Child running through Christmas light trails at Kew
Family days out, UK

UK Christmas light trails happening in 2021

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There’s nothing more uplifting in the cold winter months than illuminations. That’s why I think Christmas light trails are one of the most magical festive experiences you can give your family. In this post I’ve gathered some of the best trails happening at places around the country in 2021.

PLEASE NOTE: all events are subject to change. The most up-to-date information is available from event organisers.

Don’t delay in booking your tickets for these Christmas events happening in 2021. They are all outdoors and many will be restricting numbers, so there’s no safer family day out during a pandemic.

Here’s more Christmas days out happening around the UK.

To help you find the Christmas light trails near you, I have ordered areas alphabetically. Use the drop down menu to find an event close to you.

Christmas illuminations in Cambridgeshire 2021

Christmas at Wimpole

Visit Wimple National Trust estate in Royston and see it like never before with a trail of magical lights illuminating the gardens.

Lights, lasers and seasonal sounds will fill the air with festive fun, making the most wonderful time of year even more magical.

Christmas at Wimpole, Royston, 26 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, Wimpole.

Christmas light trails in Cheshire in 2021

Lights at Bolesworth

Christmas lights at Bolesworth Estate

A 1.2 mile trail of lights will illuminate the grounds of Bolesworth to guide young ‘advent’urers and their families through an enchanted winter wonderland.

There will be a rainbow of floodlit trees, lights that twinkle by the lakeside and sparkling walkways with laser lit bridges.

Father Christmas’ reindeer will be found in the woodland on route and there will be a festive food and drink market at the end so visitors can be ‘stocking’ up with seasonal treats.

Children young and old will be able to visit Father Christmas in his grotto and there will also be a chance to go ice skating, along with an impressive laser and light show display every evening.

Christmas at Bolesworth, Tattenhall, 26 November to 24 December 2021, Bolesworth.

Christmas at Delamere Forest

There will be an after dark, illuminated trail with sparkling tunnels of light, giant baubles and trees drenched in jewel-like colour.

Father Christmas may make an appearance along the way. There will also be winter refreshments.

Delamere Forest, Northwich, 26 November to 31 December 2021, Delamere.

Christmas at Dunham Massey

Tickets are on sale now for this popular illuminated trail which is returning for a fifth year to this historic National Trust property.

Look out for the giant glittering deer as you step into a world festooned with seasonal cheer where huge snowflakes create an aerial kaleidoscope over the Gardens and pause for a moment of quiet reflection at the crystal and fire garden, aglow with hundreds of flickering flames.

Tickets sell out fast each year, therefore early booking is advised.

Dunham Massey, Altrincham, 19 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, Dunham Massey.

Lightopia at Heaton Park

Lightopia at Heaton Park in Manchester has confirmed for 2021. Embark on a journey around the new Fantasy themed magical light trail through the parklands, showcasing bright immersive installations, interactive lanterns, colourful lasers, and water shows.

Keep an eye on the website for information about tickets.

Lightopia, Greater Manchester, 19 November 2021 to 3 January 2022, Lightopia Festival.

Christmas lights in County Down 2021

Christmas at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

River of Fire illuminations
Richard Haughton © Sony Music

A stunning new illuminated Christmas trail will bring festive sparkle to Belfast for the first time this year.

The magical after-dark trail at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, featuring spectacular lighting and enchanting visitors with classical festive tunes, will transform the estate’s beautifully landscaped grounds.

Wander through the flickering flames of the fire garden or under the millions of lights of the Christmas Cathedral. Rest a while on the Mistletoe bench and marvel at the illuminating take on the 12 days of Christmas. Don’t forget to look out for Father Christmas.

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, Hillsborough, 3 December 2021 to 2 January 2022.

Illuminations in Devon 2021

Christmas at Powderham Castle

Powderham Castle illuminated in rainbow coloured light
Powderham Castle

Powderham Castles christmas light trail and illuminations return this year, bigger and better!

The trail will lead all the way to the Secret Garden, where the castle’s animal friends will be waiting to meet you, plus offering pony rides and goat walks. Warm drinks and snacks will be available from the Potting Shed.

The Christmas Barn will become a magical market, with traders and crafts people, perfect to get some of your Christmas presents. Plus the mulled wine and cider bar and a selection of delicious food vendors perfect for dinner accompanied by festive music.

Plus, the castle’s Christmas Grotto will be returning too!

Christmas at the Castle, Powderham Castle, near Exeter, 29 November to 31 December 2021.

Christmas at Killerton

A brand new, after-dark illuminated trail will run through the gardens at Killerton this Christmas.

See twinkling lights and hear the air filled with seasonal sounds around this National Trust property north of Exeter. Don’t forget to look out for Father Christmas along the way.

Killerton National Trust, Cullompton, 26 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, Killerton

2021 Christmas light trails in Dorset

Christmas lights in Bournemouth

View across Bournemouth's Christmas Tree Wonderland festival

Bournemouth Christmas Tree Festival is back! This seaside town in Dorset will be transformed into an open-air alpine village. Experience the magical spectacle of more than 100 glittering trees and illuminations, and explore the Alpine market and skate in the enchanting Victorian lower gardens.

Read about our weekend visiting Bournemouth for the Christmas Tree Wonderland in 2019 and take a look at our video to see what you can expect in 2021 – get it in your calendar now:

Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland, 19 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, Christmas Tree Wonderland.

Christmas at Kingston Lacey

Visit this elegant National Trust property near Wimborne Minster to see the gardens transformed into a display of colour and sound.

For a moment of reflection pause at mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden, gaze at the specially chosen illuminations and don’t forget to glimpse Father Christmas along the way.

Kingston Lacey, Wimborne Minster, 3 December 2021 to 2 January 2022, Kingston Lacey

Christmas light trails in Edinburgh

Christmas at the Botanics

Now established as a firm family tradition in Edinburgh, the trail for 2021 will showcase a botanical world festooned with seasonal cheer. Expect light tunnels, dancing waterside reflections and trees drenched in colour. 

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 25 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Christmas light trails in Gloucestershire in 2021

Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum

Family walking through Enchanted Christmas light at Westonbirt
Enchanted Christmas for Westonbirt. 2015 paulbox © [email protected]

The Enchanted Westonbirt illuminated trail is one of the most magical Christmas activities happening in 2021. Weather the storm to help to reunite Father Christmas with his lost reindeer and experience mesmerising light displays and stunning spectacles along the way!

Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire, 26 November to 21 December 2021, Westonbirt.

Christmas light trails in Kent

Illuminations at Bedgebury

Cathedral of Light at Bedgbury

This family-friendly one-mile magical festive trail in the heart of the High Weald AONB countryside will once again be awash with colour. 

Christmas at Bedgebury is full of seasonal surprises and shimmering reflections that cast light on beautiful silhouettes of majestic trees with more than one million lights.

Enjoy tasty seasonal treats at the Bedgebury café or a delicious twist from our crew of talented street food vendors.

Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, Kent, 20 November to 31 December 2021, Bedgebury.

Christmas in Lincolnshire in 2021

Christmas light trails at Belton

Neon Tree - family stands in front of illuminated tree
Photo by Richard Haughton © Sony Music

This year sees the return of a family-friendly one-mile magical Christmas light trail at Belton National Trust near Grantham.

Christmas at Belton is full of seasonal surprises and shimmering reflections that cast light on beautiful silhouettes of majestic trees, all choreographed to a soundtrack of festive classics.

Independent street food vendors bring a delicious twist to tasty treats on offer. Have yourself a holly, jolly Christmas and complete your walk under the stars with a spiced winter warmer or hot chocolate shared with someone special.

Belton House, Grantham, 25 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, Belton House.

Light trails in London this Christmas

Christmas at Kew

Christmas at Kew. ©RBG Kew.
©RBG Kew.

Christmas at Kew, a much-loved highlight of London’s festive calendar, returns for its ninth year from November.

This year’s light trail features a host of new installations, illuminating Kew Gardens’ UNESCO World Heritage landscape with vibrant bursts of colour and over a million twinkling lights.

New illuminations included shows at the iconic Temperate and Palm Houses, as well as a first-time collaboration with Novak, the innovative video design studio.

Using a selection of spectacular trees from Kew’s arboretum as their canvas, Novak will create a brand-new piece for Christmas 2021, using a stunning combination of video design, projection mapping and light to bring Kew’s archived botanical illustrations to life, alongside a host of heart-warming festive imagery.

Sound and light artists Ithaca will return to Christmas at Kew for 2021, creating Aurora; a new and ambitious installation for Holly Walk using hundreds of small LED light spheres to illuminate the night sky for over 200 metres overhead.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 17 November 2021 to 9 January 2022, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

Christmas light trails in Newcastle 2021

Christmas at Gibside

Family running through Tunnel of Light at Gibside Estate near Gateshead
Tunnel of Light Photo by Richard Haughton © Sony Music

A brand new Christmas trail featuring enchanting illuminations will light up the Georgian garden at the National Trust’s Gibside estate, near Gateshead. 

Wrap up warm and be transported into a winter wonderland where you will discover sparkling tunnels of light, walk under giant baubles and beneath trees glowing in Christmas colours with a sound track of festive classics.

Independent street food vendors bring a delicious twist to tasty treats on offer.

Gibside, Gateshead, from 26 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, Gibside.

Lights in Northamptonshire 2021

Lap of Lights at Silverstone

Family in car enjoying the Lap of Lights at Silverstone race course

Lap of Lights is coming to the Silverstone race track this Christmas after last year’s successful LAP LAND event.

This unique Christmas experience is billed to be bigger and better with the chance to drive the iconic 3.2 mile Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit experiencing a dramatic light and laser show.

Next visitors will find themselves at the Silverstone Wing where they can continue the festive fun by visiting the winter themed Lodge or taking a glide on an illuminated ice rink.

Lap of Lights, Silverstone, 1 December 2021 to 3 January 2022, www.silverstone.co.uk.

Lights in Nottinghamshire in 2021

Christmas at Wollaton Hall

Wollaton Hall’s park will be transformed into an enchanting light spectacle with a trail of discovery through four magical lands, specially designed to fit into the natural landscape of the Hall and Gardens.

Visitors of all ages will be captivated by this brand new, visually stunning multi sensory experience of light, fire and sound. A seasonal classic with a contemporary twist.

Here’s a taster of what you can expect:

Wollaton Hall, Nottingham, from 26 November 2021 to 9 January 2022, Wollaton.

Christmas trails in Oxfordshire in 2021

Christmas at Blenheim

Illuminations at Blenheim Palace - UK Christmas days out

Blenheim Palace is hosting two Christmas events in 2021.

Outdoors there will be an illuminated outdoor light trail inspired by the landscape itself. Visitors embark on a winterland adventure, dramatically illuminated with stunning lights. Featuring lasers and light projections, visitors wander under magical tree canopies drenched in seasonal colour and dripping with silvery shards of light, frosty snowflakes, stars and baubles.

The inside the palace rooms will be exquisitely transformed and filled with hidden surprises – from the Nutcracker toymaker’s workshop on a frosty Christmas Eve; through the glistening Land of Snow and onto the candy-cane Kingdom of Sweets adorned with the sweetest of treats and larger-than-life gingerbread men.

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 19 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, Blenheim Palace.

Illuminations in Sussex

Light trail at Cowdray Park

In 2021, Cowdray Park will host a Christmas light trail in its historic country estate in the heart of the stunning South Downs National Park. 

Inspired by the theme ‘Joy’ the trail has been created by a group of international artists who are transforming the landscape and nurturing our sense of wonder as you wander.

Cowdray Park, Midhurst, 24 November 2021 to 1 January 2022, Cowdray

Christmas lights in Wiltshire 2021

Longleat Land of Light

Longleat House illuminated for Land of Light, Christmas event in 2020

Specially created for Longleat, the Land of Light’s technology, art and interactive installations provide a stunning alternative to the Festival of Light, which will return next year.

See sensational projections light up the iconic Longleat House, dancing fountains and amazing animated laser shows suspended above Half Mile Lake.

Land of Light, Longleat, from 5 November 2021 to 8 January 2022, Longleat.

Christmas at Stourhead

Watch reflections of the festive lights dance across the lake at Stourhead this winter. There will be music and street food to accompany you walk around the gardens while they are illuminated with lasers and light installations.

Stourhead, Mere, 26 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, Stourhead.

Christmas light trails in Yorkshire

Lightwater Valley Alice in Winterland illuminations

Alice in Winterland illuminations at Lightwater Valley

There will be an Alice in Winterland giant lantern trail in the park with displays including the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and, of course, Alice herself.

Families can also enjoy some traditional fairground fun including a spin on the carousel and take to the night sky on the Skyrider. There will also be a Christmas themed UV puppet show, Santa’s workshop and Santa Express.

Christmas at Lightwater Valley, selected dates from 20 November to 23 December 2021, Lightwater Valley.

Temple Newsam

A brand new after dark Christmas lights trail is coming to the gardens of Temple Newsam in Leeds this winter.

Discover sparkling tunnels of light, walk under giant baubles and beneath the trees illuminated in Christmas colours. 

Temple Newsam, Leeds, 26 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, Temple Newsam

Enchanted Forest of lights at Stockeld Park

See Stockeld’s Enchanted Forest come to life after dusk as it is transformed into a dazzling, twinkling wonderland!

There will be light effects, a captivating soundscape and animated installations through almost a mile of beautiful, ancient woodland.

Christmas Adventure, Stockeld Park, 21 November 2021 to 3 January 2022, Stockeld Park.

More Christmas family days out near you 2021

If you’re looking for winter wonderlands, grottos and other festive experiences to enjoy with your family, take a look at my round up of 2021 Christmas family days out across the UK.

What about UK pantomimes in 2021? After many UK pantomimes had to be cancelled last year, actors can’t wait to tread the boards again.

Find out which UK pantomimes are happening near you in 2021.

And if a bit of retail therapy is more your thing, take a look at my guide to the UK Christmas Markets that have been confirmed in 2021.

Find more days out in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in my big round up of 101 UK attractions for families.

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