December is a time of stark, frosty cold, and a sudden bareness on the trees. However, the richness of Christmas preparations more than makes up for the lack of colour in nature, and we think what better way than celebrating this wonderful, magical time than attending some fantastic local events taking place in your area that will add a little sparkle to your festive season..

Leonardslee Illuminated

December 12th-22nd- 1600-2100- Adults £15- Children £7.50- Book Here– Leonardslee Gardens, Lower Beeding, West Sussex

Experience the gardens as never before, awash with light, sound, colour and festive cheer on a crisp Winter’s evening. 

The moon hangs over a lake ready to be illuminated from the 12th December

Enjoy the spectacular Christmas illuminations and trail through the beautiful woods and lakes at Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens. The event runs from 12 – 15 & 19 – 22 December.

Leonardslee Illuminated features enchanting light displays, music and theatrical performances and large scale projections onto Leonardslee House.

The event is suitable for everyone, including children of all ages – anyone who would like a healthy dose of Christmas cheer and wonderment!

Tickets need to be pre-booked online.

Enchanted Walmer Castle

Friday 13th-Sun 15th December- Adult £14- Child £7.50- Walmer Castle, Deal, Kent

Make the most of the winter evenings with an enchanted experience of light, colour and sound as the award-winning gardens of Walmer Castle are transformed into an illuminated world.

Delight in a serene and enchanting trail featuring tunnels and pathways of twinkling light and see the grounds burst to life in remarkable, unexpected ways. Wind your way through the Queen Mother’s Garden and Woodland Walk toward the new historic Glen, spotting dancing fairies flitting among the leaves, and meeting wise old talking trees along the way.

Enjoy the delights of Walmer Enchanted Garden

After enjoying the trail, try your luck at fairground rides and games, or pose for a family picture in front of the strikingly lit Broadwalk. There will be plenty to enjoy besides – from mince pies, mulled wine and toasting marshmallows to Christmas shopping and heritage inspired gifts.

So grab the winter woollies, your family and friends and revel in the most enchanting event of the year. It’s set to be a popular evening, so remember to book early to avoid missing out.

December at Claremont Landscape Garden

Open 363 days a year- NT Rates Apply- 10am-4pm – Claremont Landscape Garden, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9JG

Beautiful winter vistas and sparkling lights make Claremont a very special place to visit at this time of year. Take a break from the hectic high street and spend an atmospheric afternoon recharging yourself in a wonderfully historic royal landscape. Whether you’re looking for a calming wintery walk or a festive filled family day out this Christmas, Claremont is just the place to be. 

The tranquil retreat of Claremont is a wonderful place to relax at any time of year, but when winter arrives, the garden undergoes a magical transformation. As the leaves thin, the low winter sun opens up views across the pleasure grounds, creating the perfect picturesque landscape to get you into the seasonal spirit. 

The magical little grotto, transformed into a Christmas wonderland

Claremont is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so it’s an ideal place  to walk off the excesses of the holidays. Enjoy a gentle stroll around the lake, or if you’re feeling more energetic, head up the hill and take in the full experience of the landscape from the top of the grass amphitheatre.

Nestled in a secret woodland glade not far from the edge of the lake, you’ll discover the fairytale Christmas Cottage, charmingly decorated for the duration of the festive period (from 12 December). Young and young-at-heart alike will enjoy the selection of traditional toys and games to play with inside this magical little grotto. There is something for all to enjoy to why not make a visit to this beautiful tranquil garden this December.

Community Christmas Tree Upcycling Festival

Now- 4th Jan- 10-4pm- Free- Eastleigh Museum, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 5LF

Come along to the festive favourite Community Christmas Tree Festival and get into the local spirit!

Christmas trees in all their upcycled splendour

The 2019 theme is ‘upcycling’, to focus on environmental concerns and the re-purposing of what might otherwise be discarded. Christmas can be a wasteful time, and this exhibitions shows ways to reuse what may otherwise have been thrown away.

Visit this magical festive spectacle to view and explore the creative endeavours of local community groups and organisations and find out more about their work in the Eastleigh Borough.