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9 nearby lovely light trails to visit this winter

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

Glow, Hyde Hall, Chelmsford, Essex, 10 Nov – 1 Jan

Admire the impressive RHS gardens of Hyde Hall lit up in rainbow shades. The path wanders through neat gardens and tall woodland, past many seasonal sculptures along the way.

 Enlightened, Hylands Estate, near Chelmsford, Essex, 26 Nov – 2 Jan

Enjoy the knockout illuminated light trail at Hylands Estate, bigger and better than ever. There will be dazzling lights winding around the gardens and hot refreshments aplenty — perfect seasonal evening fun. First entry 4.30pm.

Enchanted Woodland Walk, Ashridge House, Herts, 26 Nov – 9 Jan

The gorgeous grounds of this former royal residence will be transformed into a super sparkly winter wonderland this festive season. Twinkling light installations and a magical musical score will lead visitors through the gardens, via glittering arches and uplit tree-lined avenues to a hidden Christmas scene in the woods. You had us at twinkling lights…

Helmingham Hall, Stowmarket, Suffolk, 19 Nov – 19 Dec

The illuminated fun kicks off with a mulled wine in the courtyard, which is always a good idea, and then winds through the light-filled gardens before ending with s’mores around a fire pit and a chance to browse the Xmas stalls.

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. 

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 nearby ice rinks for 2021

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