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Lighting up the Cotswolds

9th November 2016

Categories: Media News

Christmas is always a time for lights but this year it will be even brighter than usual thanks to the amazing array of illuminated events and festive goings-on!

Enchanted Christmas - photo by Paul Box

Westonbirt Arboretum are now famous for their Enchanted Christmas when visitors can wander through the mile-long trail of festive tree illuminations and enjoy a whole host of activities and entertainment.  It runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from 25 November to 18 December and pre-booking is required. 

Christmas at Blenheim Palace 'promises festive magic with its first ever after-dark trail of lights through the formal gardens.  There’ll be singing Christmas trees, a scented fire garden, sparkling hedgerows, glowing cascades and much mush more including festive drinks and a vintage carousel ride.  The event at Blenheim Palace runs from 5 – 10pm every evening from 25 November to 2 January. 

Sudeley Castle are holding their first Spectacle of Light when the castle and grounds will come to life with both light and sound.  It runs from 1 to 23 December from 5pm and promises a breathtaking trail of light around the magical gardens into the romantic ruins.

The illuminations at Fairytale Farm near Chipping Norton will enchant children as they explore this magical family attraction which is designed to be fully accessible to disabled children. The illuminations will be on every weekend until 18 December and then every day until Christmas.


Along with these special events, our wonderful Cotswold towns will be "lighting up" and putting on a great show for Christmas!

This year’s Bath Christmas Market (24 November - 11 December) will include an animated light display adding extra illumination to this popular annual event.  The centre of Bath will be transformed into a magical shopper’s paradise with more than 170 chalets packed full of gorgeous Christmas goodies.  

In Tewkesbury, the Festival of Christmas Lights, the start of the town’s Christmas celebrations, takes place on Sunday 20 November with the big lights switch on at 5pm.

Stilt walkers, jugglers and Christmas characters will entertain shoppers in Cheltenham on Thursday 24 November from 4pm before Father Christmas switches on the lights at 7pm.

Painswick’s Christmas Goodwill Evening and light switch-on takes place on Friday 25 November (5-9pm), with a wide range of handmade gifts and produce available at the stalls at the Town Hall and Painswick Centre and many of the town's shops opening late.

The Christmas lights switch-on event in Dursley will take place on Friday 25 November with a Victorian theme, market stalls and late night shopping, children's entertainment, festive music and local choirs, as well as Santa’s grotto.

Woodstock holds its ‘Night of a Thousand Candles’ on 26 November from 6pm in the Town Square – a magical evening with music, mulled wine and a special guest switching on the town’s illuminations.

There will be a Christmas Market with over 60 stalls in Moreton-in-Marsh on 26 November, along with a Santa's Grotto, followed by their Christmas lights switch-on at 4.30pm. 

Burford are holding a special day of Christmas shopping, entertainment and their lights switch-on on 27 November.

Enjoy the big switch-on in Tetbury on 1 December, with a torchlight procession from St Mary's Church to the Market House, carols, music, Santa and his elves and a Christmas market.

There’s a whole host of festive activities in the Stroud Christmas Goodwill Evening on 2 December.  Visit Santas magic workshop, make lanterns and enjoy the Christmas markets throughout the town centre from 4 – 9pm. 

Also on 2 December is the lighting up of Bourton on the Water's wonderful Christmas tree in the river, along with a special shopping evening in the town.

Olympic gold medal winning rower Matt Gotrel will be switching on the Christmas lights in his hometown of Chipping Campden on 2 December. There will also be a Christmas market with over 40 stalls in the square and Town Hall.

Chipping Norton will be full to bursting with Christmas cheer, shopping, carol singing and even reindeer racing at their special event on Friday 2 December.

Winchcombe’s Christmas Festival gets underway at 5pm on Tuesday 6 December in the town centre.

The popular Christmas Tree festival returns to Stow on the Wold from 8 December, with the Christmas lights switch on is on 9 December from 5.30pm.