-long trail. There’s ambient music too so you can really get in the festive mood. Wrap up warm!

Wimpole, nr Cambridge 26 Nov – 2 Jan 

It’s lights, camera, action when you visit Wimpole, as you won’t be able to stop Instagramming the festive gardens, including giant baubles, a fire garden, sparkling light tunnels and neon-lit trees, all set to a seasonal soundtrack. There are rumours Father Christmas might make an appearance and don’t miss hot choc and marshmallows at the end of the trail. 

Rhizome, Cultural Quarter, Leicester, 18 Nov – 5 Jan

Not so much a light trail but rather a large-scale light installation. This year Leicester’s Cultural Quarter will be lit up by Rhizome. This impressive structure is made up of interconnecting colour-changing neon ropes and visitors will be able to wander through the glowing cocoon.

Warwick Castle, Warks, 27 Nov – 3 Jan

Christmas at the Castle is returning with a stunning light trail. Expect to see the grounds and gardens dressed in thousands of twinkling lights with breath-taking projections on the castle walls. If you’re feeling brave enough there’s also an outdoor ice skating rink.

CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY

Christmas at Kew, Kew Gardens, Richmond, London

Christmas at Kew Gardens.
Christmas at Kew. Photo credit Jeff Eden

Returning for its ninth year, Kew Garden’s winter trail is back lighting up the night skies with sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections and trees drenched in jewel-like colour as well as the panoramic Palm House light display. It’s on from Wed 17 to Sun 9 Jan, 4pm-10pm. Its timed entry and capacity is limited, so advance booking is essential.

Palace of Stardust, Hampton Court, London

Enter a whimsical world of planets and stars on an enchanting new light trail at Hampton Court Palace this winter. The trail winds through the palace’s formal gardens, where you’ll find a fantastical wonderland of clocks, moons, planets and sundials. It’s on from Wed 8 Dec until 3 Jan from 4pm-8pm.

Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath, London, 26 Nov – 9 Jan

New this year, the sweeping grounds of this neoclassical stately home (which you may recall from the end of Notting Hill) are to be decked out with a magnificent, glowing path. It’s set to be a multi-sensory experience, and there’s even a VIP terrace bar for festive cocktails after.

Lightopia Festival, Crystal Palace Park, London

This year Lightopia moves to Crystal Palace Park in south-east London. The award-winning lantern and light festival is a visual spectacular with interactive exhibits, immersive light installations and a magical illuminated trail. It’s on from Fri 19 Nov until 2 Jan.

Want more festive fun? Check out our round-up of the best ice rinks for 2021

Find more ideas here

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