Where to see Christmas Lights in Kent

While we've so far been blessed with a usual festive period this time around, there is one very important Christmas tradition we can rely on – our towns and cities will be illuminated with twinkling Christmas lights through the whole season, bringing a bit of sparkle on a winters day! Upgrade your wanders and shopping visits by looking up to see these magical sights – hot chocolate in hand not required, but definitely recommended…

Canterbury

Gorgeous medieval Canterbury leaves us in awe all year around, but at Christmas, it’s particularly special! Beautiful lights hang above you all around the city, but the streets around the Cathedral Quarter are some of the best spots for an Instagram-worthy shot. As we are still in the pandemic and to encourage social distancing, the BID are turning on the no-less than 5 miles of lights at multiple points along the high street so wherever you may be you'll be able to take in the switch on

© Oliver Dixon Photography

Hever Castle

The daytime and the early evening during the festive period at Hever Castle is as magical as it sounds, with a wander around the castle, gardens and lake you'll step into a world of glorious lights. Remember to take your torch and follow the trail of lights that will illuminate Hever Castle's icons. However, it's not just the magical Christmas Light Trail, but you can also follow the Pinocchio Christmas Trail and have a go on the Fairground rides that are new for 2021!

Tunbridge Wells

The picturesque Pantiles were made for classic twinkling lights with many wrapped around the traditional Georgian Colonade and tree lined streets. With the shorter days, meaning darker nights, you can grab a takeaway from an independent store and pick up the perfect gifts that carry a meaning all the while enjoying the sparkling lights with a warm drink on a cold evening. 

Sandwich

With the beautiful backdrop of Sandwich, you can expect the Christmas lights in the town to be pretty magical! This year, the big switch on is on the Saturday 4th December, and will be accompanied by live music and Christmas parade, a market and a Santa's Grotto no less. We are particularly excited to see the pictures of the light tunnel outside St Peter's Church! 

Maidstone

Our county capital is ready to be lit up to get you in the festive spirit with a raft of fairy lights and stars. This year, the switch on is happening on the 18th November in Jubilee Square transforming the shopping area into a Christmas wonderland. 

Gravesham 

Starting on the 19th November at 3pm, Gravesham's Christmas lights are ready to be outstanding. Firstly, it's not just known as the Christmas lights, it's known as The Gravesham Festival of Christmas Lights! Kicking things off, there'll be around 500 school children expected to lead a lantern parade through the town centre accompanied by street performers and an interactive living snow globe.  

Tenterden 

The charming town of Tenterden with its quaint independent shops and tree-lined streets looks like it was plucked from a Richard Curtis Christmas movie when decorated for the season. To feel like you've been whipped straight from normal life into a festive film, take a walk around the town with your favourite Christmas tune playing from your headphones. 

Medway 

With a number of quaint town centres, you can be sure that Medway will have more than one perfect place filled with Christmas lights. Whether you are in Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham or Rainham the old streets will be filled with twinkly lights illuminating the small characterful shops and the icons of the towns. If you want to head out to watch the lights coming on for the first time, head over Visit Medway's handy guide here

Ramsgate Illuminations

Ramsgate Illuminations are back in the harbour, as the surrounding businesses and boats docked in Ramsgate transform into a beautiful decorated Christmas display. This is definitely a unique way to see the lights this year - and when the reflections twinkle on the water? Magical... 

For even more Christmas inspiration, take a look at what else we've got coming up this season in Kent...