A Visit to Illuminate - The Tonbridge Winter Light Trail

A mirror ball reflects light at the Tonbridge Winter Lights

Seasons greetings! It's the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is over for another year and we have a week between Christmas and New Year to relax. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, short days and long, dark nights provide the perfect setting for bright lights and illuminations. This year, we headed to Tonbridge Castle in Kent to visit their magical winter light trail.

The text Illuminate is projected onto Tonbridge Castle at the Tonbridge Winter Lights

The last time we visited Tonbridge Castle was during the lockdown of 2021. I was delighted to see how the castle was transformed by light and sound on this very cold winter night.

Red and green lights on a lawn at the Tonbridge Winter Lights

The trail leads you around the ground at the foot of the gatehouse where you can see disco balls and fields of lights that change colours in time to music.

People gather in front of a daisy projected onto a wall at the Tonbridge Winter Lights

There were illuminations projected against the gatehouse and the ruined walls.

A field of glowing tulip lights at the Tonbridge Winter Lights

We followed the path down past this field of electric tulips to the river walk.

Green and yellow orbs float along a walkway at the Tonbridge Winter Lights

These glowing orbs constantly changed colour too.

Two people talk under a large illuminated arched walkway at the Tonbridge Winter Lights

As we exited from the tall arched walkway, I turned back and spotted these friends chatting. I couldn’t resist taking a photo – they were lucky to find themselves alone under the lights – it had been packed with people moments before.

A short walk later and we found a stall to serve us Baileys Hot Chocolate. It was delicious and a treat to warm up our hands and bodies.

A pink dragon is illuminated at the Tonbridge Winter Lights. In the background are floating jellyfish lights

We continued to follow the path past yarn-bombed trees, magical toadstools and floating jellyfish before meeting this handsome dragon. As we exited the trail, we headed for the food stalls to grab some bratwurst and churros to round off a perfect winter evening.
@mandyist A visit to the Illuminate Winter Lights Trail at Tonbridge Castle #winterlights #winterlights2023 #winterlightsfestival #winterlightsfestival2023 #tonbridgecastle #illumination #illuminations ♬ Tubular Bells - Pt. I - Mike Oldfield
12 comments on "A Visit to Illuminate - The Tonbridge Winter Light Trail"
  1. The trail looks lovely. Happy New Year to you xx

    1. Thank you lovely, have a wonderful 2024

  2. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up!
    I'll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back
    later on. Cheers

    1. Thank you! You can sign up by email or RSS in the sidebar to the right

  3. The light up events are surely impressive. Beautiful set!

    1. Thank you. They are such a fun way to brighten up the dark months!

  4. you got some wonderful shots, Mandy. vibrant colours and no noise - this is something that i struggle with during low lights and night shots.

    1. Hi Ayush, thank you - high praise from you as I like your blog. I must admit that I struggled too and couldn't share some of my photos on the final part of the trail. I must buy a tripod one day!

  5. This looks fun! I went to a similar thing in Liverpool in 2022.

    1. Hello Nikki, nice to 'meet' you. I love Liverpool - I grew up near there in St Helens


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