11 amazing Christmas light displays and switch on events worth travelling for

Bedgebury, Kent

Selected dates from November 19 – January 3 

The UK’s National Pinetum is a spectacular place for a wintry walk, with its world-renowned collection of conifers, beautiful lakes and even a few Gruffalo characters hiding in the woods. During the Christmas season, it’s even better, with a light trail to wow and mulled wine on offer.  

The trees will be illuminated in psychedelic lighting, neon strings will cast a futuristic glow amid the forests and giant baubles will hang from branches. The highlight will be the maze and light tunnel, and a fire garden will offer a warm place to rest a while. 

Tickets must be booked in advance, costing adults £28 (including parking) and £13.50 for children. Under twos go free and family tickets are available. More information can be found here.

Luminate at Margam Country Park and Castle, Wales

November 18 – December 24

This illuminated mile-long trail only made its debut in 2019, but is already a firm favourite. Visitors follow the path as it meanders through the gardens and around the castle exterior at Margam Country Park and Castle to a backdrop of ambient music.

The trail takes around 60-90 minutes to complete with drinks and mulled wine huts along the route. Guests can also warm up by the fire pit in the courtyard, where they can toast marshmallows and purchase hot food and snacks.

From Monday to Thursday, tickets for adults cost £15 and £11 for children. Visits on Friday to Sunday will cost adults £17 and children £13. Under twos go free and family tickets are available throughout the week.

Admission is from 4.15pm to 9pm, with more detail available here.

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Selected dates from November 19 – January 3  

Blenheim Palace is going all out for Christmas this year, with a light trail featuring over a million bulbs that will brighten up its grounds, trees and footpaths.

New for 2021, children can explore the Palace rooms, each one transformed and filled with hidden surprises – from the 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, according to the official site.

Adult tickets for the trail cost £22.50 and parking is an additional £10. Children tickets are £16 and under twos go free.

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