Seven Instagrammable light festivals to see this winter
3 Dec 2019 - 11:03 BY Elizabeth Oliver
From high-tech laser shows to relaxing illuminated walks, many of the UK’s cultural venues are holding light festivals to celebrate the festive season. Get ready for dazzling installations, enchanted woodlands and plenty of Instagram inspiration.
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
A true winter wonderland, Blenheim Palace is the place to visit this Christmas. Famously designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in the eighteenth century, the site’s grounds have been given a magical makeover. Lasers dance through woodlands and hundreds of thousands of lights sparkle in the festive gardens. Don’t miss the scented Fire Garden and the family funfair.
Christmas at Blenheim Palace, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire; until 5 January
Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Gloucestershire
Step inside a fairy-tale world at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum. Located in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Arboretum is home to 2,500 species of trees, as well as five national tree collections, including walnut, lime and maple. This year, the trees will be festooned with lights, with woodland characters roaming through the site.
Enchanted Christmas, Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury; until 22 December
Enchanted at Eltham Palace, London
Back for 2019, this winter extravaganza transforms the Art Deco mansion into an illuminated paradise. Discover fairies, talking trees and a mirror-ball alley along the winding trail, and look out for the scintillating light arches. Head to the site’s ancient moat to watch a water show, set to music.
Enchanted at Eltham Palace, Eltham Palace and Gardens, Court Yard, Eltham, Greenwich; until 15 December
Dunham Massey, Cheshire
© National Trust Images/Mike King
For serious Instagram inspiration, head over to Dunham Massey this Christmas. Filled with glamour and glitter, its illuminated winter trail meanders around the grounds and deer park. The latter dates back to the 14thcentury. This year, the event features Fire on Water, a fire and laser display set against the backdrop of the Georgian house, as well as impressive vortex tunnels.
Christmas at Dunham Massey, Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Greater Manchester; until 30 December
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
Origami boats, tree sculptures and an icicle garden are just some of the wonders to see this Christmas at the Botanics. Featuring more than a million lights, this festive spectacle includes many of the garden’s horticultural and historical highlights, culminating with a light display projected against Inverleith House. Dating back nearly 350 years, the garden is home to more than 100,000 plants.
Christmas at the Botanics, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Arboretum Place, Edinburgh; until 29 December
Powis Castle and Garden, Wales
National Trust / Steve Rawlins
Get in the festive spirit with a trip to Powis Castle’s illuminated garden. Each year, the castle’s formal garden, terrace, orangery and courtyard are bathed in a rainbow of colour. After exploring the grounds, make sure to visit the castle’s state rooms, which contain masterpieces by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Bernardo Bellotto.
Christmas at Powis Castle, Powis Castle, Welshpool, Powys; until 22 December
Kew Gardens, London
Jeff Eden © RBG Kew
Fire gardens, glittering trees and laser displays will be on display at Kew this Christmas. One of the capital’s most enchanting events, the one-mile trail oozes festive charm. Make sure to snap a selfie in the Tunnel of Light, a walkway adorned with thousands of tea-lights, and head to the Palm House Pond for projections set to Christmas music.
Christmas at Kew, Kew Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens, London; until 5 January 2020
Elizabeth Oliver is Editorial Assistant, The Arts Society Magazine
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