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12 festive winter light trails: Rutland, Leicestershire and beyond

You glow, girl! At least, you will at one of these fabulously festive light trails to visit this festive season. Scarf on, boots strapped: let's admire some twinkling.

Rhizome, Cultural Quarter, Leicester, 18 Nov – 5 Jan

Not so much a light trail but rather a large-scale light installation. This year Leicester’s Cultural Quarter will be lit up by Rhizome. This impressive structure is made up of interconnecting colour-changing neon ropes and visitors will be able to wander through the glowing cocoon.

Enlightened Belvoir Light Trail, 26 Nov – 1 Jan 2022

Wrap up warm and enjoy a 1.3km light trail illuminating the beauty of Belvoir Castle this winter. The Rose Garden, Japanese Garden and Spiral Walk will be transformed into a magical trail lit by literally thousands of twinkling lights and will include talking trees, interactive stepping stones, a wishing tree area and other interactive games and incredible light displays.

Lap of Lights, Silverstone Circuit, Northants, 25 Nov – 3 Jan

Silverstone Circuit Northants lap of lights

The only light and laser drive in the UK, Silverstone Circuit‘s spectacular Lap of Lights event returns this year. 400,000 individual fire lights and 440 laser beams powerful enough to hit the moon – wowzer – as you cruise around the famous race track, spin out a few pirouettes on the illuminated Ice Trak, then warm up with hot dogs and gluhwein in the alpine style food hub afterwards.

Winter Light Trail, Delapré Abbey, Northampton, 19 Nov – 2 Jan

Delapre abbey xmas light trail northampton

Lose yourself in the breath-taking grounds of Northampton’s historic Delapré Abbey this winter, where the fairy tale walled garden and woodlands are lit up with colourful tunnels of light, sparkling trees and magical soundscapes. There’s a ski lodge bar serving hearty food and warming winter cocktails for that little bit of extra Christmas sparkle too. You can eve pre-book your own cosy mini wooden chalet for up to 8 people and Muddy paws are welcome.

Coombe Abbey, near Coventry, Warks, until 24 Dec

As if Coombe Abbey Park isn’t magical enough, see it all lit up on this mesmerising mile-long trail. There’s ambient music too so you can really get in the festive mood. Wrap up warm!

Warwick Castle, Warks, 27 Nov – 3 Jan

Christmas at the Castle is returning with a stunning light trail. Expect to see the grounds and gardens dressed in thousands of twinkling lights with breath-taking projections on the castle walls. If you’re feeling brave enough there’s also an outdoor ice skating rink.

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. 

Illuminated Wall Walk, Lincoln Castle 2- 5 Dec and Illuminated Castle Walk, 11-23 Dec

Pic via Lincoln Castle

In the run up to this year’s Illuminated Castle, enjoy a totally ‘lit’ Medieval Wall Walk. Enjoy spectacular views over the Lincoln Market. If you prefer, you can visit the Illuminated Castle Walk where you can walk through displays of Christmas lights and Christmas tree lined pathways. 

**CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY**

Christmas at Kew, Kew Gardens, Richmond, London

Christmas at Kew Gardens.
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.

Palace of Stardust, Hampton Court, London

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

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.

Lightopia Festival, Crystal Palace Park, London

This year Lightopia moves to Crystal Palace Park in south-east London. The award-winning lantern and light festival is a visual spectacular with interactive exhibits, immersive light installations and a magical illuminated trail. It’s on from Fri 19 Nov until 2 Jan.

Want more festive fun? Check out our round-up of the best ice rinks for 2021


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