Year on year, light festivals across the country get bigger, better and brighter. With cities lighting up their famous parks and landmarks with increasingly impressive lanterns, light festivals have become a Christmas tradition. Even if your own Christmas lights consist of one tangled string of fairy lights, these awe-inspiring displays will get you in the festive spirit. Read on for our pick of the most magical illuminations across the UK.
Images via Blenheim Palace
November 24 2017 – January 1 2018, blenheimpalace.com
Having launched their Christmas festivities last year, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, will once again turn their enormous Formal Gardens into a Christmas-themed lighting display. The famous grounds feature several different lighting displays. A trail of lights invite visitors to explore the picturesque gardens, with trails such as Mistletoe Moment and the Tunnel of Light. Highlights include the origami-style boats lighting up the Great Lake, and fibre optic coloured lights bringing life to the lawn.
November 24 2017 – January 1 2018, magicallantern.com
The Magical Lantern Festival takes place throughout the UK, in London, Birmingham, Yorkshire and Manchester. For all London locals, Chiswick is where you can catch the annual lantern festival. A Christmas theme guides the spectacle, which focuses on different lantern trails, interactive displays and light sculptures. Admire the artistry behind the hand-sculpted lanterns, which take on a multitude of different forms.
Images via kew Gardens
November 22 2017 – January 1 2018, kew.org
Head to Kew Gardens after dark for their light show, which takes over the entire gardens. A festive trail of lights guides visitors around Kew Gardens, with different themes in each area. Over a million lights cast magical shapes around the space, culminating in a laser show at the famous Palm House. Kew's famous sculpture The Hive, an imposing structure designed to explore the life of bees, is included in the display, showing the impressive structure to full effect.
Images via longleat.co.uk
November 5 2017 – January 7 2018, longleat.co.uk
Longleat, Wiltshire, the famous safari park and gardens, makes the most of its surroundings in a mystical light show inspired by classic fairy tales. Sculptures include Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf in the woods, the Seven Dwarfs, a giant Nutcracker and more. The show takes visitors on a journey through the expansive grounds, telling the much-loved tales through beautifully crafted lanterns.
November 25 – December 30 2017, edenproject.com
The vast crater that is Cornwall’s Eden Project is a marvel all year round. Filled with two million plants and made up of two huge biomes, the landscape garden space stretches out in front of you, encouraging visitors to think about sustainability in daily life. For the festive season, the Eden Project is bringing back its Festival of Light and Sound. A dramatic light show set to live music, utilising its spaceship-like structures and awe-inspiring space to its advantage to cast lasers across the expanse.
Christmas at the Botanics, Edinburgh
November 24 – December 30 2017, rbge.org.uk
Edinburgh’s beautiful Royal Botanic Garden is turned into a Christmas trail for the festive season, with the garden paths aglow with different lights. A one mile illuminated trail guides visitors around the celebrated gardens, promising a magical experience, including a garden covered in tiny flickering flames, a section of the lawn lit up by thousands of globes, and ‘musical’ trees.
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