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Back to Xmas

Lovely light trails – don’t hesitate to illuminate!

Let there be light...and also mulled wine, a fire pit and s'mores on these fabulously festive East Anglian light trails. Scarf on, boots strapped, you glow girl!

Helmingham Hall, Stowmarket, Suffolk, 19 Nov – 19 Dec

The illuminated fun kicks off with a mulled wine in the courtyard, which is always a good idea, and then winds through the light-filled gardens before ending with s’mores around a fire pit and a chance to browse the Xmas stalls.

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. 

Ickworth, nr Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, 19 Nov – 5 Dec

Explore Ickworth’s Italianate Garden on a sound and light trail, culminating with a beautiful light display on the iconic Rotunda.

Anglesey Abbey, Lode, Cambridgeshire, 3-19 Dec

Loving the sound of this trail: Nature by Night. Nature by Light! Bound to be a hit with the kids, it’s got projections of animals, music and food from Waffle + Co, what more could you wish for from a light trail?

Luminate, Sandringham Estate, Norfolk, 12 Nov – 19 Dec

A stunning Christmas light trail courtesy of Queen Liz (or, at least, one of her estates), Luminate is a wildly popular and bonkers beautiful tradition. The trail is a mile long and set to ambient music, and must be booked in advance.

Glow, Hyde Hall, Chelmsford, Essex, 10 Nov – 1 Jan

Admire the impressive RHS gardens of Hyde Hall lit up in rainbow shades. The path wanders through neat gardens and tall woodland, past many seasonal sculptures along the way.

 Enlightened, Hylands Estate, near Chelmsford, Essex, 26 Nov – 2 Jan

Enjoy the knockout illuminated light trail at Hylands Estate, bigger and better than ever. There will be dazzling lights winding around the gardens and hot refreshments aplenty — perfect seasonal evening fun. First entry 4.30pm.


Christmas at Kew, Kew Gardens, Richmond, London

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.

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.

Palace of Stardust, Hampton Court, London

Enter a whimsical world of planets and stars on an enchanting new light trail at Hampton Court Palacethis 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.

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