Mary Jones from Bath moved to McCarthy & Stone’s Lambrook Court development just down the road from her old home. ...Read more
Visiting Christmas-themed lights or decorations can be a precious way to enjoy the company of family or friends at Christmas time and a wonderful way to get into the festive spirit. However, with the run-up to Christmas being one of the busiest times of the year and many people having similar day-trips in mind, finding the right destination for you can seem like a daunting task.
With this in mind, we set out to find the nation’s favourite Christmas lights, displays and decoration spots to visit. With a selection of wonderful choices from the length and breadth of the country, we let the public decide on their favourite, asking more than 3000 people to vote. From stunning light displays in period properties to charming garden makeovers and enchanted locations, read on and find out the UK’s favourite one!
Taking place throughout the entire of December, the Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum is a wonderland for children and adults alike. A now signature Christmas event to the area, this Christmas display features a one-mile illuminated trail through the Arboretum’s impressive trees and canopy. Interactive displays give added excitement to this Christmas display, while carefully selected lighting transforms the trees.
Each year, a new designer creates the Enchanted Christmas trail, enabling visitors to enjoy new tree specimens, routes and vistas. Once guests have completed the train, they can soak up the festive cheer by making their way to the new Christmas village, tuck into Christmas grub and listen to choirs.
For the garden lover or green thumb, Christmas at the Botanics is a perfect way to enjoy the season and appreciate a familiar surrounding in a new way. With over a million twinkling lights and a mixture of interactive experiences alongside marvellous decor, the Botanics becomes a magical place for any age.
A one-mile long sparkling path winds its way through the infamous Botanical gardens, with elegant shades of soft Christmas colours and candle-lit glow lighting the way. Glimpse up to the stars and an illuminated tree canopy for a touch of romance, while the iconic glasshouses have been noted to stand out thanks to their illumination in striking Christmas tones.
Returning for its second year on the 30th November, Christmas at Dunham Massey is a highly creative sensory experience that will leave you in awe. Originating in 2017, the winter trail that is equal parts fairy tale and fantasy will lead you through the majestic National Trust property’s grounds, with plenty of surprises on the way.
Lighting is used to create astonishing effects that will feed the imagination, including hundreds of colour changing globes, ribbons of colour changing lights and glowing trees. A scented fire garden will create further wonder, while a tunnel of light and over 100,000 pea-lights will leave you in awe. Visitors can also enjoy singing trees and a water fountain show whilst sipping on a comforting mulled wine or hot chocolate.
Fenwick’s Newcastle store Christmas Window has become legendary, with its annual unveiling drawing in the crowds. And with past displays including an intricate Paddington Bear scene that took 365 days to create and a delightful Beatrix Potter display, Fenwick never fails to impress. The Christmas display spans the entire storefront ( a whopping 38 metres) and often has a number of impressive scenes set within it.
Last year’s Paddington display featured eight scenes that were inspired by Michael Bond’s beloved bear, with classic moments depicted that grandparents would adore as much as their grandchildren. Although Fenwick’s Christmas Window unveiling will definitely draw in a crowd, the window doesn’t tend to be too busy following the launch, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to admire it.
Nestled in the stunning Cornish countryside and positioned next to the River Fal, the Trelissick estate boasts 300 acres of land and an impressive garden. From the 30th of November to the 23rd December, the garden is transformed into a winter wonderland and illuminated by elegant lighting in soft shades and festive tones.
New pathways can be discovered and guests can explore a magical garden route from dusk. For an added Christmas touch, you can also meet Santa’s reindeers, residing in the stables throughout the season.
Throughout the month of December, the grand Blickling estate will be opening its doors until 6.30pm, for a Christmas experience to remember. The stunning Georgian house will become illuminated with a wash of beautiful, seasonal tones while the garden of lights will create an enchanted atmosphere.
The majestic tree-lined drive is a showstopper, with each tree twinkling with from soft-glow pea lights. As well as the gorgeous Christmas lights available to view, visitors can enter Blickling Estate to see a truly Georgian Christmas, with individual rooms decorated to match the period. We recommend visiting on a weekday evening to make the most of quieter grounds.
The Covent Garden Christmas lights are a more luxurious take on festive decorations. Perfect for adults wanting to experience a Christmas twist on an indulgent day out, they are equally enticing to little ones. Each year, Covent Gardens undergoes a stunning transformation, which sees the interior and indoor market ceiling adorned in elegant lights and foliage that are synonymous with the season. Mistletoe, holly and a soft, pea-lit glow create a magical atmosphere.
Intriguing design elements such as the magnificent reindeer statue on the east side of the piazza and mistletoe chandeliers add to its attraction. See the lights from the 13th of November.
With a selection of wholesome Christmas events set within its striking walls, Powis Castle provides a charming Christmas day out for the entire family. Visitors can wander through this National Trust property’s grounds and view the stunning decorations and illuminated garden, while the infamous staterooms feature festive scenes behind giant gilt frames.
On the 5th December, a Christmas Carol concert will take place in the beautiful ballroom, while other activities include meeting Father Christmas and the 12 Crafts of Christmas.
For an alternative to the usual Christmas lights, residents and visitors of Kent can take an evening trip to Ramsgate Harbour to see a marvellous display of boats draped in twinkling illuminations. The now annual tradition, which can be traced back to 2014 has now become a highlight of the area, with boat owners, businesses and enthusiasts all taking part in the maritime Christmas lights.
With the switch on often taking place in the first week of December, the magical harbour display is known to take place throughout the month and is best visited on a cool and crisp evening. However, as an added plus, the harbour is also known to host weekend Christmas markets, a Santa's grotto and other festive attractions.
We hope this breakdown of the nations favourite Christmas displays has got you in the festive mood!
Mary Jones from Bath moved to McCarthy & Stone’s Lambrook Court development just down the road from her old home. ...Read more
This July it’s ‘National Picnic Month’, so to give you a little inspiration for this we’ve explored everything you need to know about hosting the perfect summer picnic. ...Read more
A city of extraordinary cultural and historical wealth woven into every brick and beam, York seeps history at every turn. ...Read more
They may not seem the most likely champions in the digital counter- revolution but jigsaw puzzles are certainly playing their part. ...Read more
The summer season is packed with a variety of events to appeal to a range of interests and ages. Savour the delights of new and exciting cuisine, enjoy the thrill of world-class horse racing and discover the latest super cars, at events taking place across the summer months. ...Read more
Sparkling white beaches, deep blue seas, sugar-cube villages and venerable ancient sites make the
Greek islands an idyllic holiday destination for many. Tourists can immerse in the Greek cuisine,
century-old sites and local culture each island has to offer, while enjoy luxurious accommodation
and the locals’ warm and welcoming hospitality. ...Read more
2019’s summer fashion trends provide plenty of great options for retirees. Here, McCarthy & Stone provide a rundown of the very best. ...Read more
A McCarthy & Stone Retirement Living Plus apartment is about getting more from life for the over 70s. It’s the perfect combination really - company when you want it, help when you could use it, care when you need it. And all in the comfort of your own stylish new home. ...Read more
Retirement Living PLUS is all about making life easier. This includes providing a great value in-house restaurant or bistro, where you can enjoy freshly prepared food in good company. ...Read more
Father’s Day is the perfect time to thank fathers and father figures for their help and support. In this post, McCarthy & Stone look at the history of Father’s Day. ...Read more
We want to create retirement communities that enrich the quality of life for our customers and their families, and look to respond better to our customers’ evolving needs. ...Read more
Colin and Pat Mackay are looking forward to making the most of their retirement following their move to North Berwick....Read more
You don’t need an outdoor garden to have a green thumb! We speak to journalist and gardening expert, Jane Perrone, about the best plants for an indoor garden, providing useful tips for you to use in your retirement property. ...Read more
Are you ready to move somewhere smaller? We lend our expert advice and explain how to effectively downsize. ...Read more
There are many benefits of downsizing and if this is something you are considering, here, we share our knowledge about downsizing, and explain why it could be one of the best things you can do for your retirement. ...Read more
The world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It’s the most glamorous day out in the gardening calendar.
The grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea are once again blooming with flora as the Royal Horticultural Society prepares to welcome 157,000 spectators to their annual five-day flower festival in May. ...Read more
After her husband passed away in 2014, Sylvie Morgan decided to move from her home in Malmesbury to Paxton Court, Tenby, where she is enjoying an active social life, and has met many new friends! ...Read more
There are many reasons why Brits are choosing retirement properties by the sea. Take a look at our top five reasons why people retire to the coast. ...Read more
Last summer, we honoured eight inspirational over-60s whose impressive feats were changing the lives of the people around them. Our North London Inspirational Generation winner, Jean Hoare, was invited to an exclusive event thanks to her work. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone have introduced a new range of rental and buying choices that can make retirement living even more accessible. ...Read more
Bettys Cookery School tutor Jenny Culver shares her favourite food moments and tells us why Bettys is still one of the UK's favourite places for afternoon tea, 100 years on. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone has officially launched its charity partnership with Beanstalk, a national children’s literacy foundation. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone have carried out a survey to determine the UK’s top 10 favourite pieces of ‘mums’ advice’. Read on to find out more. ...Read more
If you’re looking to book a holiday and need some inspiration, then take a look at our selection of some of the best UNESCO World Heritages Sites to help you plan what could be the trip of a lifetime. ...Read more
More and more people are choosing to put off their retirement and continue working. Plus, in many other cases, those who have already retired are looking to return to work. Here, we weigh up the pros and cons of each situation. ...Read more
eharmony’s relationship expert, Rachael Lloyd explains why online dating can be a great choice for anyone over 60. ...Read more
There are many extra demands placed on our bodies as we progress through life and because of this our nutritional needs also change as a result. It is never too late to revamp your nutrition and nurture your body with a healthier diet. ...Read more
We understand the problem of loneliness amongst older people and we want to do something to combat it. That’s why we have created our latest Pen Pals programme, an outlet to connect older people with other older people in communities by the writing and exchanging of letters. Click to find out more. ...Read more
Friendship is hugely important at every stage in life, and retirement is no exception. What’s more, in retirement you could make the most of the extra free time you have to discover different experiences and meet new people – leading to new friendships and relationships. ...Read more
After decades of 9-5 and routine, the newly-found free time that retirement provides can feel overwhelming. ...Read more
Earlier in 2018, Rightmove surveyed 21,000 people in a bid to find the happiest locations to live in the country. We take a look at the results. ...Read more
Rather than being a time to slow down, retirement can be a chance to try new experiences and become the best version of yourself. ...Read more
The McCarthy & Stone intergenerational living project encourages customers to spend time with children from their local primary school. ...Read more
Looking back to Christmas memories from the 50s and 60s is a wonderful way to celebrate colourful childhoods and festive moments from a different era. ...Read more
Why should retirement stop you from trying a new passion? Angie and Edson Chace, prove that age is just a number with their newfound acting success. ...Read more
Famed for its industry and innovation, the green, modern cityscape now replaces the smoking chimneys from the industrial revolution. There’s a friendly, independent and alternative spirit that can be hard to find in other cities alongside a thriving cultural scene. ...Read more
Following the appointment of John Tonkiss, as McCarthy & Stone’s new Chief Executive Officer in September, we speak to him about his vision for the future.
Popular North Gate Court customer Wally Blazey moved into their McCarthy & Stone apartment with his wife Gladys seven months ago, and the couple have just celebrated their 72nd anniversary. At 92, Wally is one of the two last surviving drivers of the Flying Scotsman, the most famous steam locomotive in the world. ...Read more
Loneliness, being closer to family and downsizing are just a few reasons why moving into a retirement apartment can become a better option in later life. ...Read more
2018 marks 100 years since the end of conflict – a year to remember the bravery of those who fought, lived and died in the First World War. ...Read more
The passing of a life-long partner is, of course, devastating and changes your life irrevocably. Regardless of how near they lived to you, or how resilient your character, a feeling of loneliness is inevitable following your loss. ...Read more
With darker days and cooler weather heading our way, there are plenty of interesting and exciting things you can do with your grandchildren this winter. ...Read more
Thinking of making the move to our lavish Asbhrae development? Discover a wealth of things to see and do in the local area. ...Read more
Plant containers are a space-saving option for the garden that's easier than working the soil. Leigh Hunt, Horticultural Advisor for the RHS tells us all that's needed to know about upcycling them. ...Read more
Marie Bird, who is 91 and a homeowner at Bilberry Place, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, tells us how moving to a Retirement Living PLUS development has helped her achieve her ambition of living the retirement she always wanted....Read more
Property owners, Cecilia Smith and Jean Ryder, both 64 live at Charlotte Court, Ainsdale, Southport and Grove Court, Crosby, Merseyside. Here, they tell us why moving to a development has transformed their lives for the better....Read more
Stylish apartments, exclusively for retirees who are looking to enhance their lifestyle, are McCarthy & Stone’s trademark. Here’s what to expect from our property types on offer....Read more
As summer fades, England’s largest history and culture festival is back. This September, hundreds of historic monuments and buildings throughout England – including many usually closed to the public – will throw open their doors for free. ...Read more
Discover Inspirational Generation winner and former Olympian, Marjorie Carter’s inspiring story, with a sports career that spanned over 70 years and a refusal to ever give up gymnastics! ...Read more
Where are the best locations in the UK to visit... that you've probably not heard of? We've ranked the best hidden gems around Britain, that are easy to access, and offer a great weekend away with the family. ...Read more
Whether you're a pet owner or have a pet free home, animals of all kinds have been proven to improve the happiness of their human counterparts. To find out more McCarthy & Stone conducted a survey to see how pets enrich their owners lives. Here are the results! ...Read more
Helen Bostock, Senior Horticultural Advisor at The Royal Horticultural Society shares her advice on creating the perfect environment for butterflies, by making the most of your outside space no matter what its size. ...Read more
Summer has arrived and Wimbledon is right around the corner, so for all the tennis enthusiasts, we've got 5 surprising facts to get you right in the mood! ...Read more
Retiring to the seaside – isn’t that every person’s dream? We’ve ranked your ten favourite British seaside destinations in order of preference. ...Read more
Discover coastal properties for sale all around the UK and Ireland with McCarthy & Stone’s unique locations and luxury developments. ...Read more