AFTER a false start and a month-long pause, the countdown to Christmas is back on, and is set to get off to a spectacular start at the county’s greatest stately home.

After being postponed for the lockdown, Blenheim Palace is inviting people to book tickets for its Christmas Lights trail – which this year is being billed as better than ever.

The trail through the grounds of the Woodstock visitor attraction, and home of the Duke of Marlborough, has more than a million bulbs – transforming the scenic park into a winter wonderland.

Running from now to January 3, the public will be invited to enjoy 20 installations arranged along a walk which takes between one and two hours to complete.

New works this year include: Blue Neuron – a kinetic light installation created from reworked heat-treated plastic bottles with blue light which fizzes and dances through tree branches; Heart of Stars – a magical lighting effect which scatters thousands of tiny, refracted beams across the path leading to the Rose Garden immersing visitors within swirling ever-changing patterns; and Water Terrace Fire Garden – a walk between pea-lit Christmas trees towards the flame-lit pools of the Water Terrace.

For the first time ever there will also be a Christmas light-show finale in the Great Court.

Dominic Hare, chief executive officer at the palace, said it was a chance to see the façade of Blenheim Palace like never before.

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He said “Part of the reason the trail is so special is that there is absolutely no noise or light pollution. You really do feel as though you are in the midst of a fairytale woodland.

“I am confident that a wander through our spectacular gardens, illuminated by over one million lights, will bring joy to our visitors this winter.”

He added: “We are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that it will be a safe experience for all.”

Oxford Mail:

A palace spokesman said: “Christmas at Blenheim Palace is the perfect way to get into the festive mood. Get your Christmas sparkle on and be surrounded by over one million twinkling lights, colourful trees and amazing illuminated installations – all set in majestic surroundings.”

This year’s event does not feature a Christmas market so extra effort has gone into illuminating the palace itself.

The palace will be open and dressed for Christmas and visitors will also be able to view the Cecily Brown art exhibition, though that costs extra.

Tickets for popular dates sell out quickly, therefore early booking is advised.

Oxford Mail:

  • Advanced tickets cost £19 - £21.50 for adults and £13-£15 for children (3-16) and £60-£68 for families (two adults and two children).
  • Blenheim Annual Pass holders receive £1 per person discount for advance
  • There is free entry for carers and children aged 2 and under. Parking costs from £8-£10. See