Christmas Lights UK

Published on: 26/11/23

We all love lighting up Christmas, whether that’s with your own tree, a candle in the window, or marvelling at exuberant neighbourhood displays. But nowhere does it better than the UK’s historic houses, gardens and visitor attractions. Heritage hall or seaside spectacular, there’s something very special about wandering sculpted gardens and parkland on a crisp winter’s evening; your path illuminated in twinkling lights.

With professional sound and light artists vying to produce the most jaw-dropping spectacles, your visit will be complemented with the best Christmas shopping, treats, toys, gifts and refreshment. We all know winter budgets can be a little tighter, so we’re starting with the UK’s longest-standing light show, which you can enjoy 100% for free. So get ready to fire up your festive season with our pick of the most dazzling light shows on offer!

Blackpool Illuminations 

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It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas in Blackpool! Firm favourites since 1932, the world-famous Illuminations need little introduction, but this year’s scale and innovations are definitely worth their moment in the spotlight. With six miles of traditional festoons, tableaux and interactive features along the Promenade, no wonder it’s commonly known as the greatest free light show on Earth! So popular the displays have been extended right through until New Year’s Day, perfect for lighting up festive celebrations and meetups.

Take an Illuminating stroll, or lit-up tram tour, past a wealth of colourful, captivating tableaux, from a giant pirate ship to ghouls that go bump in the night, all brought to life with dazzling lights, intricate designs, and captivating animations. The iconic Tower will be transformed into a pillar of light, colour and sound with digitally-projected vertical shows to watch, including dance, Sooty, space, Nickelodeon and more. Finish with a walk through the 26-metre Spiro Light Tunnel on the Festival Headland. With individually mapped LEDs that dance interactively around the audience, it’s the perfect selfie and TikTok opportunity- with bulbs on!

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

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This huge stately home is famous for its sumptuous Christmas extravaganzas, with illuminated after-dark garden trails, and fabulously decorated staterooms throughout the stunning palace. Showcasing a brand new illuminated light trail and exquisitely themed Palace interior for Christmas 2023, discover heart-shaped arches glittering in the moonlight, glowing tunnels filled with stars, an eight-metre sphere filled with over 20,000 moving lights, and magically dancing reflections in the colourful Cascades along an enchanting Lakeside Walk.

Inside, explore the palace transformed, with each room retelling a different chapter in Sleeping Beauty’s story. Accompanied by classic and contemporary festive decorations, of course there’s the gigantic Christmas tree in the Great Hall. Watch out for spinning wheels as you follow the Lilac Fairy into Auroura’s candle-lit bed chamber, helping True Love reawaken in the castle after 100 years frozen in time. Included in any ticket prices is Blenheim’s sumptuous Great Court Christmas Market, packed with unique handmade gifts, decorations, toys, edible treats and refreshments.

RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Essex

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Wrap up warm and enjoy sparkling winter days, festive family events and inspiring Christmas shopping set among these much-loved gardens. Discover an evening of enchantment amidst after-dark sparkle and dazzling displays, lighting a magical trail through favourite garden areas. If after-dark adventuring isn’t suitable, Hyde Hall is one of the few places hosting special festive Seasonal Walks, where everyone can enjoy accessible guided walks from the friendly and knowledgeable gardens team, taking in the winter highlights of the garden and estate.

If you’re looking for unique, green Christmas gift ideas, you’ll discover a wonderful range of decorations, Christmas cards and festive food and drink, as well as gifts for garden lovers. Browse seasonal plants to brighten your home and garden, and pick up a glorious British-grown Christmas tree or wreath. You’re assured of a warm welcome, delicious food and a cosy atmosphere in the Gardener’s Rest Restaurant, perfect for festive catch-ups with family and friends.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London

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Enter a botanical world filled with seasonal cheer at the UK’s original festive light trail. With many of Kew’s 12,000 trees and botanical treasures draped in seasonal sparkle, wander beneath colourful canopies and experience nature from a new perspective, treasuring the essential role that plants play in all our lives. Marvel at Kew’s famous Christmas Cathedral, a twinkling tunnel of light inspired by arched church windows, and the newly-designed Fire Garden, with the mesmerising flickering flames of hundreds of candles lining the path to the UK’s oldest Victorian glasshouse.

You’re sure to be entranced as a series of breath-taking light displays dance across the surface of Kew’s iconic Palm House, and floating lights create magical reflections across the lake. Building to a grand musical finale of much-loved Christmas classics, look out for visiting Father Christmas along the way. Make your visit extra delicious with a traditional Christmas dinner at The Botanical Brasserie, kids’ favourites at the Family Kitchen & Shop, and tasty treats from a selection of independent street food vendors along the route. Running right through until Sunday 7th January, it’s an unmissable opportunity to herald the start of Christmas or welcome in the New Year.

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