Car-free guide to Early Spring Light Shows 2022around the UK
Light shows are more popular than ever this covid-ridden winter: inventive and mostly outdoors, they brighten the long dark nights. For those of us drawn to their sparkle, like moths to a flame, the good news is that they are not just for Christmas and you don’t have to have a car. These pioneering, accessible attractions, cities and hotels are hosting illuminating art exhibitions, trails and festivals of light in January, February and March 2022. Book ahead and wrap up warm.
A new event at this iconic National Trust property, Ignite’s fire and fantasy trail lights up the golden limestone turrets and pinnacles, arched doorways and oriel windows of neogothic Tyntesfield in February. Victorian businessman William Gibbs, whose family made a fortune from nitrate-rich guano, turned a Georgian mansion into a gothic revivalist palace.
- Flickering among the long lawns and neat formal terraces are curving banks of flame, glowing firmaments and galaxies. And you can buy a hot chocolate to ward off the chilly night air.
- To get there, follow Good Journey’s directions. Bus X6 currently leaves from Bristol bus station at 5.15pm (not at weekends, when it leaves earlier but is till useful for daytime visits). It arrives at Tyntesfield around 5.40pm in time for the opening of the light trail. The bus back leaves at 6.55pm from outside the gates (or pre-book a taxi).
- Ignite at Tyntesfield runs from 11th to 27th February (not 15/16) and tickets cost £16.50/£12 for adults/kids without a car.
Love Light, Norwich
During the biennial Love Light festival in Norwich, the city’s landmarks become artworks. Cupid is projected on the castle and psychedelic neon swirls across the western front of the cathedral. There’s after-dark bicycle ballet and a sound-and-light sculpture in Chapelfield gardens, a heart-shaped mirror ball in the Forum, and light graffiti scribbles across flinty medieval walls. The streets are alive with parades and performances on the suitably pandemic-defying theme of love and belonging.
- Watch shadow puppets in the marketplace, fiery marsh ponies on Cathedral Green, and a glowing octopus and jellyfish, with a fleet of illuminated boats, as they process through the streets on Saturday evening.
- There are regular trains to Norwich from Cambridge, Sheffield and London Liverpool Street. Advance tickets to and from London start from £10 each way.
- The festival is free to attend and runs from 17th to 19th February 2022