The festive season is slowly creeping upon us and what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than visiting an illuminating light trail in the North East.

There are so many to choose from, all offering displays of dazzling lights and installations over the next few months.

It’s time to wrap up warm with family and friends and head out across the region to be immersed in these glowing events.

Please check the opening times which each event before your visit as timings may vary.

Some of the best festive light trails across the North East for 2023

The Alnwick Garden Winter Light Trail

Location: The Alnwick Garden, Denwick Lane, Alnwick, NE66 1FJ

Dates: November 13 – January 7

This year the fifth annual light trail at The Alnwick Garden has been extended due to popular demand, so there is plenty of time before and after Christmas to visit this twinkling display.

Ticket prices per person for the Garden Winter Light Trail are as follows:

  • Garden Light Trail (0-4 years) - free
  • Garden Light Trail - £14.85

Ticket prices per person for Lilidorei Evening Lights and the Winter Light Trail are as follows:

  • Lilidorei & Garden Adult Winter Lights - £28.05  
  • Lilidorei & Garden Child (5-16 years) Winter Lights - £28.05         
  • Lilidorei & Garden Child (0-4 years) Winter Lights – free

You can book tickets here.

Northern Lights Newcastle at Leazes Park

Location: Leazes Park, Unnamed Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4BJ

Dates: November 23 – January 1

On the website, it says: “Northern Lights is a BRAND NEW light trail set in the heart of the city at Leazes Park. With immersive visuals and jaw-dropping illuminations, this after-dark experience will light up Newcastle like never before.

“Be inspired by original audio compositions, dynamic choreography and intelligent design, across a mile-long walk through stunning parkland.

“Immerse yourself in magic this winter with an unforgettable light trail for you and the whole family to enjoy. Expect a fully accessible route & a Christmas village full to the brim with festive food and drinks.”

Tickets cost £19 for per adult and £13.50 per child from ages 3-16. Those under the age of 2 can enter for free.

You can book tickets here.

Lumiere 2023 in Durham

Location: Various places in Durham, including in Market Place, Durham Cathedral, Bishop Auckland town centre and the Durham University campus.

Dates: November 16-19

For 2023, Lumiere in Durham is set to be the “biggest yet”, as buildings and streets will be transformed for the magical light festival.

There will be more than 40 artworks dotted around Durham and Bishop Auckland to see, which will include fascinating work by artists Ai Weiwei and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

The programme will be extending to Bishop Auckland “as part of a biennial spotlight on the wider Durham County.”

Lumiere 2023 will be open from 4.30pm until 11pm each night.

Tickets for Lumiere in Durham are free for everyone to attend, however, free peak-time tickets are required for those wanting to see the artworks in Durham city centre between 4.30pm-7.30pm.

Book your free peak-time tickets here.

Forest of Light at Beamish Hall Hotel

Location: Beamish Hall Hotel, Coppy Lane, Beamish, Stanley, DH9 0YB

Dates: Various dates throughout November and December 2023 and January 2024

@beamish.hall.hotel Forest of light! Tickets available on our website🎄 Hurry! Tickets are going fast #durham #forestoflight #beamishhallhotel #beamish #event #northeast ♬ original sound - Beamish Hall Hotel

The website says: “Gather the family and join us as we open the doors to our wonderful world of magical illuminations and fantastic lighting displays this festive period.

“At night, when the moon takes its place in the sky our magical forest comes to life. Forest of Light is a captivating illuminated experience set within our Enchanted ancient Woodland.

“We have created a world filled with illuminations, music, interactive props, projections to dazzle and amaze with specially commissioned pieces for Forest of Light, which means that this is a unique experience not to be found anywhere else.”

Tickets cost £12 per person and infants under 1 can enter for free.

AGLOW at Auckland Castle

Location: Auckland Castle, Market Place, Bishop Auckland, DL14 7NR

Dates: November 22 – December 31

The website adds: “AGLOW promises to be one of the most spectacular Christmas light trails in the North East.

The Northern Echo:

“With seventeen incredible illuminations and some of the largest light installations in the country, AGLOW is a must-see experience for all the family.”

Ticket prices per person for AGLOW at Auckland Castle are as follows:

  • Adult - £21.50
  • Child - £14.50
  • Family (includes access for one adult and three children, or two adults and two children) - £66.50

Children 2 and under go free.

Off-peak ticket prices and other discounts such as The Auckland Project Annual Pass Holders are available.

You can book tickets here.

The Plotters’ Forest Enchanted Christmas Trail

Location: Raby Castle, Staindrop, Darlington, DL2 3AH

Dates: November 18 - January 7

The Raby Castle website explains: "Embark on an enchanting journey through The Plotters’ Forest and create cherished memories with your loved ones this holiday season.

“Immerse yourself in the magic of our Enchanted Christmas Trail, where twinkling lights and festive music guide your path through a captivating winter wonderland.

“As the sun sets and the night sky emerges, watch in awe as the trail comes to life under the blanket of darkness, each corner illuminated with a warm and inviting glow.”

There are two ticket options which can be booked online including day tickets and evening tickets (various dates).

Day ticket prices per person are as follows:

  • Adult – £6.50
  • Child – £7.50
  • Adult Raby Member – £1.00
  • Child Raby Member – £4.00

Evening ticket prices per person are £4.50 for adults and £6.50 for children.

You can find out more on the Raby Castle website - such as what is included with each ticket admission and the various dates on offer for the evening event.