Christmas light shows and trails are becoming increasingly more popular with new venues appearing each year.
Here are our top picks for the best 2023 Christmas light shows and illuminated light trails across the UK to experience and enjoy with family and friends during the festive season.
Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire
This spectacular, illuminated trail returns to the National Botanic Garden of Wales this winter 2023. As you explore this mile long trail which takes around 60-90 minutes you experience giant glitterballs. thousands of fairy lights and interactive light displays all set to ambient music creating a perfect festive atmosphere.
From 29th November 2023 – 24th December 2023
Book now at https://luminate.live/tickets/garden-of-wales/calendar
Margam Country Park, Neath Port Talbot
Luminate returns to this iconic South Wales setting this year for a bigger and better light trail than before. Enjoy the mesmerising, mile-long, illuminated walk through the stunning, historic grounds and experience interactive light displays, the facades of orangery and castle lit by a spectacular light show. New for this year and one of our highlights was light river that runs from the castle down to the abbey – it is magical.
Kids will love the “wish tree” where children and adults can write their wishes on message tags and hang them from illuminated fences and being able to roast marshmallows in the fire pits at the entrance to the castle.
From 22 November 2023 to 31 December 2023
Book tickets at https://luminate.live/margam-country-park
Christmas at Bute Park, Cardiff
This popular light trail returns to Cardiff for 2023. This year experience a new and extended route, awash with immersive visuals and jaw-dropping illuminations. Bute Park will feature fairy-lit pathways, flickering fire sculptures, spectacular mirror ball displays, huge-illuminated trees and a magical ‘Light Canyon’ awash with a thousand mesmerising stars.
From 24 November 2023 to 1 January 2024
Book tickets at https://christmasatbutepark.com/
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London
The light show at Kew Gardens is one of the most popular in the UK and for good reason. This year this iconic setting will be lit by over one million lights making it one of the most spectacular yet as you walk through its 2.6km trails through the gardens starting at the iconic glittering archway.
The beautifully illuminated Palm and Temperate Houses are always worth stopping by and new for this year is ‘Feathers’: 16 floating UV feathers that will sway in the breeze, appearing as if from nowhere.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE
Selected dates from 16 November 2023 to 8 January 2024
Book tickets at kew.org
Glow Wild, Wakehurst, West Sussex
The woodlands and gardens at Wakehurst are transformed with a glistening trail of hand crafted lanterns, light installations and projections. This is the 10th year, featuring a never-before-seen route, brand new installations, and packed full of other surprises.
Wakehurst, Selsfield Road, Haywards Heath RH17 6TN
Dates 23 November 2023–1 January 2024
Book tickets at https://www.kew.org
The Eden Project, Cornwall
This year the Eden Project has a stunning Christmas light festival in their winter wonderland. Visitors will love the musical light show as you walk around the site with the two iconic biomes both becoming beautifully-lit tropical paradise with illuminated waterfalls and live Christmas music.
Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall, PL24 2SG
Selected dates 1-3, 8-10, 14-23 and 27-30 December 2023
Book tickets at edenproject.com
Christmas at Dunham Massey, Cheshire
Returning for its 7th tear, this light trail is one of the National Trust’s flagship Christmas light shows and one of the most popular in the region. Enjoy giant glittering deer that represents their deer park, huge sparking snowflakes and the Rose Garden, with 150 illuminated roses that fade and brighten in time to music as you make your way around the trail.
National Trust Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 4SJ
From 17 November 2023 – 30 December 2023
Book now at nationaltrust.org.uk
AGLOW, Auckland Castle, Durham
This glittering one and a half mile long trail at Auckland Castle is new for 2023 and illuminates the grounds and the castle. Visitors will experience stunning projections on the castle walls, a sparking 100 metre-long tunnel of 100,000 stars, laser illuminations, mirror balls, dancing water light fountains and more
Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL14 7NP
From 22 November 2023 – 31 December 2023
Book now at aucklandproject.org
Winter Light Trail, Waddeson Manor, Buckinghamshire
The stunning grounds of Waddeson Manor will be as part of their Christmas festivities. On this light trail, visitors will see immersive light features including a tunnel of light loops, colourful tree canopies and giant dandelions. One of the highlights if the illumination of the manor’s façade to sequenced music.
From 22 November 2023 – 1 January 2024
Book now at waddeson.org.uk
Coombe Abbey Winter Light Trail, Coventry
This enchanting journey, weaves through a captivating light trail through the stunning, historic grounds of Coombe Abbey Park. On the mile long trail, you will experience stunning lighting elements and fabulous light play, all set to ambient music.
From 14 November 2023 – 2 January 2024
Book now at https://luminate.live/coombe-abbey
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
The iconic Blenheim Palace has launched another new illuminated trail for this year with amazing light displays set against the backdrop of the palace. Their Illuminated Light Trail promises to be more magical than ever this year where you will discover glittering tunnels of light, dancing lakeside reflections and trees drenched in jewel-like colour and see the flickering flames in the fire garden in the beautiful surroundings of their trail.
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1UL
From 17 November 2023 – 1 January 2024
Book now at blenheimpalace.com
Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Cotswolds
The spectacular National Arboretum in the Cotswold’s provides the magical festive backdrop for one of the countries most popular light trails. On your journey through the trail you will discover stunning light displays and kids will enjoy looking for elves and talking trees.
From 24 November – 23 December 2023
Book now at https://www.forestryengland.uk/forest-event/events-westonbirt-the-national-arboretum/enchanted-christmas
Leeds Castle, Kent
Returning for its second year, an all-new reimagined, magical Christmas trail featuring enchanting illuminations and Christmas music, will fill the air and light up the glamorous and historic Leeds Castle. Discover sparkling chandeliers delicately suspended in the trees, a laser garden filled with tiny beams of light, a path of twinkling mirrored hearts and Feast of Light, immersive glowing strings filled with all the colours of the rainbow, are just some of the new displays to see this year.
From 24 November 2023 – 31 December 2023
Book now at https://leeds-castle.com/events/christmas-lights-at-leeds-castle/
Christmas at the Botanics , Edinburgh
The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh is one of my favourite parts of the city and at Christmas time it’s even more beautiful. Their illuminated trail, which takes around 90 minutes to walk takes you and walk past trees drenched in colour, laser lights and giant baubles and snowflakes. Enjoy fairy lit tunnels, a fire garden and giant luminescent sculptures that rise high into the night sky. A highlight is the festival finale, which illuminates the facade of Inverleith House in sequence to Christmas music.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Arboretum Place, Edinburgh EH3 5NZ
From 16 November 2023 – 30 December 2023
Book tickets at rbge.org.uk
Castle of Light, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle is transformed this year in a display of light and colour for the festive season. This light show tells the story of Scotland’s heroes through fabulous light installations creating stunning visuals in such a unique location.
From 24 & 25 November. 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 21-23 & 27-30 December. 2 & 3 January 2024
Book tickets at https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/whats-on/castle-of-light