November arrives and with it comes the Christmas markets and winter light trails and displays. We’ve been to several over the years in Oxfordshire and surrounding areas, so if you’re in the county and want to get out with family to see Christmas light trails, then why not try one of these places.
Most start in late November and go through to the early part of January. If you want to avoid the crowds, go either very early or after Christmas – these dates usually miss Christmas markets that will often bump up the crowd numbers. Don’t forget to book parking if you need to, and book early for the larger more famous trails. They book up fast for peak times at weekends.
Christmas light trails in Oxfordshire
18 November 2022 to 2nd January 2023.
In our experience, the best Christmas light trails we’ve seen. Even my son agrees to go. See Blenheim Palace lit up, great light designs and displays that vary each year, with some added to music. Stop for hot chocolate and marshmallows halfway round. They also have food stalls and fairground rides in the courtyard. It is expensive, but if you make it your one Christmas treat (and take your own food/drink), it’s worth doing. Add the inside of the palace tickets to see stunning themed designs.
Oxford Lights festival
18 to 20th November 2022.
Illuminations, displays and creativity on display around the city centre for the Oxford Lights Festival. There’s also activities and performance to see and take part in through the weekend the festival is on.
Garth House Christmas lights trail, Bicester
3rd to 18th December.
Garth house and park will again be lit-up with colour and light displays, this year also having a Christmas market.
Fairytale Farm, Chipping Norton
3rd Dec to 11th Dec (weekends), then daily from 12th Dec to Christmas Eve.
After the illuminated evenings that run weekends to 27th November at Fairytale Farm, it all changes for Christmas. Good for younger children and those with sensory needs, there’s lights and Santa’s grotto to see.
Banbury light switch on
The Banbury light switch on is one afternoon on 27 November, celebrating with a Victorian Christmas Market plus music and activities that afternoon. If you’re in town during the Christmas run up, they’ve also lit up the town hall with a moving display the last couple of years. It’s still to be confirmed if that’s happening this year.
Cotswold Farm Park, Burford
25th November to 31st December.
Enchanted Light Trail, the magic of Through the Wardrobe, see the animals in fairy lit barns, and let children dance at the Frozen Ball, all taking place at Cotswold Farm Park. Tickets sell fast, but get in early for early bird discounts.
Christmas light displays near Oxfordshire
If you’re in Oxfordshire you’re never too far from all the surrounding counties, so it’s easy to go a bit further afield for winter light trails.
Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire
12th November 2022 to 2nd January 2023.
Start with a walk up the hill from the car park alongside the lantern lit path, then see the house lighting display to music. Waddesdon Manor light trails aren’t as good as Blenheim – they’re shorter, and less flashy, but still nice to see. Some are usually interactive around the aviary. Add a house ticket to see it decorated beautifully. Check out the Christmas market stalls, but it does get super busy, so go later in the season to avoid so many crowds.
Check out our previous experiences at Waddesdon at Christmas.
Land of Lights, Gulliver’s Land Milton Keynes
12 November 2022 to 26 February 2023.
12 dreamworlds of lanterns in the Land of Lights, a mile long trail.
Lap of Lights, Silverstone – not running in 2022
Drive a lap around Silverstone race track amongst the light display then finish up with with festive activities and a drink in the bar. There’s also an ice rink.
26 November 2022 to 2 January 2023.
Enjoy the castle and gardens lit up on the Warwick at Christmas light trails. Add in ice skating, Santa or explore the castle itself.
Compton Verney light trail, Warwickshire
10 February 2023 to 5 March 2023.
Spectacle of Light display with sound, to be seen through the woodland walks and around the lakeside. Street food available.
Where do you like to go to Christmas light trails in and around Oxfordshire?