People are getting ready for Christmas and the festive vibe is taking its grip with each day that passes. One of our most cherished Christmas traditions is the display of twinkling Christmas lights all around London and the rest of the country, and most of the displays are worth exciting about.
With London taking most of the limelight when it comes to amazing lighting displays, let's take a look at some of the most interesting places to see Christmas lights outside London in 2017.
1. Trinity Close, Burnham-on-Sea
In a scene reminiscent of the Griswolds, the residents of Trinity Close in the Somerset town of Burnham-on-Sea, you will find six houses splendidly decorated with extravagant Christmas lighting, with each house having at least 16,000 individual lights, and the total display featuring over 100,000.
Because lighting and design are our business at Christopher Wray Lighting, we're always thrilled to see lights being put to use in such creative ways. The best feature of the Trinity Close display is that it's raising money for charity, which is all the proof you need for how inspirational people find these Christmas lights displays to be.
Last year the residents raised many thousands of pounds for charity, and this year they're hoping to do even better. The Christmas lights at Trinity Close are switched on come December 1, and are officially switched off on January 4.
One of the most prestigious places to own property in the UK, Gloucester has certainly got the resources to put on a good show, and does not disappoint. One of the biggest and best displays can be found in Cheltenham. Festive, cheery and colourful, this display could easily be considered one of the best anywhere in England. This one opens on November 25.
The Christmas lights in Dursley are officially switched on during the evening of November 24, and this event is marked with many cultural festivities, including a town visit from Father Christmas, street stalls, street entertainment, and a fireworks show.
Lechdale begins festivities on November 25, and seems to be carrying on traditions that must have been observed in England since at least the time Cromwell officially banned Christmas. What you'll find here is outdoor feasting with barbecues, French crepes, and mulled wine. There are carollers and Morris Dancers, and some special events such as a meet-and-greet with Paddington Bear, plus a visit from Father Christmas who is not only handing out gifts but also will be one of the VIPs participating in the official switching on of the lights.
Moreton-in-the-Marsh has a more traditional theme, totally religious in nature. This is an all day event, leading up to a carolling service to commence from 4:30pm, and ending in the lights being switched on later in the evening.
For something even more special, check out the Westonbirt Arboretum, where the trees will be glowing with colour, and there are all kinds of Christmas activities on offer. This event is run by the Forestry Service, and it's not free. Adult tickets cost £14 and the cost for children over five years of age is £7.
This tiny city in the north east of England has some truly amazing Christmas lights displays. The main event is at the York Museum Gardens, where you'll see the already amazing botanical displays transformed into a winter wonderland by night.
Unlike most other Christmas lights displays held around the nation, this one isn't free to attend, but it will be amazing enough that you'd be prepared to hand over up to £12.50 per adult and £8.50 per child for the opportunity.
The overarching event is the York Christmas Festival, which actually doesn't need paying for, but isn't as full on as the gardens event. The festival is actually a series of events throughout the city, kicking off from November 16 and ending (somewhat strangely) on December 22. Lights aren't really the main draw card at these secondary events, but you'll see more than a few of them strung up.
All over Surrey, there are numerous Christmas lights displays, but the one everyone will be flocking to is at Guildford, where a balcony show is staged prior to the switching on at 7pm, followed by music and fireworks. There are numerous festivities also planned throughout the surrounding areas.
As you'd probably expect, Cheshire does Christmas with a touch of class, though some of the planned events are considerably more exciting than others.
The first place to switch on is Warrington, on November 10, where the celebrities invited to switch on the lights may only be familiar to the youngest family members. They are Dick, Dom, and Mr Tumble. Depending on your point of view, this event may be something special. The switching on takes place at The Old Market Place at Golden Square.
The Merseyway Shopping Centre at Stockport is also hosting a big (and we mean big) switching on party, where S Club Party, Amelia Lily (Big Brother), and Lucy Spraggan (X Factor) will be performing live on November 15.
On November 18, Altrincham has the Key 103 Breakfast Team and Brooke Vincent from Coronation Street doing the honours.
Not many details are provided for what to expect in Nantwich, switching on during the evening of November 23, but we do know there will be live entertainment and fireworks.
On the same day you could also visit the switching on at Alderley Edge, where there will be school choir performances held.
Northwich is promising a Christmas Extravaganza kicking off on November 25. The draw card here may be the fairground rides, plus there will be a fireworks show, reindeer, and Santa's Grotto to visit.
Congleton is also switching on their lights on November 25, and will provide "stage entertainment", a lantern procession, and a firework display.
Somewhat surprisingly, Macclesfield hasn't planned as much as we'd have expected, but they'll have a craft fair, Christmas market, street entertainers, fairground rides and fireworks. They're the last of the trio launching on November 25.
Alsager Christmas Market is just a little more of the same, switching their lights on during the evening of November 26.
Finally, the distant straggler is Knutsford, which is waiting until 6pm on December 2 to switch on their Christmas lights. Something described as "community entertainment" is to be shown from 1pm to 7pm.
Oxford never does anything by halves, and the Christmas Lights Festival is held over three days, starting on November 17. The scene is somewhat similar to a Mexican street festival, only it's being held on the threshold of an English winter, so obviously the dress code is a little different.
This is a bustling and popular event with many cultural events plus beautiful lighting displays including direct lighting and projected lighting. "Amazing" doesn't even begin to describe what a special atmosphere you'd encounter.
We've surely missed a few great places
This is a big nation, and there will undoubtedly be plenty of amazing locations we are yet to discover, each with their own wonderful ideas for Christmas lights. We look forward to discovering them, and when we do, we'll be sure to share the details with you in future years.
Until then, Christopher Wray Lighting would like to wish all our readers a merry Christmas and a joyous new year.