Make the most of the nights drawing in with the most joyful of winter events – twinkly Christmas lights trails! A number of attractions in Somerset (and just over the border!) will be bringing a little bit of festive magic into our lives over the yuletide season with their Christmas lights outdoor events – expect neon illuminations, dazzling foliage and glittering light displays!
A firm favourite on our family calendar and now a seasonal tradition that I intend to keep going for many years to come, here’s my round-up of Somerset’s best Christmas lights 2023.
Christmas lights Somerset 2023
2023 dates: 23 November-30 December
Hestercombe’s Christmas illumination event casts a kaleidoscopic spotlight on their historic gardens, with new water features and musical accompaniments for 2023. The technicolour Christmas displays wind a route through the natural features of the Landscape Garden, towards the Great Cascade, and back down past the Pear Pond and through a ‘Christmas tree’ grove below the Formal Garden, before finishing with a show-stopping display in front of Hestercombe House.
The Bampfylde Hall will be open for hot food, snacks, cakes and drinks throughout the evening.
Opening times: limited capacity slots are available from 5pm- 8pm. Advance booking is required, discounted tickets for Hestercombe members.
2023 dates: 13, 15, 16, 20, 22, and 23 December, 6-8pm
Wrap up warm and head out for a colourful evening stroll to see Frogmary Green Farm’s pint-sized festive Christmas light show! Picking up some delicious Yuletide snacks and hearty beverages (think floating marshmallow snowman hot chocolates and mulled wine!) from Farm and Field Cafe before pottering around the grounds and marvelling at the illuminated parkland. One of the loveliest community Christmas light events that’s small in size but big on festive spirit.
Moondown Spa will also be open for late night spa treatments (pre-book on their site).
2023 dates: 1 (members only), 2, 3, 7-10, 14-21 December
The medieval ruins and magical inner gardens provide a spectacular backdrop for the Christmas illuminations emblazoning Bishops Palace. And while it’s all drenched in rainbow light and sparkly outside, inside promises to be just as eye-popping…
Festooned with a plethora of Yuletide decorations ranging from Victorian to Nordic, there’ll also be a roaring fire and seasonal greenery to jolly up the historic interior.
The Illuminations will begin at 3.30pm and last entry time will be 6.30pm, with the inner gardens open until 7pm.
Christmas Wonderland at Wookey Hole 2023 (25-26 November, 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 18-24, December)
These famous age-old Somerset caverns are given a scintillating festive makeover for the Yuletide season, with 100,000 festive lights turning this subterranean world into a colourful twinkling grotto.
Guided tours lead visitors through the magnificent caverns (keep your eyes peeled for the legendary Witch of Wookey) and then you’re free to explore above ground, where you’ll find a fairy garden, animatronic dinosaurs, a 4D cinema showing a festive adventure, live circus shows, a giant soft play, Victorian-style arcade and a chance to meet a gift-giving Santa and his elves in the Wookey Hole toy factory.
Light Trails Christmas 2023, Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park
2023 dates: 1-3, 8-10, 15-23, 28-31 December 2023
Follow a festive light trail around Avon Valley Wildlife park and combine sparkly Christmas lights with a miniature train ride, lit-up animatronic dinosaurs, a festive fun fair and Christmas disco!
Enhance your experience by also booking the Christmas Experience alongside your Christmas Nights ticket – which includes reindeer food-making, Mrs Claus giving gingerbread-cooking advice in her kitchen, a magical forest, adventure park attractions and theatrical Santa Sleigh.
Winter Lights West Somerset Railway 2023, Bishop’s Lydeard Station (selected dates 24 November-30 December)
Climb aboard an illuminated steam train for a journey through woodlands and countryside, beautified for the festive season. Travel along the enchanted track to see spectacular track-side displays glowing in the darkness.
Nearby Christmas lights events 2023
Stourhead Christmas Lights (Selected dates – 1-31 December)
Sitting on the border of Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset is the National Trust’s Stourhead – a magnificent spot and one of the best Christmas lights trails I’ve ever been to. Wander along the illuminated mile-long trail to see the beautiful gardens swathed in over a million twinkling lights.
Discover gigantic luminescent sculptures rising high into the night sky, glittering trees dripping with festive colour, giant baubles and a fire garden aglow with flames, all enhanced by a soundtrack of festive tunes.
Festival of Light at Longleat 2023 (11 November-7 January)
Longleat in Wiltshire is so tantalisingly close to Somerset, it would be remiss of me not to include it in this festive light trails post! This year’s Christmas lights Festival at Longleat will whisk visitors through the wondrous illuminated worlds of Treasure Tales with a lantern trail bringing key moments from the stories that shaped our childhoods.
Belt out carols with Britain’s biggest singing Christmas tree, go on a winter safari and board the Santa Train to a snow-covered winter wonderland to meet Father Christmas and his elves.
Like this post on the best places to visit for Christmas lights in Somerset 2023, discover more days out in the county here: