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Christmas Illuminations in South Devon

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Twinkling lights reflecting on the moonlit sea is a site to behold in Torbay at any time of the year, but this festive season, the English riviera will be illuminated more than ever with its new and exciting event: The Bay of Lights. Taking place across the English Riviera, Torquay, Brixham and Paignton will come alive with the sparkle and glow of illuminated events. From lantern parades to a light covered steam train chugging through enchanted tunnels to carols by candlelight, the whole bay will be sprinkled with a touch of magic this winter. From November throughout the winter months, each town that makes up Torbay will play host to electrifyingly exciting events. Here’s a look at what each town has to offer.

Why not book yourself a cosy winter wonderland stay at one of our properties to take it all in?

The inaugural event of The Bay of Lights is The Bay of Lights Illumination Trail. Launching on Saturday 19th November and running until January, a brand-new event will be taking place along Torquay seafront and town. Visitors will be guided along the 1.5-mile route between Torre Abbey, Torquay seafront, Fleet Street and into the town centre by a dazzling variety of light installations. Wander through a light tunnel along the seafront, wind your way through 16 prisms of light and gaze at the 12-metre-high Christmas tree complete with a spectacular digital sound and light show. Along the route there will be something to amaze you at every turn including a frozen illuminated lake, rotating crystal balls and a bridge festooned with twinkling lights. A trail map is available to download from Torbay council website.

Marvel at a winter wonderland in miniature at Babbacombe Model Village as the tiny streets and houses are lit up with some Christmas magic. Enjoy some seasonal scenes as the miniature town folk celebrate Christmas. Make sure you arrive in the daylight hours to have a go at hunting for special seasonal characters with a spotter sheet and stay until dark to enjoy the full effect of the sparkling Christmas lights.

Get into the festive spirit and head underground for a rendition of your favourite carols and all by the glow of candlelight. Down in the depths of the prehistoric caves you can enjoy listening to atmospheric music and be serenaded by a professional choir. Take a seat in the large Vestibule chamber where you will listen to the choir, made all the more amazing by the cavern’s unique acoustics, making even the smallest sound amplified, then take a walk around the cave system singing carols by candlelight. Finish off your evening with a warming mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine and some festive treats in the Great Chamber.

Lights, Lanterns and ‘Luminations

First launched in 2007, ‘Lights, Lanterns and ‘Luminations’ is a magical event that has grown in popularity ever since. This event will see the fishing port of Brixham lit up with a magical lantern parade and incredible firework display held in the harbour bowl which will be sure to make you ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ in wonder.Live music, street entertainment and a street market will get the community and visitors together to take part in the festive activities. This magical events takes place across the whole of the day on Saturday 26th November 10am -10pm.

Train of Lights

Decorated with thousands of sparkling lights both inside and out, Paignton’s ‘Train of Lights’ is a spectacle to behold. Chugging its way from Paignton to Kingswear and back again, passengers are surrounded by the glow of twinkling lights in their carriage and a multitude of lights to gaze at along the way. As the steam train journeys on past Churston station, it hurtles through the 450 metre Greenway tunnel into the enchanted forest filled with magical illuminated beasts. Once the train arrives at its destination, you can disembark the train and take photos of the locomotive as well as the lights of Dartmouth across the river reflected on the River Dart. Hop back on the train and make your way back to Paignton to experience the spectacle from a different perspective. This multi-award-winning event sells out each year, so we advise getting your tickets early for a train journey you'll remember forever. If, however, you don’t manage to bag yourself a ticket don’t fret! The sight of the train making its way along the track is an amazing sight as it is and can be viewed from a variety of vantage points along its route. Bookings can be made for any dates from 25th November through to 30th December.

Each winter the stunning gardens of this beautiful National Trust property transform into a twinkling wonderland of lights. Outside the trees and glades are illuminated with a festive glow whilst inside the wonders of a winters tide await with the house decorated with a theme inspired by the landscape of a wild and wintery ocean.

This enchanting and immersive experience is a magical event for the whole family so dig out your woolly hats and wrap up warm to experience the dazzling light displays, soundscapes and even scents of the ocean at winter.

Don't miss our next blog coming soon covering 'Our Top Picks of Where to meet Santa in South Devon this Christmas'.

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