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Spectacular Staffordshire Sparkles This Winter


Staffordshire is set to light up this winter offering some much-needed sparkle with a host of after dark illuminated treats.

While many festive light switch-on events have, by necessity, been cancelled winter is still set to shine, thanks to outdoor illuminations and winter light walking trails.

Among treats set to brighten up the dark nights are stunning illuminations at England’s only medieval three-spired cathedral; a kaleidoscope of colour at the UK’s year-round national site of remembrance, and a pop-up Enchanted Village in the Capability Brown landscaped parkland of a grand country estate home.

Over the last few years Lichfield Cathedral has become a must-visit destination in the run-up to Christmas thanks to award-winning spectacular winter light and sound shows.

For 2020, England’s only medieval cathedral with three spires will again be transformed using stunning sound and light projections, but for 2020 it will be outdoor only, with reduced capacity and a one-way system to ensure social distancing.

This year’s ticket-only ‘The Cathedral Illuminated, The Manger‘ (16-22 December), is composed of imagery depicting everything ‘Christmassy’. And to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ The Christmas Carol, a special piece has been created in collaboration with the Dickens Museum London to kick off the illuminations, created by the artistic collaboration Luxmuralis. Unfortunately this event has been cancelled as Staffordshire is in Tier 3.

Dazzling light displays will also create a very special atmosphere at the UK’s year-round national site of remembrance, set in 150 acres of gardens and woodland and home to 350 thought-provoking memorials.

Illuminated Arboretum at the National Memorial Arboretum (9-19 December 2020) gives visitors a chance to see the Arboretum and some of its memorials ‘in another light’. With a new route for 2020, and with social distancing measures in place, the illuminated trail will wind through the gardens and woodlands.

Elsewhere, winter is set to cast a seasonal spell across Weston Park this December as Enchanted Weston (see main image) weaves its festive magic. It combines a colourful illuminated winter walk under the stars through Temple Wood and a pop-up Enchanted Village featuring street food and a festive market (10-20 December)

Taking place in 1,000 acres of Capability Brown parkland which affords plenty of space and fresh air, Enchanted Weston will have a set capacity in-line with Government guidance as well as social distancing measures in place. Unfortunately this event has been cancelled as Staffordshire is in Tier 3.

Meanwhile, The Trentham Estate, on the edge of Stoke-on-Trent, plans a new light trail offering an exclusive chance to explore one of the country’s top garden attractions after dark. Visitors will be able to experience the natural beauty of Trentham, as well as get a different perspective on its statues and architectural structures. And for a sprinkling of festive fairy dust, eight of Trentham’s wire sculptures, making-up the ever-popular Fairy Trail, will be dressed for the season… in fairy lights, of course. Aptly called Fairy Lights, the trail is scheduled to run 11 December, 2020 to 3 January, 2021, with a limited capacity each night ).

Tickets must be booked in advance for all the experiences, which have limited capacity. Please check individual websites for the latest updates and any restrictions.

For news and updates on Staffordshire as a destination, visit Also, we advise you check which events are going ahead due to the UK Government’s tier system.

Article updated 30 November 2020.

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Travel Begins at 40

Travel Begins at 40 Editor

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