Top 10 Christmas light shows in Britain

Dunham Massey, Cheshire

A pair of giant glittering reindeer greet visitors on Dunham Massey’s floodlit path, with the grounds and exterior of the house ablaze in bright, festive colour. Highlights include the Rose Garden, with 150 illuminated roses that fade and brighten in time to music, and the fire lanterns, which lend an atmospheric, ethereal feel to the wooded landscape. The journey takes about 90 minutes, with proceeds going towards conservation work on the estate. In the nearby village of Ripton, the Black Swan has 14 bedrooms and a children’s play area (doubles from £125 B&B, theblackswan.co.uk). From 18 November to 2 January, nationaltrust.org.uk

Roundhay Park, Leeds

A newcomer this winter, Roundhay Park promises wild wicker sculptures, spectacular light and music installations and a glittering fire garden, all set against the backdrop of the lush, rolling landscapes of one of Europe’s largest parks. Take a stroll with a rum hot chocolate or spiced mulled wine and follow the evening with an indulgent stay at Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa, 15 minutes’ drive from Roundhay, with a luxury Caudalie spa and comfortable, minimalist bedrooms (doubles from £105 B&B, thorpeparkhotel.com). From December 8th to January 1st, Christmas suroundhaypark.seetickets.com

Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire

A mile-long course, Luminate brings together giant glitter spheres, thousands of fairy lights and interactive light shows, with twinkling and syncopated lights set to ambient music. The trail takes about 60-90 minutes to walk around, with trees glowing in scarlet and bottle green lights, and plenty of kid-friendly displays. Stay at impressive Llwynhelig Manor in nearby Llandeilo, an exclusive, dog-friendly B&B set in 24 acres of rolling grounds, with three elegant bedrooms (doubles from £135 B&B, llwynheligmanor.co.uk). From 1 December to 2 January, luminate.live/garden-of-wales

Leeds Castle, Kent

Brand new this year, Leeds Castle and grounds will be showcasing more than 1 million lights and lasers, along with giant baubles and a fire garden that will bring flickering heat to the proceedings. French art studio Tilt has provided three spectacular lighted installations and a Christmas soundtrack to give the trail an appropriately festive feel. Stay in the castle mews courtyard bedrooms, housed in a 900-year-old stable block in the grounds, with free admission to the castle (lit path remains chargeable, doubles from £140 B&B, leeds-castle.com) . From 25 November to 1 January, leeds-castle.com

Audley End, Suffolk

Enchanted Audley is an opportunity to explore one of England’s largest 17th century estates under starry skies, with dancing fountains, a maze of fairy lights and spectacular illuminations on the front of the house. The itinerary ends with a “wish tree” where children can write their wishes on pieces of paper and hang them on the branches. Follow your visit with a stay at Old Cross Keys in Saffron Walden, a striking Elizabethan building with bright contemporary interiors (doubles from £95 B&B, theoldcrosskeys.co.uk). Selected dates from December 2 to 30, english-heritage.org.uk

Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

Expect an eye-catching display of lakeside illuminations, colorful trees and fairy-lit tunnels. The trail takes around 90 minutes to walk, with occasional short, steep sections and a selection of street food vendors to keep hikers warm and fuelled. Stay at The Raeburn, an elegant Georgian house a short walk from the gardens, with bedrooms decorated in classic Scottish fabrics and an excellent restaurant (doubles from £125 B&B, theraeburn.com). Selected dates 17 November to 30 December, rbge.org.uk

Westonbirt, Tetbury, Wiltshire

Westonbirt Arboretum is home to 2,500 tree species from around the world, and this year its annual illuminations and woodland light trails feature a troupe of wood elves. Stay at Tetbury’s Royal Oak, a restored 18th-century inn with a restaurant specializing in seasonal local cuisine with good vegan and GH options and six stylish bedrooms (doubles from £95 B&B, theroyaloaktetbury.co.uk). Selected dates 25 November to 21 December, forestryengland.UK

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Blenheim, one of the UK’s most impressive country estates, has a new floodlit pathway this year, with twinkling lights and fields of fire set against the backdrop of the vast palace, bathed in a spectacular light show. The trail is just part of the Blenheim Christmas experience with the palace transformed into the Kingdom of the Snow Queen, a festive market in the park and plenty of mulled wine and festive treats on offer. Stay at the King’s Arms, a 10-minute walk away, a historic inn with cozy rooms and an elegant bottle-green dining room serving hearty British classics (doubles from £129 B&B, kingshotelwoodstock.co.uk). From November 18 to January 2, blenheimpalace.com

RHS Garden, Exmouth, Devon

Nestled in the Torridge Valley, the Rosemoor Garden Glow event offers the chance to enjoy its magnificent array of illuminated trees, shrubs, water features and sculptures on a magical pathway through its conservatory. A short drive away, Ram’s Head Innis is a charming 17th-century inn, owned by French chef Nicolas Boucher, with dog-friendly rooms and a popular restaurant (doubles from £115 B&B, ramsheadinn.co.uk). Selected dates 17 November to 30 December, rhs.org.uk

Kew Gardens, London

One of the first – and still one of the best – lighted trails, Christmas at Kew is a chance to see these extraordinary gardens from a completely different perspective. The 2.6 km course includes seas of lights, walls of flames and expanses of trees illuminated with a spectacular light show through the Palms and temperate houses. Combine a visit to Kew with a stroll in Richmond Park and a stay at the Richmond Harbor Hotel, perched on a hill with lovely views and a fabulous cocktail bar (doubles from £153 room only, harbourhotels.co.uk). Selected dates November 16 to January 6, kew.org

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