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Shine bright: 10 light trails in and near Surrey

Get the glow at one of these fabulously festive light trails across Surrey and beyond. Scarf on, boots strapped: let's admire those pretty twinkling lights.

Christmas at Kew
■ Kew Gardens, Richmond ■ until 9 Jan

Christmas at Kew Gardens.
Christmas at Kew. Photo credit Jeff Eden

Returning for its ninth year, Kew Garden’s winter trail is back lighting up the night skies with sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections and trees drenched in jewel-like colour as well as the panoramic Palm House light display. It’s on from Wed 17 to Sun 9 Jan, 4pm-10pm. Its timed entry and capacity is limited, so advance booking es essential.

Glow 2021 at Wisley
■ RHS Wisley, Woking ■ until 4 Jan

Glow Wisley, surrey

See the garden come alive at night with fantastical illuminations to light your way on Wisley’s enchanting festive trail. This year, the garden will glow even brighter with more lights, fire candles and fountain displays, as well as the return of a spectacular horticultural display inside the Glasshouse. It’s on from Fri 19 Nov until 4 Jan, and all tickets must be booked in advance.

Palace of Stardust
■ Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey ■ until 3 Jan

Photo credit: Chris Payne

Enter a whimsical world of planets and stars on an enchanting new light trail at Hampton Court Palace this winter. The trail winds through the palace’s formal gardens, where you’ll find a fantastical wonderland of clocks, moons, planets and sundials. It’s on from Wed 8 Dec until 3 Jan from 4pm-8pm.

Lightopia Festival
■ Crystal Palace Park, London ■ until 2 Jan

This year Lightopia moves to Crystal Palace Park in south-east London. The award-winning lantern and light festival is a visual spectacular with interactive exhibits, immersive light installations and a magical illuminated trail. It’s on from Fri 19 Nov until 2 Jan.

Windsor Great Park Illuminated
■ Windsor, Berks ■ until 9 Jan


Permission to mention the C Word… Christmas is coming and Windsor Great Park’s inaugural illuminated trail is the one to book now. The trail, produced by guys behind Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, will feature a field of lights that will extend more than 1,400 sqm, fountains of projected flowers and holograms of woodland creatures. Prepare to be dazzled. Open from 4.30pm-10pm. Tickets: Adults £21.45, Child, £13.20 and Family £74.80.

Christmas at Bedgebury
■ Goudhurst, Kent ■ until 3 Jan

Visit Bedgebury Pinetum at night to experience Christmas at Bedgebury, a magical spectacle of light. We’re talking singing trees saturated in colour-changing lights, giant baubles and snowflakes – and of course you won’t wanna miss the breath-taking tunnel of light. There’ll also be a special appearance from the big man himself. This event sells out early every year but there are a handful of tickets left so be quick!

Christmas at Hever Castle
■ Edenbridge, Kent ■ until 3 Jan

There’s plenty of Christmas magic at Hever Castle this year, with a fairground, Santa’s Grotto, and a visit from the huskies (weekends 12-8pm until 24 Dec). If you’re up for a longer stomp, try Hever’s after-dark Christmas Light Trail which takes approx 1.5 hours to see the Castle’s much-loved landmarks lit up in glorious colours. Starting from 4pm, wrap up warm, enjoy a walk under the stars and witness the enchantment of the Castle, gardens and lake festooned with fabulous colours and twinkling lights.

Leonardslee Illuminated
■ Horsham, Sussex ■ 25 Nov until 22 Dec

With a brand new route for 2021, the grounds of Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens will come to life with spellbinding illuminations, large scale projections, music, fairground rides and theatrical performances. The trail takes 60 – 90 minutes to compete (depending on how many times you stop to take a snap en route), with seasonal refreshments at both ends, plus a Christmas Market.

Light up Trails
■ Cowdray Estate, Midhurst, Sussex ■ 24 Nov until 1 Jan

The light display at this stunning historic country estate in the South Downs National Park is inspired by ‘Joy’ this year with works created by a select band of international artists peppered around the grounds. There’ll also be a festive show, the chance to watch a Tudor Christmas come to life on the ruins, street food to munch and a pop-up restaurant in the Walled Garden.

Glow Wild, Wakehurst
■ Wakehurst Place, Haywards Heath, Sussex ■ selected evenings 25 Nov until 2 Jan

Including the UK’s largest natural screen and the tallest living Christmas tree adorned with 1,800 lights. New for 2021, don’t miss Brighton-based light artists, Ithaca, who will transform the Walled Garden into a tranquil twilight trail illuminated by dazzling glow-worms.

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