Blenheim Palace launches its Christmas extravaganza this weekend with a spectacular outdoor illuminated trail, a reimagining of the story of Sleeping Beauty and the popular artisan Christmas Market.

Heart-shaped arches glittering in the moonlight, glowing tunnels filled with stars and an eight-metre sphere filled with more than 20,000 moving LEDs are just some of the new displays to see on the outdoor illuminated trail this year.

Visitors will also see the return of the dancing reflections in the colourful Cascades and magical Lakeside walk.

There will even be a glimpse of Father Christmas along with festive street food in the East Courtyard.

Inside the Palace, the story of Sleeping Beauty has been reimagined with a contemporary twist.

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Rooms have been transformed for the retelling of the classic fairy tale from the Great Hall’s huge glistening Christmas tree to the candle-lit bedchamber where the Lilac Fairy watches over a sleeping Aurora.

The evil fairy’s lair is filled with toads, potions and menacing crows and then it's on to the busy castle kitchen frozen in time.

Finally the Lilac Fairy helps True Love to find a way through the woods and together they reawaken the castle after 100 very sleepy years.

Besides the illuminated trails, the Great Court will host the artisan Christmas Market where wooden chalets are filled with a wide range of arts, crafts and tempting treats for foodies.  

Dominic Hare, Blenheim Palace CEO, said: “Our fantastic ongoing partnership with Sony Music enables us to present the beauty of the Palace both inside and out at a time of year so precious to families and loved ones.

"The trails are conceived and delivered with passion and imagination, providing a unique moment in time for all our Christmas visitors.”

Tickets are on sale now for both trails, which run from November 17 to January 1.