Leeds Castle Illuminated, Maidstone,

Leeds Castle Illuminated

Maidstone, Kent

Christmas in the South East

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Christmas is a magical time of the year and the South East wholeheartedly embraces the Christmas festivities.  South East towns, cities and villages, visitor attractions and hotels are transformed into winter wonderlands, coming alive with twinkling lights, Christmas markets, festive entertainment and delicious, seasonal aromas.   

Discover some of the best Christmas events in the South East in 2022 where you can meet Santa, enjoy the festive lights and pick up the perfect gift or two.  Head along to one of the regions ice rinks and slip and slide your way into some festive fun, or enjoy a visit to one of South East England's Christmas Markets full of festive jingles, sweet aromas  and great gift ideas. 

Our featured things to do at Christmas 2022 highlights some of the regions best places to enjoy the Christmas lights and Winter Illumination trails.  Twinkling through the dark winter nights, the illuminations provide a great way to get into the festive spirit for all ages, and are a great excuse to get out and enjoy the fresh air.  If you are planning to meet Father Christmas, then head over to our Meet Santa page and plan a visit for the little ones.

Take a look below at over 400+ Christmas events, including pantomines and family-friendly shows, creative workshops, Christmas light switch ons and much more.... You'll find a host of festive events near you in our guide at the bottom of this page using the 'map view' button to search by location.

Top Places to enjoy Christmas Lights and Winter Illuminations in South East

Discover some of the fabulous new Christmas Light trails along with a host of firm favourites, brightening up the winter nights. Offering a great Christmas Day out for all the family and with events happening across the whole region you don't have to travel far enjoy one of these festive light experiences.  

  • New for 2022 -  A brand new illuminated trail comes to Leeds Castle this winter, Maidstone, Kent - Now - 1st January 2023
  • New for 2022 - A brand new FREE light festival Poole Christmas Maritime Festival comes to Dorset this year, taking you on a nautical journey through the town - Now - 2nd January 2023
  • New for 2022 - Visit Marwell Zoo for a light extravaganza, Glow Marwell, is set to turn the grounds into a twinkling wonderland, Winchester, Hampshire - Now - 30th December 2022
  • New for 2022 -  Sir Harold Hillier Gardens will showcase the gardens as they have never been seen before with Light Up Hillier Gardens. Romsey, Hampshire - Now - 31st December.
  • New for 2022 - Experience the past in a spectacular new light at Walmer CastleKent, this December - Now - 30th December 2022
  • Under 4’s go free to Glow Wild the award-winning lantern trail at Wakehurst, Haywards Heath, West Sussex. Featuring a never-before-scene route - Now to 1st January 2023.  
  • Steamlights returns to the Bluebell Railway including a new magical Wishing Tree, East Sussex including a new magical magic Wishing Tree - Now to 8th January 2023 on selected days. 
  • Discover the Winter Lights Trail and Christmas Market at Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire - Now to 2nd January 2023.
  • Light up your winter with a visit to Windsor Great Park Illuminated, The Savill Garden, WindsorNow to 2nd January 2023. 
  • As darkness falls, take a stroll around Blenheim Palace's picture-perfect gardens lit up with over a million lights and lasers, Oxfordshire - Now - 2nd January 2023. 
  • Experience more than 100+ festive illuminations of all shapes and sizes at this FREE Christmas Tree Wonderland in Bournemouth, Dorset - Now - 2nd January 2023.   
  • Enjoy sparkling tunnels of light, wonderful waterside walks and trees drenched in colour at this years Christmas at Bedgebury, Tunbridge Wells, Kent - Now - 2nd January 2023
  • The award-winning Hever Castle at Christmas returns in 2022 giving you the chance to explore the 'Festive Forest' with Red the squirrel and his joyful woodland friends, Edenbridge, Kent - Now - 2nd January 2023
  • Glow Illuminated returns to Cobtree Manor Park, Maidstone, Kent throughout December, immerse yourself in the wonder of the nocturnal natural world - 1st December - 31st December 2022
  • Pay a visit to beautiful town of Arundel all dressed to impress for Christmas, not an illumination trail as such but you find the whole town full of Christmas trees and sparkling lights brightening the winter evenings, West Sussex - 1st December - 31st December 22.
  • Reading Lantern Parade - Dance of the Fireflies, Reading, Berkshire at 5:30pm watch or join the winter lantern procession following the glowing fireflies from Broad Street to Forbury Gardens - 10th December 22.
  • Alice in Winterland illuminated trail comes to Hotham Park, Bognor Regis, West Sussex from the 6th December - 24th December 22, free to visit.

What's on this Christmas? Guide to the best South East events

Take a look below for a full list of Christmas events, including winter light trails, Christmas markets, Christmas light switch on's, Christmas pantomines and much more.  The South East is ready to help you have a cracking-Christmas whether you live here or are here on holiday or staying with friends and family over the festive season.

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Number of results: 329

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  1. Adult Musical Theatre Dance Classes

    Type

    Type:

    Dance / Dancing

    Worthing

    Adult Musical Theatre Dance Classes
    Mondays 6-7pm - £7
    2A The Drive, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 5LL

    Dates

    From:
    28 Mar 2022to27 Mar 2023Open 18:00 - 19:00
  2. Christmas @ GLOBALLS

    Type

    Type:

    Special Events

    Brighton marina, Brighton Marina

    Are you planning a Christmas party for your team this year? GLOBALLS has got you covered! We have put together a hassle-free package which includes...

    -A game of crazy golf (choose from our stunning under the sea themed course, Aquatica, or our…

    Dates

    From:
    23 Sept 2022to25 Dec 2022Open 12:00 - 22:00
    From:
    24 Sept 2022to25 Dec 2022Open 10:00 - 23:00
  3. 'Light of Hope' Installation by Peter Walker Sculptor at Winchester Cathedral

    Type

    Type:

    Arts

    Winchester

    Visit the unique illuminated 'Light of Hope' art installation, a 5m steel star shaped sculpture, with neon changing lights, suspended above Winchester Cathedral's majestic nave.
    The star, a symbol of divine guidance, protection and oneness is here…

    Dates

    From:
    1 Oct 2022to1 Jan 2023
  4. Dreams and Stories: Modern Pre-Raphaelite Visionaries

    Type

    Type:

    Exhibitions

    Guildford

    Enter a world of stories, dreams and the surreal. Discover a group of artists fascinated with colour and art for art's sake, and who carried Pre-Raphaelite ideas into the 20th century.
    With loans from Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, Tate, and…

    Dates

    From:
    18 Oct 2022to26 Feb 2023Open 10:30 - 17:00
  5. Christmas at Mottisfont

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    Romsey

    Step into a Narnia-inspired world at Mottisfont this winter, with decorations and a family trail inspired by C. S. Lewis's beloved story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. From 26 November - 8 January, Normal property admission price only (free…

    Dates

    From:
    26 Oct 2022to8 Jan 2023Open 10:00 - 17:00
  6. A Joyful Family Christmas at Standen House and Garden

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage & History

    East Grinstead

    Discover a beautifully decorated home ready for Christmas, filled with lights and trees, music and make believe. Inspired by William Morris, the Courtyard Christmas tree is lit with hundreds of twinkling lights, and decorated by Same Sky community…

    Dates

    From:
    26 Oct 2022to3 Jan 2023Open 10:00 - 15:30
    From:
    19 Nov 2022to23 Dec 2022Open 10:00 - 15:30
  7. Royal Pavilion Ice Rink

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    Brighton

    Celebrate a greener Christmas this year with the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink. Stunning, twinkly, romantic, child-friendly…and ice powered entirely by Green Energy, Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Ice Rink is open to the public this season from Oct 29th, 2022…

    Dates

    From:
    29 Oct 2022to8 Jan 2023
  8. An English Vineyard Christmas Party!

    Type

    Type:

    Tour

    Christmas ambience so good even Charles Dickens would blush.

    Dates

    From:
    1 Nov 2022to23 Dec 2022
  9. Worthing Ice Rink

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    WORTHING

    Worthing Ice Rink will return to Steyne Gardens for the winter.

    Dates

    From:
    5 Nov 2022to19 Feb 2023Various Opening Times
  10. Southampton Ice Rink at Westquay

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    Southampton

    From 11th November – 2nd January you can fully embrace the festive season. Our 600 sq m ice rink will be open every day throughout the festive period (except Christmas Day). Join us for a special seasonal skate against the stunning backdrop of…

    Dates

    From:
    11 Nov 2022to2 Jan 2023Various Opening Times
  11. Christmas at Waddesdon

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    Waddesdon, Aylesbury

    Sat 12 Nov 2022 – Mon 2 Jan 2023, 12–7pm

    Visit Christmas at Waddesdon for a festive day out that will brighten the end of your year. Soak up the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas as you enjoy spectacular light trails in the gardens, a…

    Dates

    From:
    12 Nov 2022to2 Jan 2023Open 12:00 - 19:00
  12. Christmas at Winchester City Mill Café

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    Bridge Street, Winchester

    12 Nov – 1 Jan, Wednesday to Sunday 10am-4pm

    Celebrate Christmas at Winchester City Mill Café, with warming winter coffees, tasty lunches and homemade festive bakes. Experience our beautiful decorations and step in from the cold for reviving soups,…

    Dates

    From:
    12 Nov 2022to1 Jan 2023Open 10:00 - 16:00
  13. Gunwharf Quays Christmas Village

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    Portsmouth

    The Christmas Village at Gunwharf Quays returns for 2022!

    Dates

    From:
    12 Nov 2022to2 Jan 2023
  14. Festive Menu at The Ivy Winchester

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    Winchester

    Celebrate the festive season at The Ivy Winchester Brasserie, where the brasserie will be serving an array of joyful treats, including a limited-edition festive cocktail menu created in collaboration with Monkey 47, delicious a la carte dishes,…

    Dates

    From:
    16 Nov 2022to30 Dec 2022
  15. Skate Bournemouth

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    BOURNEMOUTH

    Whether you're a Dancing on Ice champion, a total newbie or just about anything in between, you can be sure to find some festive euphoria on the surface of our real, genuine ice. The rink is held within the canopies of Bournemouth's Lower Gardens,…

    Dates

    From:
    17 Nov 2022to3 Jan 2023Open 10:30 - 21:30
  16. Windsor Great Park Illuminated

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    Egham

    Enjoy a magical evening with family and friends as Windsor Great Park Illuminated returns for a highly anticipated second year to light up the festive season bigger, better and more dazzling than ever with a brand new trail design and spectacularly…

    Dates

    From:
    17 Nov 2022to2 Jan 2023Open 16:30 - 20:00
  17. Southampton Christmas Market 2022

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    Southampton

    Welcome to Southampton Christmas Market 2022

    17th November til 24th December

    Shop, eat & meet...celebrate the festive season.

    ⭐ Location...
    Above Bar Street, Southampton, SO14 7DQ
    (Bargates, just outside Westquay Shopping Centre).

    ⭐ Opening…

    Dates

    From:
    17 Nov 2022to24 Dec 2022Open 10:00 - 22:00
  18. Christmas at Bedgebury

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    Goudhurst

    The popular Christmas trail is unmissable within the seasonal calendar. It's the most wonderful time of the year when over a million lights, lasers and seasonal soundtracks fill the air with festive fun at Bedgebury.
    Look forward to some together…

    Dates

    From:
    18 Nov 2022to2 Jan 2023Open 16:00 - 22:00
  19. Windsor on Ice

    Type

    Type:

    Participatory Event

    Windsor

    Come and enjoy a skate in the historic Alexandra Gardens and whilst you are here, take in all the fun of the fair! 

    Dates

    From:
    18 Nov 2022to8 Jan 2023
  20. Steam Illuminations - Party Mix

    Type

    Type:

    Christmas

    Ropley/Alresford/Medstead/Alton

    Steam Illuminations – Party Mix is an opportunity for those aged over 18 to experience our Steam Illuminations train with a special DJ set.

    Dates

    From:
    18 Nov 2022to7 Jan 2023

TWITTER UPDATES

Visit South East England

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Visit South East England

Have you been to the brand new Free light festival in @lovepooleuk? This brand-new FREE Christmas attraction will t… https://t.co/vLRVBTIvei
9 Dec 2022   17:00:09
RT @VisitDover: It's just the sort of weather for cosying up next to the fire, but don't get too comfy! There's a lot going on over… https://t.co/EqafHziM1H
9 Dec 2022   15:35:23
Blow away the Christmas cobwebs and get outdoors for a walk in Hampshire. @VisitHampshire has put its own spin on… https://t.co/fdUm582Yqb
9 Dec 2022   15:30:01
Are you in need of a family holiday? @VisitIOW are giving you a chance to “Say YES to an Island getaway in 2023” w… https://t.co/6ypv2X7L1F
9 Dec 2022   11:30:05