Let it glow!
Festive trails – and trains – around Somerset, Dorset and nearby. Scarf on, boots strapped: let’s admire some twinkling.
Christmas at Kingston Lacy, near Wimborne, 3 Dec – 2 Jan
Giant illuminated baubles, tunnels of light, trees bedecked with lights, flickering flames in the fire garden and Father Christmas along the way – all accompanied by a festive Sony soundtrack – in the gardens of the Italianate mansion now owned by the National Trust. Hot chocs all round afterwards.
Winterlights, West Somerset Railway, Bishop’s Lydeard Station, Bishop’s Lydeard, 19 Nov – 31 Dec
All aboard an illuminated steam train for a journey through woodlands and countryside transformed for the season. Food, snacks and goodie bags.
Christmas Tree Wonderland Trail, Lower Gardens, Bournemouth, 19 Nov – 2 Jan
Does what it says on the tin – and then some – with themed replica trees from around the world, including a 60ft walk-through Bournemouth Wonderland Tree, in the Lower Gardens and beyond. The free trail takes in a Christmas market, alpine bar and ice rink, too. Here’s a map.
Light at Marston Park, Frome 21 Nov – 17 April
Bruce Munro’s immersive, light-based and world famous ‘Field of Light’ – currently illuminating Uluru in Australia and the Paso Robles wine country in California – comes to super cool Marston Park. Stroll around the lakeside and woodland installation from dusk, with seasonal food and drink. Next year you’ll be able to sleep amongst the spheres (watch this space!).
The Enchanted Gardens of Light, American Museum, near Bath, 9 – 31 Dec
The entire house, gardens and woodland will be bathed in colour, with sparkling reindeer and twinkling tunnels of light. Spiced apple drink, mulled wine and hot choc will help keep your illuminated pecker up.
Illuminate, Hestercombe House & Gardens, near Taunton, 27 Nov – 2 Jan
Fifty acres and 300 years of garden design will be all lit up: a multi-coloured Rook Wood and Victorian shrubbery, a yew tunnel studded with thousands of lights and a dynamic pixel display in front of the House. Father Christmas will be in his grotto; hot choc and homemade sausage rolls in the café.
Steam and Lights, Swanage Station, Swanage, assorted dates between 27 Nov – 31 Dec
Take an evening trip on an illuminated steam train around the Purbek countryside, passing Corfe Castle.
Bath Christmas Light Trail, around the city, 25 Nov – 31 Dec
The iconic streets and buildings brought to illuminated life – plus all the city’s shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.
Illuminate at Abbotsbury, Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, Abbotsbury 26 Nov – 23 Dec
Paths around the subtropical garden’s Long Walk’, the Pavilion and the lily ponds and more – all lit up!
Christmas Light Trail at Stourhead, Stourton, 26 Nov – 20 Jan 2022
Over a million lights and lasers to light up the trees and lake, seasonal sounds (courtesy of Sony Music) to fill the air; food and drink to fill up you.
Christmas at Longleat, near Warminster 6 Nov – 3 Jan
This year Wiltshire’s famous safari park hosts the UK’s biggest singing Christmas tree, plus the iconic maze will be lit by magical lights to guide the way (like a modern-day wise man and the north star, don’t you think?). There’s also a festive train for little visitors, and a theatre show too.
An Enchanted Christmas, Westonbirt, 26 Nov – 21 Dec
The annual classy Christmas light trail from Westonbirt is a real treat. This year the mission is to reunite Father Christmas with his lost reindeer, and experience mesmerising light displays and stunning spectacles along the way, of course. The stunning arboretum will be shimmering with coloured lights and special effects, and head to the Christmas village for vintage fairground rides and lashings of hot chocolate.