Best 2020 Christmas lights switch-on events around the UK for post-lockdown festivities

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The coronavirus pandemic has largely put paid to a plethora of Christmas events. And while Britons are mostly stuck indoors for now, many are gearing up for the end of lockdown to visit some of the country’s best Christmas light events. Glowing reindeers, illuminated snow flakes, twinkling wreaths and sparkly Christmas trees are just some of the festive treats on offer across the nation. For those wondering what events are taking place, Express.co.uk has gathered together the ten best Christmas light switch-on events in the UK in 2020.

Lightopia Festival, Heaton Park, Manchester

Lightopia is one of the few Christmas events taking place in Manchester this year.

Taking place at Heaton Park from December 3 until January 10 2021, Britons have plenty of time to visit the award-winning light installations.

The festival includes interactive exhibits, immersive light installations and an illuminated trail.

Tickets can be purchased online for each day with time slots available for entry.

Adult tickets are just over £20, child tickets (three to 16 years) are around £13 and family tickets (two adults and two children) are around £60 with children under two allowed to enter for free.

Christmas at Belton, Lincolnshire

The National Trust-run Belton is back with its Christmas after dark trail.

The events were set to begin on November 27 and 29 but this is likely to change due to England’s current lockdown which will end on December 2.

The website says there are certain times and dates which include December 24 and 31 at 7.15pm; December 4, 6, 14, 15, 16, 26 and January 1 and 3 at 7.45pm or 8.15pm for all other dates.

Tickets are available from £21 for adults on the day or £19 in advance.

The website also states: “Due to the government’s recent lockdown announcement in England, we are currently working with the local authority and our partners to review our Christmas plans at Belton.

“Ticket holders will be informed directly if their booking is affected and any next steps they need to take. We apologise for the delay but the safety and well-being of our visitors remains of the utmost importance to us.”

Kew Gardens, London

Kew Gardens’ spectacular Christmas light event is returning for its eighth year.

This year, the trail will see some new installations which includes a canopy of stars.

The event was set to begin on November 18 and will run until January 3.

Ticket prices begin at £19.50 and tickets are quickly running out.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

Unfortunately, events and light switch-ons have been cancelled in Edinburgh city centre this year but that doesn’t mean the Royal Botanic Gardens won’t still be running its beautiful light trail.

Beginning on November 26, this is an event like no other that sees trees illuminated and a tunnel of light.

Tickets have to be booked in advance with adult prices beginning at £19.

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Ignite at Kingston Lacy in Dorset

A trail of lanterns, fire effects and shimmering backdrops make this a perfect Christmas event for those on the south coast.

Kingston Lacy in Dorset will be hosting its very first illuminated trail this year.

For those who aren’t familiar with Kingston Lacy, it’s a 17th century country house and estate that’s owned by the National Trust.

The event dates are as follows; December 11 until December 13, 4.15pm – 8pm; December 18 until December 23, 4.15pm – 8pm; December 24, 4.15pm – 7pm and December 26 until December 30, 4.15pm – 8pm.

Advance tickets and tickets for National Trust members begin at £15 for an adult and £10 for a child.

Eden Project, Cornwall

This is truly an event not to be missed with music, lights and plenty of festive cheer.

During the day, the Eden Project is offering up plenty of seasonal treats such as ice skating, hot chocolate and live Christmas music.

The events will take place between 5pm and 8pm on selected dates in December.

All visits must be booked online in advance in timed slots.

Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire

Sparkly walkways, a winter light trail, smoke effects and lots of candy canes are all present at Westonbirt Arboretum this year.

Selected dates are available from November 28 until December 21 with ticket prices beginning at £16 for an adult.

Steam lights at Bluebell Railway

Taking place on a steam train covered with thousands of colourful lights, this is truly a unique experience.

Throughout the journey, passengers will be able to see an incredible light show along with festive displays, music and narration.

Unfortunately, in line with government guidance, Bluebell Railway has cancelled all planned services from November 5 to December 2.

However, they have said that from December 3, they will be running their services but that they will be keeping it under review.

Bluebell Railway has also decided to extend its service into January so more people can enjoy this truly incredible experience if they miss out at Christmas.

Picnic boxes can be added to the outing which include a mince pie, Christmas cake and a candy cane.

Compartment tickets begin at £120 for up to eight people.

Land of Light at Longleat, Wiltshire

Longleat will be running a new Land of Light installation this year.

Light displays with sound, fountains, storms and peacocks can all be seen on this magical trail.

Dates vary from November 7 until January 10 with ticket prices beginning at £20.95.

Glow Trail at RHS Wisley, Surrey

Glowing greenhouses, twinkly trees and festive music are some of the light installations that will feature this year.

Cafes and shops are planning to be open depending on government guidelines.

Selected dates are available between November 21 and January 4 with tickets starting at £10.

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