One of the most mesmerising activities to do during Christmas and the Winter months is to visit a light trail. They are a stunning show of colour lights that will make you and your family have the most magical experience. There are many light trails in London so I decided to make a list of them so you can choose the one that is closest to you or if you would like to travel a little bit further you can choose one too.
The Best Light Trails In London 2022
Looking for Christmas light trails 2022? or asking, where is the best place to see the lights in London? You will find some traditional light trails in London that have been around for a few years now and of course some new ones for this year. Below you can find a list of 7 light trails in London that might be worth checking out.
Illuminature Light Trail
Images via London Wetland Centre website
In owl woods, meet huge light-up otters and see the phases of the ever-watching moon. Explore the lake using night vision goggles to see what the wetland’s real-life creatures are up to. Can you find the nēnē geese or dreaming ducks?
At the Twilight Tweatery, you can sip hot chocolate and feast on toasted marshmallows and snacks. Take a rest and relax beneath a canopy of fairy lights before taking advantage of spectacular photo possibilities.
Race friends across the strange pond by jumping between large interactive lily pads and beneath sparkling fireflies. Begin your illuminated bird-spotting adventure in the mystical marshland before venturing into the fantastical forest full of mesmerizing neon birds.
Take a look inside the real-life otters’ den to see if you can see a furry family snuggling in for the night. Finally, go through the sparkling tundra tunnel and return to reality.
- Location: Queen Elizabeth Walk, SW13 9WT (London Wetland Centre)
- Dates: 18th November – 8th January, 4.30 – 9PM
- How to Get There: Nearest stations are Hammersmith, Barnes, and Barnes Bridge
- Entry: Adult: £18.50, Children (4+): £14.50, Children (0-3): Free, Family (2+2): £60
- Website: Illuminature Light Trail at London Wetland Centre
Enchanted Eltham Palace
Image via Enchanted Eltham Palace website
This December, gather your friends and family to forget the dark winter evenings and see a spectacular new light. Explore the grounds and gardens to experience a wonderful world of lighting, sound, and colour, and see the Great Hall lit up from the outside.
Warm up with a drink of mulled wine, roast a marshmallow under the stars, or enjoy a classic fairground attraction. The shop will be open so you can stock up on anything from traditional toys to award-winning food and drink.
- Location: Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Greenwich, SE9 5QE.
- Dates: Tickets will be available on these dates only: Fri 2 – Sun 4, Thurs 8 – Sun 11, Thurs 15 – Sun 18, Tues 20 – Fri 23, Tues 27 – Fri 30 December 2022 with timeslots available every 15 minutes from 4pm -7pm.
- How to Get There: Nearest station is Eltham.
- Entry: Peak hours: Adult: £19 / Children: £11 / Family (2 adults): £49 / Family (1 adult): £30
Off-peak hours: Adult: £15 / Children: £9 / Family (2 adults): £39 / Family (1 adult): £24
- Website: Enchanted Eltham Palace
Image via Lightopia website
Lightopia returns to London, at the iconic Crystal Palace Park. This Christmas, see the Palace bathed in light, amongst spectacular installations, in what promises to be one of London’s best festivals of light.
- Location: Crystal Palace Park, SE19 2GA
- Dates: open until January 2, 2023.
- How to Get There: Nearest station is Crystal Palace
- Entry: Adult (16+): £19.50/£24.50 / Child: £13/£16.50 / Infants aged 0-2 visit for free / Family (2 Adults + 2 Children or 1 Adult + 3 Children): £59/£75 (All Prices + Booking Fee)
- Website: Lightopia
Christmas at Kenwood
Image via Christmas At Kenwood website
Enter a world of festivity at the famous gardens of Kenwood which once again host Christmas at Kenwood in December. This spectacular light trail, nestled among the world-famous Hampstead Heath, will enchant visitors of all ages.
As you meander around the beautiful gardens, you’ll see Christmas in a whole new light. The breathtaking illuminations and installations will dazzle your senses and take you to an enchanted and magical world of light and colour.
This really is the place to be this Christmas, with lots of surprises around every corner, festive cuisine, warming beverages, picture-perfect moments, and a slew of brand-new sights and sounds.
- Location: Hampstead Lane, Hampstead, Greater London, NW3 7JR
- Dates: open until January 1, 2023. Opening hours: 4.30pm – 9.00pm
- How to Get There: The closest train stations are Gospel Oak and Hampstead Heath. The nearest station is Golders Green and Archway. Bus route 210 will drop you off just outside the entrance to the trail.
- Entry: These prices include a booking fee:
ADULT – PEAK £25.85 / OFF PEAK £21.45
CHILD (3-16) – PEAK £18.15 / OFF PEAK £14.30
TWILIGHT VIEWING TICKET – ADULT – £32.45
TWILIGHT VIEWING TICKET – CHILD – £24.75
FAMILY (2 ADULTS 2 CHILDREN) – PEAK £80.50 / OFF PEAK £67.30
GROUPS (15+ adults) – PEAK £23.76 / OFF PEAK £19.31
- Website: Christmas At Kenwood
Christmas at Kew Gardens
Image via Christmas at Kew Gardens website
Visit Kew Gardens for the most delightful time of the year as the spectacular winter trail illuminates the night skies. Enjoy the annual after-dark activities with family and friends as you uncover tunnels of light, dancing lakeside reflections, and jewel-like trees.
Explore the fire garden’s mesmerising flickering flames, locate larger-than-life illuminations, and say hi to Father Christmas along the route. Independent street food vendors serve tempting seasonal pleasures throughout the route, from hot cuisine and sweet treats to spiced winter warmers and hot cocoa.
- Location: Kew Gardens, Richmond, TW9 3AE
- Dates: open until January 8, 2023 from 4.20-10pm with timed entry slots. Last entry 8pm.
- How to Get There: The nearest station is Kew Gardens
- Entry: Adult from £21.50; Family from £65; Child 4 – 16 from £14; Under 4s free; Kew member from £18.50.
- Website: Christmas at Kew Gardens
Palace of Light
Image via Palace of Light website
Hampton Court Palace invites you to an extraordinary lantern and light experience, complete with all new, dramatic displays along a new trail for 2022. It’s larger and better than ever before, and twice as long as 2021. Encounter curious creatures including glittering unicorns, polka-dot panthers and galloping greyhounds, as you wander through the atmospheric wilderness, formal gardens and historic palace courtyards after dark.
The light trail focuses on sustainability. A trained team of artists and crafters built the bright displays and intricate installations, utilising recycled and repurposed materials whenever feasible, with the environmental footprint considered in every step of the design.
Palace of Light is an opportunity to see this remarkable mediaeval palace like never before, inspired by the Royal Beasts, a collection of heraldic statues commissioned for Hampton Court by Henry VIII himself. Allow 45-60 minutes to absorb in the ambiance and enjoy the exhibits.
- Location: Hampton Court Way, Molesey, East Molesey, KT8 9AU
- Dates: open until January 2, 2023. Excluding 12-13, 24, 25, 26 December. 17.15, last entry slot is 20.00 (20.15 on 22 December and 20.30 on 23 December)
- How to Get There: Nearest station is Hampton Court
- Entry: Light trail-only ticket prices: Adult: £14.50, Child: £9.50, Member Adult: £7.25, Member Child: £4.75. Family ticket prices are also available.
Trail and palace admission combi-ticket prices: Entry inside the palace is for 10.00-16.00 only.
Adult: £37.90, Child: £21.20, Concession: £33.30. Family ticket prices are also available.
Under 5’s go free and do not need a ticket. Children aged 5-15 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Website: Palace of Light
Winter Lights at Canary Wharf
Image via Winter Lights at Canary Wharf website
The Canary Wharf Winter Lights festival is the largest of its kind in London, transforming Canary Wharf with over 20 stunning installations, leaving the dark winter evenings aglow. The spectacle showcases light art and interactive installations by some of the most innovative light artists across the globe with some new commissions alongside pieces never before seen in the UK. From a family of giant mammoths at Riverside, to an immersive fibre-optic tunnel in Wood Wharf, there is sure to be something to spark your imagination and the festival also shines a spotlight on some of our permanent light artworks on the estate which form part of our extensive public art collection.
There’ll be plenty of delicious food options to keep you fuelled throughout the night, whether you choose to grab a quick bite to eat at our street food market or book in for dinner and cocktails at one of our many bars and restaurants, there are options to suit all tastes.
- Location: Canary Wharf, London,E14
- Dates: Wednesday 18 – Saturday 28 January, daily, 5-10pm
- How to Get There: Canary Wharf is easily accessible via its many transport connections which you can see in full here.
- Entry: Free
- Website: Winter Lights at Canary Wharf
Hopefully, you find the above information on Light Trails in London useful.
I should also add that there are a few light show events in London that have already been and gone or are not necessarily light trails but might be worth considering for next year if they run again.
Have you visited any light trails in London this year? What do you think of the light trails I have listed? Are there any other light trails in London you would recommend?
*Disclosure: All images are credited to each website mentioned in this blog post.
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Love you all ❤️