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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!
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