Updated for 2021 here.
There’s been a lot of cancelling going on throughout 2020. Holidays, parties, weddings….all postponed, put off or cancelled due to this nasty virus. Well, after a year of disappointments I have good news for you. Christmas is definitely NOT cancelled! There are a number of illuminated festive events taking place this year across both Sussex and Kent lighting up steam trains, castles and gardens. I’ve loved putting together this round-up of some of these fantastic light trails taking place offering us all a much needed dose of Christmas magic while allowing us to stay safe.
Dates TBC updates to follow shortly
Surround yourself with sparkle this Christmas as the after dark trail at Bedgebury lights up for it’s third year in 2020. Expect music, magic, tunnels of light and floating wonders. You’ll even get the chance to meet Father Christmas before roasting giant marshmallows on an open fire.
Thursday December 3rd – Sunday January 3rd
As darkness falls, the gardens of Wakehurst are brought to life with glowing lanterns, mesmerising projections, immersive soundscapes, and glistening torches of fire. Marvel at the UK’s tallest, living Christmas tree while being transported to an illuminated land of fungi, plants, seeds and wonder.
Thursday December 3rd – End of January
Bluebell Railway’s new SteamLights event will see trains covered in thousands of colourful lights steam through the countryside between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes across the festive period. Visitors will be treated to an amazing display along the way, with festive scenes among the clearings and a colourful light show orchestrated in time with music and narration.
Dates throughout December
Visitors to Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens this Christmas can experience an ‘illuminated spectacular’, an after-dark winter light trail over three consecutive weekends in December. The gardens will be lit up with light displays and projections onto the historic mansion buildings and the lakes in the Grade I Listed Gardens, with live music and theatrical performances for all the family.
21 November – December 24
As dusk falls, the Twilight Christmas experience begins and the stunning gardens are transformed into a festive wonderland with up-lighting and colour washes. Witness the enchantment of the Castle, gardens and lake festooned with fabulous colours and sparkling lights, capturing the spirit of Christmas. Twilight evenings will take place on each evening of the Christmas event for the first time this year.