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Best Christmas Lights in the North East

Image © Visit Manchester via Facebook

There's nothing like twinkling Christmas lights to get you in the festive mood

The decorations might have been in the shops for months, but November rolling around can only mean one thing - the Christmas festivities are about to begin! Everybody knows that it’s not Christmas until the lights are shining, so bust out your woolen knits, pop the logs on the fire and get the mulled wine on to brew, as here are our top picks of all the light shows in the North East.

For the first time in over two decades, the annual Christmas Lights showcase moves from Albert Square. Following the renovations of the city’s Town Hall, this year the celebrations will be based near the Cathedral in Deansgate. This year’s event will take place on the 14 November, the week after the award winning Christmas Markets open. Every year thousands of people flock to the city for this night of celebration and cheer. Though this year’s headliners have yet to be announced, last year saw the cast of Wicked, Jonas Blue and Max George entertain the crowds; this is not one to miss out on!

Chester continues the Christmas celebrations, with the annual Christmas light switch on, on the 21 November. Get your whole family together and have a night full of festive cheer, which will include the turning on of Chester Catherdal’s show stopping CheSTAR light fixture (with over 19,000 individual bulbs), the magic of the Twelve Days of Christmas parade, and of course, the switching on of the lights themselves! The festive fun doesn’t have to stop there, as the Chester’s Christmas Market opens for another year. With over 70 wooden huts packed full of festive treats, gift and stocking fillers, this is the perfect place to kick off your Christmas festivities. Click here for timetable and more information.

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down Didsbury way! On the 22 November, Didsbury will be lit up, in their annual Christmas lights switch on. There will be carol singing, led by children from the local area. They will be accompanied by the musical talents of a brass ensemble and the harmony singing group from Parrs Wood High. Drinks and nibbles - including the oligbartory mulled wine - will be on offer, provided by a number of local traders. The event will start at 7pm and run through the evening and is free to attend, for more information click here.

Chester Zoo is once again running its Lanterns Parade this Christmas, a dazzling event like no other. From the 22 November, running all the way to the 23 December, as day turns to night come and discover Chester Zoo in a whole new light. The attraction is transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland, as you use the glimmer of the lights to show you the way. Undertake The Great Christmas Expedition, with you and your family discovering animals and illuminations from nine fantastic worlds, each designed to take your breath away. The perfect way to get into the festive spirit and create memories that you’ll never forget, tickets are now on sale. To book, or for further information click here.

Finally, on the 23 November it is the 20th anniversary of the Hoole Christmas Lights, and what a night they have planned! Taking place in Faulker Street and Charles Street, they hope to celebrate twenty years of festivities with a night that the community will never forget. Though Santa has been booked, the organisers are still fundraising, with upcoming events including a Brass Band and Choir concert at Hoole All Saints Church on Friday 25 October and a quiz night at The Faulkner Pub on Sunday 27 October. To donate or for further information click here.