It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
It’s not long until Saint Nick dons his finest furs, and Christmas arrives, so of course Bristol and the wider areas are just itching to put on a show. A sparkling array of Christmas light display events have burst into colour this festive season. Now Bristol is moving to Tier 2 from Saturday 19 December, you can take a tour of these magnificent illuminations, which around one hour by car, so you can get a sweet hit of festive cheer!
Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum
Discover the trees of Westonbirt Arboretum in a whole new light along the Christmas Illuminated Trail this December. As you journey through Westonbirt’s trees, you’ll experience stunning light displays and spectacles along the way. The trail is one mile long and should take anywhere from 45 minutes – 1 hour 30 minutes to complete. Dogs are not permitted on the illuminated trail, except for assistance dogs. The trail is also fully accessible for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, prams and push chairs. This light trail isn’t just for little ones as you can arrive up to 30 minutes before your trail time slot to soak up some seasonal cheer in the pre-trail Christmas Village. There is also a post-trail Christmas Village for you to pick up some refreshments after your adventure around the illuminations. Both villages will have festive food and drink stalls, as well as different traditional fairground rides at each one. Book tickets here.
Christmas at Stourhead
Christmas at Stourhead, the magical mile-long after-dark trail will once again light up the magnificent National Trust gardens at Stourhead. Enter a world full of seasonal cheer enhanced by a soundtrack of festive classics, as you wander beneath unique tree canopies drenched in Christmassy colours. Discover giant luminescent sculptures rising high into the night sky and trees wrapped in light on your way to a Field of Crocuses, where a carpet of larger than life flora glows gently in the moonlight. Framed by glittering trees, stroll along the sparkling Heart Walk and beside reflections dancing playfully on the lake. There are giant baubles and snowflakes where you least expect them and clusters of trees wrapped in ever-changing ribbons of colour. The tunnel of light returns with twinkling splendour and this year, why not pause for a moment of quiet reflection at the fire garden, aglow with hundreds of flickering flames. Book tickets here.
Stourhead, Mere, Wiltshire, BA12 6SH
Drive time from central Bristol: 70 minutes
Land of Light at Longleat
Running from 2 December to 10 January, Land of Light features thousands of spectacular light sources, illuminating seven themed areas across the Wiltshire estate. You can see sensational projections light up the iconic Longleat House, dancing fountains and animated light displays across the ornate grounds and gardens, Half Mile Lake and The Longhouse. Wander through motion-detected splashes of playful colour and sound and step inside the giant four-metre tall geometric portal with its immersive and vibrant pattern of choreographed lights. Longleat’s famous Sun Maze and Love Labyrinth will be embellished with LED lighting, mirror balls and atmospheric haze, with trees and topiary hedges decked out in their own stunning illuminated displays, bringing a wintery shimmer to the historic gardens. You’ll find a 70-metre long sensory tunnel before heading inside The Longhouse, which offers a 360° infinity experience, featuring fully mirrored walls and hundreds of diffracted laser beams in a floor-to-ceiling optical and aural experience. This one of the only Christmas light events near a safari park. Book tickets here.
Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW
Drive time from central Bristol: 60 minutes
Spectacle of Light at Sudeley Castle and Gardens
The Spectacle of Light will return to Sudeley Castle & Gardens for its fifth year this winter, and Bristolians can also join the the magical experience. On selected evenings from 4 – 30 December, discover the magical characters of The Nutcracker throughout the dazzling illuminated trail at this Gloucestershire estate and as you progress around the beautiful gardens and enchanted woodland. There will be sparkling water features, a flickering field of fire, light beams, lanterns, music and more at their Christmas light events this year. As the nights are drawing in, sip on some winter warming drinks like spiced mulled apple juice and sprinkled hot chocolate as you wonder the magical trail. You can also tuck into hot food to take away, as well as delicious donuts from the Castle Dungeons. Book tickets here.
Sudeley Castle & Gardens, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, GL54 5JD
Drive time from central Bristol: 60 minutes
[Featured Image: National Trust Stourhead]