The best winter light festivals across the UK | Travel


Lumiere Durham, County Durham



Photograph: Matthew Andrews

The UK’s largest light festival features 29 artworks – many of them interactive – ranging from a field of flowers to an installation inspired by the human body. They will light up landmarks including the river Wear, the cathedral, the university and the Gala theatre. Now in its fifth year, the event is expected to attract more than 200,000 people over its four days.
4.30pm-11pm, 16-19 Nov. There are no tickets left for the central peninsula area (4.30pm-7.30pm) but the festival is free to visit after 7.30pm, lumiere-festival.com

Hull lights up in December, Hull

‘Where do we go from here’, Hull



Photograph: Jason Bruges

After a year of festivities to celebrate its Capital of Culture status, Hull is putting on a dazzling finale, with installations created by art collective Jason Bruges Studio. Where Do We Go From Here? will feature more than 20 robotic arms placed on plinths at multiple locations, each fitted with light sources, mirrors, prisms and speakers.
Free, 1 Dec-7 Jan, hull2017.co.uk

York Christmas Festival, North Yorkshire

York’s four historic bars (medieval gateways), Micklegate, Bootham, Monkbar and Walmgate, and two of its bridges, the Lendal and the Ouse, will be illuminated by thousands of tiny twinkling white lights as part of the city’s Christmas festival, which will also see 125 Christmas trees erected around the city.
16 November-22 December, visityork.org

Longleat’s Christmas Festival of Light, Wiltshire

The Festival Of Light at Longleat



Photograph: Getty Images

Giant, awe-inspiring illuminated lanterns will create scenes from classic fairytales at this year’s festive lights display.
Fri-Sun from 5 Nov, then daily from 1 Dec-2 Jan (excluding Christmas Day). Adult £30.55, child £22.90 (online price), longleat.co.uk

Truro’s Festival of Lights, Cornwall

Truro Festival of Lights



Photograph: Alamy

This year’s midwinter festival will see 100 musicians and dancers parade through the streets with 600 beautiful giant lanterns – made by local artists, schoolchildren and other community members. It is expected to attract around 30,000 people.
22 Nov, cityoflights.org.uk

Christmas at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Christmas at Blenheim Palace



Photograph: Mark Hemsworth

Back by popular demand after a spectacular launch last year, the grounds of Blenheim palace will be illuminated with a festival trail through Capability Brown’s landscaped gardens, with magical festival lights, glowing Christmas trees and glittering fibre-optics.
24 Nov-1 Jan, adult £16.50, child £10.50, family £13, blenheimpalace.com

Christmas at Kew, London

Christmas at Kew Gardens after dark with a festive display of illuminations



Photograph: Alamy

The gardens and greenhouses of Kew are impressive enough but, during the festival season, take on an entirely different identity, thanks to a magical trail featuring more than a million lights and a laser show at the majestic Palm House.
22 Nov-1 Jan, adult £18.50, child £12, family £55, kew.org

Magical Lantern Festival, London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester

Magical Lantern Festival


Magical Lantern runs events across the country, mixing old and new with its blend of lantern trails and beautiful light sculptures of animals. The family events also have a Santa’s grotto, fairground rides and food and drink.
24 Nov-1 Jan, adult £10, child £5, magicallantern.uk

Enchanted Christmas, Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire

Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt, Westonbirt Arboretum



Photograph: Forestry Commission

For a magical walk through a “wonderland of trees”, head to the Westonbirt Arboretum, which is hosting an illuminated trail with light displays hidden among the branches. The route takes around 45 minutes to complete and is pushchair- and wheelchair-friendly. There’s also a Christmas village with performances from a local choir and a carousel, as well as a place to warm up with festive food and drink.
1-3 Dec, 7-10 Dec, 14-18 Dec, adult £14, child £7, forestry.gov.uk

Eden Project, Festival of Light and Sound, Cornwall

The Festival of Light and Sound at the Eden Project



Photograph: Alamy

The futuristic setting of the Eden Project is a treat for the senses during the Festival of Light and Sound . A whole spectrum of colours and lasers will combine to create a “canopy of light” around the domes, made even more exciting by impressive soundscapes.
25-26 Nov, 1-3, 8-10, 15-23 and 27-30 Dec, adult £27.50, child £14, family £71 (save 10% by booking online), edenproject.com

Christmas at the Botanics, Edinburgh

Christmas at the Botanics, Edinburgh.


With a flickering fire garden, a lawn lit by a thousand globes of light and Father Christmas and his elves to spot, the festive light show at Edinburgh’s botanical garden is sure to make the Christmas feeling blossom. The mile-long trail weaves through the gardens, with spiced cider, mulled wine and toasted marshmallows on hand to keep spirits high.
24 Nov-30 Dec, adult £16, child £10, rbge.org.uk



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