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Enchanting Autumn & Winter Illuminations To Visit In Scotland 2021

Updated: Mar 14

As the nights draw in, it feels magical with candles flickering and fairy lights decorating windows. Did you know many of the lights you now see in windows across Scandinavia, Pennsylvania and Ireland have come from traditions, such as lighting the way home for seafarers, lighting the way to church or visiting neighbours? Today you can enjoy enchanted evenings across Scotland including forests, historic buildings, landmark gardens and more. Here are some you might like to visit.

Colourful light display in the woods.
Enchanted Forest, Pitlochry, Scotland ©MDHarding

Enchanting Autumn & Winter Illuminations In Scotland

One of my favourites has to be the Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry. This would have been their 20th anniversary. Sadly this year has been cancelled but the dates have been released for next year! Taking place between the 29th September - 30th October 2022. Are you as excited as I am? In 2019 there were over 80,000 visitors, be sure to get in there quick.

colourful water display within the woods.
Enchanted Forest, Faskally Woods, Pitlochry, Scotland ©MDHarding

Edinburgh Zoo' Chrismas Nights

Make your evenings merry and bright this festive season with a magical journey through Edinburgh Zoo! A spectacular light trail will take you on a journey to discover the magic of Christmas spirit and Santa’s time at the zoo.

From Friday 19 November until Sunday 2 January, you can glow around the route with projections, twinkling fairy lights and much more.

Designed for limited visitor numbers with a wide range of safety measures in place, Edinburgh Zoo’s Christmas Nights are sure to light up your winter.

Find out more and secure your tickets at

Christmas Nights at Edinburgh Zoo ©RZSS

Wondrous Woods at Hopetoun House

Explore the historic grounds of Hopetoun Estate in its second year of Wondrous Woods, with winding mystical pathways. See the 300-year-old forest in a new light, with illuminated features and trails. The 2km walk has an abundance of natural beauty including not to be missed breathtaking views.

Castle of Light - Edinburgh Castle

Prepare to be dazzled by the colourful lights, as they tell the untold history on the very walls, that saw it unfold! The state-of-the-art visuals, lighting and installations include the famous red lion and friends, as they guide you through the enchanting tales. Castle of Light takes place between 19th November 2021 - 9th January 2022. What hidden treasures will you discover?

Castle of Light © Nick Mailer –

Christmas At The Botanics

Wander through the dazzling tunnels of light, gaze up at larger-than-life illuminations and reflect in the dancing waters this winter, at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - Christmas at the Botanics. While walking under the stars or watching the flickering flames in the fire garden, you can enjoy also enjoy a tasty treat! These include winter warmers such as hot chocolates and marshmallow toasting. Yum!

A Christmas Miracle at Rough Castle - Falkirk

This year at the home of UNESCO World Heritage Site - Antonines Wall, A Christmas Miracle at Rough Castle will be taking place on the 1.4km light and illumination trail. Be transported into another world filled with magic and cheer! Teamed with delicious delights from Big Feed and lifting those spirits high, top-class fairground attractions from Scotlands theme park M&D’s.

Coffee & Crepes by Big Feed with A Christmas Miracle at Rough Castle ©Rough Castle Experiences

Beecraigs Festive Forest

Beecraigs Festive Forest is back with one of the UK's largest laser shows including stunning lighting effects. As well as the incredible trail, Santa will also be there in his grotto, live music from DJ's, musicians, choirs and carol singers. There will also be stilt walkers, jugglers, market stalls and children's amusements!

Spectacle of Light at Dalkeith Country Park

Immerse yourself in the light and sparkle of Fort Douglas and its surroundings - Spectacle of Light at Dalkeith Country Park. From the treetop viewing platforms, enjoy the carpet of colour encircling the magnificent Orangerie. Take a woodland walk and experience the luminescent bloom. Discover the Nutcracker garden and the flickering field of fire!


The year is 2021. The thriving metropolis of Glasglopolis is under attack. A terrifying toxic gloop is engulfing its citizens and wildlife.

You are an undercover reporter for the Glasglopolis Globe. Your mission. Track down the cause. Expose those responsible… save our city. An immersive and spectacular light show trail in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens, GlasGLOW is back! There will be a 60-minute route and gourmet street food village & bar.

Brodie Illuminated

This year’s spectacular ‘Brodie Illuminated 2021’ light show takes visitors on an after-dark, awe-inspiring walk around the Brodie estate. Follow the illuminated pathways, through the Victorian shrubbery, around the outside of the castle and along the magnificent West Avenue, and see the highlighted trees and plants in a whole new light! Often un-noticed during daylight hours, the heritage estate’s stunning plant and tree collection are fascinating to experience in this 'night time' way! Family fun all the way – and tasty refreshments available each night too. Running four days each week (Wed to Sat) from Wednesday 3 November and until the final night on Saturday 27 November. New for 2021 - extended light trails, music and much more to make your evening that little bit more special.

Five Sisters Zoo Autumn Nights

The fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down, Five Sisters Zoo will once again illuminate the zoo for another year and there is plenty of new surprises in store.

Enjoy toasted marshmallows around our fire pit, and sip on hot chocolate or mulled wine while you stroll around our fairyland of twinkling lights.

The Five Sisters Zoo illuminations will run from 1st December – 23rd December (every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday) 5pm – 9pm.

Lights At The Five Sisters Zoo ©FSZ

I hope you have enjoyed reading and are inspired to visit one or more of the above sound & light shows taking place around Scotland.

As always, I love to read your comments and answer any questions you may have. You can reach me in the usual ways via email at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Until next time, happy wandering.

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