Going to see the Christmas lights each December is now something of a family tradition. Bundling ourselves up against the cold; marvelling at the lights and treating ourselves to hot mulled wine and roasted chestnuts from a food stall is something we’ve really enjoyed in previous years; and we are looking forward to a Christmas light trails again this year.
I’ve heard on the grapevine that tickets are selling fast to many of the more popular trails. I’ve gathered together a list of some of the Christmas light displays in and around Manchester, Cheshire and the North West this Christmas. Some might be a little drive away, such as Alton Towers, or Sheffield, but I’ve included them anyway.
Christmas Light trails in and around the North West (and a bit beyond)
Alton Towers – Enjoy a whole host of fantastical family rides and attractions, show-stopping live entertainment and enchanting Christmas Market. You can even extend the festivities with a truly magical Santa Sleepover! Plus, marvel at the award-winning illuminated trail, Lightopia, returning for 2022 – a seasonal spectacle not to be missed!
BeWILDerwood, Cheshire – Explore brand new areas of BeWILDerwood as you follow The Sparkly Light Trail through the woods. Discover silly snowmen, curious Christmas crackers, a giant Christmas pudding and lots, lots more as you venture through the festivities.
Bolesworth, Cheshire – Bolesworth’s grounds near Chester will again be transformed into a festive wonderland, festooned in seasonal sparkle and yuletide cheer for a month of unforgettable winter magic. Their enchanted Christmas Lights Trail returns for 2022 featuring an all-new route, a spectacular light show incorporating Bolesworth Castle itself and a unique water display on their beautiful lake.
Chester Zoo, The Lanterns – This event has been running for several years now, and it is such a magical evening out visiting the zoo after dark and meeting magical creatures on you travels. Read our review here.
Delamere Forest, Cheshire – Christmas at Delamere Forest is an after-dark illuminated trail with over a million lights and seasonal sounds bringing bundles of festive cheer to the forest. Enjoy a magical time together with your family and friends as you discover glittering tunnels of light and trees drenched in jewel-like colour. Pause at mesmerising flames in the fire garden for a moment of reflection. Wander beneath larger-than-life illuminations and don’t forget to glimpse Father Christmas along the way.
Knowsley Safari Park – Enjoy the safari park after dark at their fabulous Christmas time event, your path will be lit with magical lights guiding you through their enchanted trail. Get into the Christmas spirit with a range of festive food; magical music, amazing illuminated animals and some extra special treats!
Lightopia, Heaton Park – This is another popular and award winning Christmas light trail in North Manchester’s Heaton Park. Embark on a magical journey through the fantasy themed light trail through the parklands. Showcasing bright immersive installations, colourful lasers, and water shows, this is a festive wonderland for all ages.
Magical Woodland, Blakemere, Cheshire – A truly magical start to the Christmas celebrations for all the family. An enchanting event which is open during the evenings in December. This takes place in 15 acres of woodland and incorporates cutting edge lighting and sound to bring a touch of wonder and magic to this stunning location.
RHS Bridgewater, Salford – Glow returns to RHS Garden Bridgewater with a new trail full of festive colour and sparkle. New for 2022, weave your way through yew domes festooned with fairy lights. Explore a magical family discovery trail inspired by local folklore and take a selfie with giant, colour-changing stars. Read our review of last year here.
Sheffield Cathedral – Sheffield Cathedral will once again be transformed by its Christmas lights spectacular, celebrating the wonder and joy of the festive season. This year’s light show brings us to heart of the Christmas story, to ‘The Manger’ and the tiny baby nestling in the hay who would change the world.
Stockeld Park, North Yorkshire – Experience one of the country’s largest and most creative Christmas light trails set in the grounds of the historic Stockeld Park Estate.
Trentham Gardens, Staffordshire – Returning for 2022, the Christmas at Trentham illuminated trail is designed to sprinkle a little Christmas magic, accentuate the flora and fauna and see the stunning historic landscape in a world of light and colour.
Walton Hall Gardens, Warrington – A spectacular, illuminated trail, full of wonder and intrigue, to delight and enthral your senses. As darkness descends, enjoy an enchanting journey, as they weave a captivating light trail through the grounds of Walton Gardens. Immerse yourself in our mesmerising trail, with breath-taking lighting elements and fabulous light play, all set to ambient music. Read our review here.
Winter Illuminations at Yorkshire Wildlife Park – Their annual Winter Illuminations feature over 2,400 metres of illuminated trails filled with giant awe inspiring hand-crafted lanterns. Explore the illuminated lands of Fairytale Kingdom, Animal Adventures, Under the Sea and much more. This magical night-time adventure sees our walk-through Wildlife Park come alive with an enchanting spectacle of light. This year promises an experience bigger, better and more electrifying than ever before!
If you’re planning on visiting one of the Christmas light trails in the North West, then I suggest you book early. These events just get more popular every year, and with good reason! They really are a wonderful way to get into the festive spirit.