Eight of the best light displays in Scotland this winter

Seven of the best light displays in Scotland this winter

Including Illuminight, Colours of Cluny and Spectra

Short days and long nights can make us want to hibernate for the winter, but with a number of light displays across the country, there's plenty of reason to head out and embrace the frosty evenings. We've picked some of the best illumination trails, giant lantern installations and other light events to help make the most of the long, dark Scottish nights.

Woodland Light Experience: Reflections

This year's show focuses on 'Reflections', with beautiful lighting effects highlighting the natural landscape. The 14 acre woodland sits on the edge of Loch Lomond, a tranquil setting for a dazzling theatrical light show to music. Woodland Light Experience was a finalist in the Scottish Outdoor & Leisure Awards 2017 for Best Outdoor Experience
Ballochruin Farm, Balfron, Thu 2–Sun 12 Nov.

Illuminight

A 1.5km magical light installation through the historic woodland with visual and music effects to highlight the rivers, ponds and trees in the country park, as well as Dean Castle. Visitors can also enjoy a selection of food and drink on their journey through the park, including a marshmallow toasting pit.
Dean Castle Country Park, Kilmarnock, Thu 2–Sun 19 Nov.

Colours of Cluny

Last year over 600 lights were fitted, 80+ volunteers took part and more than 20,000 marshmallows were eaten and the organisers are promising even more for 2017. The show is produced by a number of the same team members who worked on Pitlochry's Enchanted Forest.
Grant Park, Forres, Wed 8–Sun 19 Nov.

Seven of the best light displays in Scotland this winter

Christmas at the Botanics

Peruse the gardens by night, following a one mile illuminated trail. Enjoy the sounds of the Choir of Trees, walk through the crystal lawn lit by a thousand spheres of light and keep an eye out for Santa and his elves. There's spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate to warm the bones.
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Fri 24 Nov–Sat 30 Dec.

Seven of the best light displays in Scotland this winter

illumination: Harbour Festival of Light

This festival of light features an illumination trail along the River Irvine, a light show with aerial acrobatics in and around the Linthouse at the Scottish Maritime Museum and a fireworks display to celebrate St Andrew's Day. There's also a lantern parade and the illumi bike ride.
The Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine, Thu 30 Nov–Sun 3 Dec.

The Giant Lanterns of China

Over 450 giant lanterns come to Edinburgh this winter to create an illuminated trail winding through the zoo. The lanterns have been created by 150 Chinese craftsmen from Sichuan who've put in over 25000 hours of work to make them. The sculptures include over 200 animal lanterns; pandas, lions, penguins and more.
Edinburgh Zoo, Fri 1–Sun 25 Dec.

SPECTRA: Aberdeen's Festival of Light

2018's theme 'Play the Night' explores innovation, creativity and the benefits of play to coincide with the Year of Young People. The four-day festival features international works as well as supporting and commissioning emerging young artists from Aberdeen to develop new work with international partners.
Various venues, Aberdeen, Thu 8–Sun 11 Feb.

Seven of the best light displays in Scotland this winter

A Christmas Fairy Trail

This immersive light show begins with a torchlit walk to the Fairy Trail, before visitors enter the woodland. Inside there's a fairy disco, sparkling willow walk, dancing forest folk and a 'make a wish' fairy frame designed by the Projector Club. There's also a Winter Barn with firepits, a festive soundtrack, food, mulled cider and hot chocolate.
Archerfield Walled Garden, Dirleton, Thu 14 Dec–Sat 6 Jan.

Win a family ticket to Christmas at the Botanics

Be in with a chance of winning a family ticket to the Christmas at the Botanics opening night on Fri 24 Nov.

Win a pair of tickets to the illumination Light, Fire & Aerial Art Spectacular, at the Harbour Festival of Light in Irvine, Ayrshire

One pair of tickets to the illumination Light, Fire & Aerial Art Spectacular at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, Ayrshire. Performances take place on Thu 30 Nov, Fri 1, Sat 2 or Sun 3 Dec. Specific day and performance time will be subject to…

Christmas at the Botanics

A one mile illuminated trail that winds its way through the garden. Wander beneath the tree canopies bathed in seasonal colour, enjoy the sounds of the Choir of the Trees and keep an eye out for Santa and his elves. There's spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate to warm you up.

Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Fri 24 Nov

£15.40–£17.60 / 0131 248 2909

Sat 25 Nov

£15.40–£17.60 / 0131 248 2909

Sun 26 Nov

£15.40–£17.60 / 0131 248 2909

…and 26 more dates until 30 Dec

A Christmas Fairy Trail

An immersive light show with a magical soundtrack, performers and lighting design from JMP Productions, whose design credits include the opening of the Queensferry Crossing and The Enchanted Castle.

Archerfield Walled Garden, Dirleton

Thu 14 Dec

£10–£12 (£6–£8) / 01620 388 588

  • 16:00 – 20:30

Fri 15 Dec

£10–£12 (£6–£8) / 01620 388 588

  • 16:00 – 20:30

Sat 16 Dec

£10–£12 (£6–£8) / 01620 388 588

  • 16:00 – 20:30
…and 19 more dates until 6 Jan 2018

Colours of Cluny

Sound and light show from the producer of the Enchanted Forest. Booking is essential.

Grant Park, Forres

Fri 17 Nov

Times to be confirmed / Free

Sat 18 Nov

Times to be confirmed / Free

Sun 19 Nov

Times to be confirmed / Free

The Giant Lanterns of China

Bespoke displays created by 150 Chinese craftspeople from Sichuan.

Edinburgh Zoo

Fri 1 Dec

Times to be confirmed / £19 (Children £12; Family £13.50) / 0131 334 9171

Sat 2 Dec

Times to be confirmed / £19 (Children £12; Family £13.50) / 0131 334 9171

Sun 3 Dec

Times to be confirmed / £19 (Children £12; Family £13.50) / 0131 334 9171

…and 84 more dates until 25 Feb 2018

illumination: Harbour Festival of Light

A festival celebrating both the natural and built heritage of Irvine's historic waterfront. Highlights of illumination include a lantern parade, the illumination light trail across Irvine Harbourside, skiff racing and demonstrations by Scottish Coastal Rowing Association, an illumi bike display with stunt cyclists and a…

The Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine

Thu 30 Nov

£12.50 (Children £8.50; Under 3s free) / 01294 278283

Part of illumination : Harbour Festival of Light.

  • 16:00

Fri 1 Dec

£12.50 (Children £8.50; Under 3s free) / 01294 278283

Part of illumination : Harbour Festival of Light.

  • 16:00

Sat 2 Dec

£12.50 (Children £8.50; Under 3s free) / 01294 278283

Part of illumination : Harbour Festival of Light.

  • 16:00

Sun 3 Dec

£12.50 (Children £8.50; Under 3s free) / 01294 278283

Part of illumination : Harbour Festival of Light.

  • 16:00

Illuminight

The park is illuminated with light installations and AV effects, and there's quality local food and drink to keep you refreshed.

Dean Castle Country Park, Kilmarnock

Fri 17 Nov

Times to be confirmed / £12 (children £6; under 2s free) / 01563 554736

Sat 18 Nov

Times to be confirmed / £12 (children £6; under 2s free) / 01563 554736

Sun 19 Nov

Times to be confirmed / £12 (children £6; under 2s free) / 01563 554736

SPECTRA: Aberdeen's Festival of Light

This year Aberdeen's festival of light focuses on the theme 'Play the Night', exploring innovation, creativity and the benefits of play to kick-off the national Year of Young People. The four-day festival features international works as well as supporting and commissioning emerging young artists from Aberdeen to develop…

Various venues: Aberdeen

Thu 8 Feb 2018

Times & prices vary

Fri 9 Feb 2018

Times & prices vary

Sat 10 Feb 2018

Times & prices vary

Sun 11 Feb 2018

Times & prices vary

Woodland Light Experience

Take a wintry stroll around 14 acres of woodland all kitted out with a load of pretty lights.

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