The countdown to Christmas has started and Blenheim Palace is getting ready to welcome its glittering Illuminated Trail back this year.

With over a million twinkling lights, colourful trees and amazing illuminated installations, the trail is choreographed to a soundtrack of favourite seasonal music.

Witney Gazette: Blenheim Palace lit up Christmas Trails 2020 @SonyMusic.jpg

The palace's state rooms will be transformed to become The Nutcracker’s fairytale workshops and a traditional Christmas Market in the courtyard will sell goods from a selected number of artisans from wooden chalets.

Witney Gazette: The story of the Nutcracker by Culture Creative, Blenheim Palace 2021. Photo by Richard Haug 1472 A4 LS.jpg

This year the illuminated trail follows a brand-new route across the South Lawn and into the woods beyond. You can now view the moon and the stars reflected in the lake while firework trees fizz with lights that flash up from the undergrowth and along the branches.

There are stars and baubles, a rainbow effect in the laser garden and, for the first time in the UK, a new installation from French light artists TILT, Bloom, which will rise high into the night sky.

Favourites like the Water Terrace fire garden and tunnel of light are also returning.

Meanwhile in the palace's state rooms the story of The Nutcracker is being re-imagined.

Witney Gazette: Blenheim Palace Market Couple My Christmas Trails 2020. Photo by Richard Haughton © Sony Music.jpg

Each room will be exquisitely transformed from the toymaker’s workshop on a frosty Christmas Eve through the glistening Land of Snow and the candy-cane Kingdom of Sweets adorned with larger-than-life gingerbread men.

The fantastical winter wonderland will also feature a dashing Nutcracker Prince, an army of mice, a Sugar Plum Fairy and a music box with a difference.

Witney Gazette: Blenheim Palace lit up Christmas Trails 2020 @SonyMusic.jpg

The Christmas Market, which runs from November 19 to December 19, will be showcasing a range of festive treats from designer-makers and artisan food and drink producers.

The Story of the Nutcracker, Christmas Market and Illuminated trail run from November 19 to January 2. You can book now at