Illuminations will sparkle throughout the county as the festive season kicks off with the excitement of Christmas lights switch-ons. Many events are combined with live shows, markets and festive cheer. We’ve summarised them for you in one handy list below.
Illuminate Croft Castle and Gardens
Thursday 16 November and various evenings until Saturday 2 December
Experience a magical Christmas at Illuminate Croft Castle in North Herefordshire. Explore the lit castle grounds, gardens, gothic arch, church and ancient trees all aglow.
Step inside the castle, beautifully decorated for Christmas and revel in activities like fire performers, musicians, storytellers, carol singers and glow games for families.
Don’t miss the Carpenter’s tea-room serving delightful refreshments, festive treats and warming mulled wine, alongside external caterers each evening.
Adults £5.00, Children £2.50, Under 5s Free
Bromyard Christmas Lights
Saturday 18 November
Festive Market and Entertainment from 10am. Lights switch-on at 5:30pm
Bromyard is always a charming place, but it truly comes alive at Christmas. The main streets are adorned with dazzling lights, making the town’s Christmas illuminations a must-see, often considered the best in Herefordshire.
Enjoy Santa’s parade and magical grotto, children’s fair rides, the melodious tunes of the Bromyard Wind Band & Choral Society and explore the festive stalls.
Tenbury Wells Christmas Lights Switch-On
Saturday 18 November
The pretty market town of Tenbury Wells transforms into a festive wonderland, with the town’s streets adorned with a beautiful display of festive lights.
Hereford Christmas Lights
Sunday 19 November
Entertainment in High Town starts from 3.15pm. Lights switch-on around 5:00pm
Join Sunshine Radio for a festive extravaganza on the big stage as Hereford transforms into a glittering spectacle of lights and giant Christmas trees, ushering in the official start of Christmas Shopping 2023. The lights will decorate Maylord Orchards and The Old Market simultaneously with High Town.
Photos: Andy Compton
Don’t forget throughout December, enjoy FREE parking in the city every Wednesday from 4 pm for late-night shopping. Late night shopping details here.
Light up Leominster
Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 November
An early evening event trail round the centre of Leominster, using lights, soundscapes and projections to show off this picturesque market town and the charming timber-framed buildings.
This event is free to attend and will include lantern parades, performances and music through the town as part of the festivities.
Hay-on-Wye Christmas Lights Switch on
Friday 24 November
An evening of carol singing, food, warm mulled wine and festive merriment as Hay-on-Wye turn on the Christmas lights, marking the start of the season in this beloved book town. This special event will be hosted by Strictly winner Hamza Yassin and featuring the soon-to-be-announced ‘Citizen of the Year’ from Hay-on-Wye.
Malvern Winter Glow
From Friday 24 November to Wednesday 6 January 2024
The biggest festive event in the Three Counties, returns to the Malvern Showground for 2023, offering even more magical experiences to guarantee a truly unforgettable Christmas.
There is a range of festive activities for the whole family to enjoy, including personalised Santa’s Grotto experiences, ice skating, a fairground, Christmas market, and one of the West Midlands’ longest outdoor light trails.
Tickets for attractions start from £6.60 for children and £13.60 for adults. Prices vary between attractions and are dependent on time and day. Free entry to the Christmas market, food quarter, café, bar and fairground.
Ludlow Winter Festival and Christmas Lights Switch-on
Friday 24 – 26 November
Friday and Saturday 5:00pm – 10:00pm and Sunday 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Ludlow Winter Festival, Ludlow Castle and Ludlow Food Festival are pleased to present magical evenings in Ludlow this Christmas. Experiencing the castle as never before, buildings will be transformed with lights and music while you take pleasure in some festive entertainment from local choirs, bands and singers, enjoy mulled wine, and feast with firm favourites from Ludlow Food Festival, as well as shopping at the Artisan Makers Market in the Beacon Rooms.
Ludlow Christmas Lights will be turned on Saturday 25 at 5pm.
Adults £9.00, Children £5.00 and Families £25.00
Great Malvern Christmas Festival and Lights switch-on
Saturday 25 November
Enjoy all the delights of the festive season including Malvern Artisan Arts and Food Market, Malvern Light Switch-on with Malvern Theatres Pantomime Stars, as well as a lantern parade, Christmas grotto & storytelling at Great Malvern Library, and the BBC Hereford and Worcester stage on Belle Vue Island. Seasonal festivities and refreshments in fill Great Malvern Priory and festive activities and entertainment commence throughout the town centre.
Ledbury Christmas Lights Switch-on
Sunday 26 November
Activities and entertainment during the afternoon culminating in the Christmas lights switch on, which starts with the arrival of Santa at the Market House. Visit Santa in his grotto and have a photograph taken with him.
Activities start at 2.00pm with lights switch-on at 5.30pm
Ross-on-Wye Christmas Lights Switch-on
Sunday 26 November
11:00am – 5:00pm. Lights switch-on at 4.30pm.
Ross-on-Wye’s Christmas Fayre, held in the town centre, will host around 80 stalls selling handmade arts and crafts plus delicious artisan food and drink. Expect a huge range of gorgeous gifts, including decorations, candles, bath bombs, ceramics, jewellery, cheese, chutneys, hampers, brownies, wreaths and much more.
Entertainment from The Penyard Singers and Noah Rawlings, Olaf and Elf on the Shelf, Joey the Juggler, face painting and fairground rides.
There will be a very special guest, Floki the animatronic polar bear, who will be adding a little extra Christmas sparkle.
Kington Christmas Lights Switch-On
Wednesday 29 November
There will be carol singing, Santa, mince pies, hot chocolate and hot gin & tonic as the Christmas lights are turned on in this pretty market town. The festivities will take place at the Market Hall, Place De Marines and Coach House.
Photo: Stuart Anderson
The lights will be turned on at approximately 6:30pm
See many more festive events, workshops, experiences and destinations to make your Christmas and New Year special in Herefordshire here