You know Christmas is on the way when the festive illuminations start. It seems that councils and companies go to more and more extravagant lengths to make their lights stand out. After all, a well-done display can make for an excellent tourist attraction.
Now you might have missed some of the big Christmas light switch-ons this year. But who needs to see some Z-list celebrity tell a few bad jokes next to a big red button anyway? We’ve put together a list of the best Christmas light displays you can visit this year.
We start with a trip to Central London and one of the most iconic Christmas displays in the country. The Oxford Street lights have illuminated the capital’s best Christmas shopping for decades. Whether you want to see it on foot or in the comfort of your car, it’s worth a visit even if you don’t want to spend any money. As well as the lights, you can see some of the famous shop window displays, like those in Selfridges or Liberty. A real Christmas classic.
The world famous Blackpool illuminations are a sight to behold all year round, but they have an extra warmth to their glow in the Christmas period. Running alongside beautiful Blackpool beach, the lights can be viewed on foot, in your car or, our pick, inside one of the famous tram cars. In fact, many of the trams are illuminated themselves, so you can be right inside the display. While your hear, climb Blackpool Tower for an incredible view of the light show. If you’re feeling brave, you can also see the lights from the Pleasure Beach’s Big One rollercoaster. But with its huge heights, you might forget all about the display and focus more on screaming your head off as you drop!
If you want a more magical trip, then take a trip to Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire for a walk in their Enchanted Christmas wonderland. Walking amongst the illuminated forest, the light trails are sure to inspire magic in the hearts of young and old alike. But it’s not just lights, with talking trees, elves dotted throughout the trail and a surprising visit to Santa’s secret workshop.
The National Trust illuminates many of their locations for Christmas, so visit their website to find one near you. Our pick? Belton House in Lincolnshire has some of the most colourful and near-psychedelic light shows you can see at Christmas. As well as the expected Christmas light shows and huge festive baubles dangling from the trees, the artificial snow fall means you can have a little bit of a white Christmas no matter what the weather forecast might be.
Edinburgh always put on a good show at Christmas time, and there are few better displays n the country than the one you’ll find at the Royal Botanic Gardens. A lot of care and effort has put into turning the ancient trees and gardens into a kaleidoscopic extravaganze of colour, light and Christmas cheer.