9 magical Christmas light trails in Gloucestershire

Marvel at the magic of Gloucestershire's best Christmas light trails, with new illuminated displays to discover at some of the county's top cultural attractions this November and December.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
Gloucestershire is glowing with Christmas light trails in November and December 2023.

See some of Gloucestershire's biggest attractions transform into twinkling winter wonderlands this Christmas, as illuminated light trails are switched on across the county to mark the start of the festive season.

From long-standing highlights in the county's festive calendar to brand-new light trails for 2023, SoGlos shares nine of best illuminated light trails to see in and around Gloucestershire this Christmas.

Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum

Westonbirt's much-loved Enchanted Christmas light trail is back for the 17th year, lighting up the arboretum in spectacular colours with immersive spectacles and special effects to capture little ones' imaginations. Soak up seasonal cheer in the Christmas village before and after the trail — and you might even catch a glimpse of Father Christmas on your way!

Enchanted Christmas takes place on selected evenings from Friday 24 November to Saturday 23 December 2023, hosting two relaxed sessions for families with additional needs on Saturday 25 November and Saturday 2 December 2023.

Enchanted Garden By Night at Painswick Rococo Garden

A brand-new addition to Gloucestershire's line-up of entrancing light trails, Painswick Rococo Garden launches its Enchanted Garden By Night experience this Christmas. A festive spin-off of its popular summer trail, it features magical willow-sculpted creatures adorned in twinkling lights, with fairies, dragons and more to find around the 18th-century pleasure garden and woodland.

Enchanted Garden By Night takes place on selected evenings from Thursday 7 December 2023 to Saturday 6 January 2024. Dogs on short leads are also welcome!

Enchanted Light Trail at Cotswold Farm Park

See Cotswold Farm Park in a whole new light when the popular Enchanted Light Trail returns to the family-favourite attraction. This year's trail invites visitors to explore the park after hours, guided by a myriad of twinkling lights — with the chance to feed the animals in lit-up barns and the promise of crackling fire pits and toasted s'mores at the end.

Enchanted Light Trail takes place on selected evenings from Friday 24 November to Sunday 31 December 2023.

Spectacle of Light at Sudeley Castle

Sudeley Castle’s illuminated light trail is back with a Wizard of Oz theme for its eighth anniversary. Meet Dorothy and friends en route to the Emerald City, passing light beams, lanterns and Spectacle of Light's signature light wave and sparkling water features — all wrapped up with spiced mulled wine, rich hot chocolate and hot food to enjoy as you explore the castle grounds.

Spectacle of Light takes place on selected evenings from Friday 24 November to Saturday 30 December 2023.

Twilight Trains at Perrygrove Railway

Hop on the Twilight Express at Perrygrove Railway for a magical journey through the Forest of Dean, spotting colourful illuminations along the way. Take in sparkling lights and mesmerising spectacles as the train chugs along the line to Oakiron station, where Santa and his helpers are waiting to climb on board to meet excited passengers.

Christmas Twilight Trains are running on selected dates from Sunday 3 to Saturday 23 December 2023.

Christmas Experience at Night at Gloucester Cathedral

There's the rare chance to see one of the county's most iconic buildings after dark, as Gloucester Cathedral lights up for its unmissable Christmas Experience at Night event. See its imposing medieval interiors illuminated against a backdrop of spellbinding live music from its choir and musicians, with the opportunity to take a candlelit tour of the library and soak up sky-high views across the county from the Tower, too.

Christmas Experience at Night takes place on selected evenings from Saturday 9 to Thursday 21 December 2023.

Cheltenham Christmas lights trail

Cheltenham town centre comes alive with twinkling light installations every year, when dusk falls during its annual Christmas launch event. This year, expect to see some brand-new designs as the town unveils its very own Christmas light trail, encouraging visitors to follow a map in search of sparkling spectacles.

Cheltenham's Christmas launch takes place on Thursday 16 November 2023, with the Christmas lights trail map available to download from the Visit Cheltenham website.

Christmas light trail at Blenheim Palace

Just over the border in Oxfordshire, Blenheim Palace promises a memorable Christmas experience with its ever-popular light trail. Wander through heart-shaped arches and glowing tunnels filled with stars, catch sight of dancing reflections in the cascades and step inside the palace to revisit the story of Sleeping Beauty, with the state rooms exquisitely transformed into a fantasy fairy-tale setting.

Christmas at Blenheim Palace runs from Friday 17 November 2023 to Monday 1 January 2024.

Winter Glow light trail at Three Counties Showground

Journey to Winter Glow, transforming Malvern's Three Counties Showground into a magical Christmas wonderland with its own illuminated light trail that features interactive installations and a bespoke soundscape. With an immersive 'Golden Snowflake' theme, this year's trail takes visitors on a trip to the North Pole, meeting magical characters along the way.

Winter Glow takes place from Friday 24 November 2023 to Saturday 6 January 2023.

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