About the Festival
The festival of lights is where you can find beautiful fairy lights, Christmas lights trees, and curtain lights. You can bring your loved ones and explore the magical, illuminated trail, immersive light installations, and interactive exhibits. The light exhibition offers new creations every year, so the entire event is filled with surprises.
This Christmas light show offers visually dramatic and magical lights all over the venue. It promises to combine spectacular art installations with hope, unity, happiness, and fun. The light festival is an exploration of light, form, and movement.
The event will captivate all your senses with immersive and uniquely interactive lights, lasers, and lanterns. You can also find water-screen multimedia shows. All these things ensure that you will have unforgettable memories with your friends and family.
Throughout the festival season, twinkle lights and fun activities give you a perfect opportunity to bond with your loved ones. This year’s holiday season will become even more exciting if you visit the festival. The festival of lights lets you witness vibrant colors of lights through creative installations.
For the 2023-2024 festival dates, the details are not yet posted. Don’t worry; it will not take long to finalize the official festival dates. While you are waiting, you can start planning your trip and inviting your friends and family.
Many fun and enjoyable things are waiting for you as you join the much-awaited annual light exhibition in Manchester. Whether you want to unwind or celebrate the holiday season in Manchester, the festival of lights is worth the visit.
How to Get There
Festival of Lights Manchester returns to Heaton Park. This stunning park is where you can find the historically beautiful Heaton Hall. The park is situated in Sheepfoot Lane, Machester M25 0BP.
The festival address is easy to access, so you have no headache throughout the festival experience.
You can choose from different transport connects to reach Heaton Park, including:
If you prefer arriving in the venue by tram, the Metrolink services take you to Heaton Park, and Bowker Vale stops for a couple of minutes of walk from the famous park. The entire journey from the city’s center takes about 20 minutes.
Before you board a tram, ensure to have a valid Metrolink pass or ticket. Then, you will need a 1+2+3 zone ticket.
One of the best things about Manchester is that it is well-served by rail with service that runs into Victoria, Oxford Road, and Manchester Piccadilly. If you wish to connect to onward Metrolink service from Piccadilly or Victoria, the process is straightforward.
East Midlands, Arriva Trains Wales, Cross Country, Virgin Trains, TransPennine Express, and Northern are the companies that operate in Manchester. Ensure to plan and check the train times before traveling.
If you plan to drive your own car to go around Heaton Park, many car parks are available on the site. You can purchase a car parking ticket onsite and online. It is recommended to buy the car parking ticket in advance.
After you purchase the ticket, you will get a notification of which space and car park to use at a later date closer to the festival date. Ensure to only go to the designated space for your vehicle.
You can also reach Heaton Park by bus. The existing bus routers from Greater Manchester include 484, 135, 59, and 41.
As an alternative option, you can walk the distance between the city center and the park. From the city center, the walk takes about an hour. All you need to do is follow the signs along Buy Old Road to Cheetham Hill Road all the way to the city.
Park & Ride
You can use the park & ride for free. Below are the closest stations with park & ride facilities:
- Whitefield located in Nuttall Ave., Whitefield, M45 6QA (216 spaces)
- Radcliffe located in Crook St., Radcliffe, M26 2SU (396 spaces)
Only Metrolink customers can take advantage of the park as well as ride facilities. Some park & ride sites offer overnight parking. Ensure to collect your vehicle by midday the following day.
Other enchanting festivals of lights in United Kingdom are:
As the festival of lights returns this winter to light up Manchester, rest assured that the entire holiday and festive season will bring you new experiences and surprises.
Everyone is excited to witness how lights and creativity are combined to deliver beauty, magic, and stories. Visitors are a critical part of the light exhibition since everything in the event is dedicated to them.
The festival hours are often from 5 PM to 10 PM. Beware that the last entry is 8:30 PM daily. Ensure to arrive early so that you have a long time enjoying the festival activities and light installations.
How Does It Cost to Visit the Festival
The festival of lights will take you and your loved ones on a unique and fantastic journey. The event brings a shimmering and colorful holiday celebration that you should not miss.
You will not get bored throughout your visit. In fact, you may wish that time will stop so that you can feel the magical feel it brings.
The festival ticket costs may change daily, but below is a guide of the ticket prices:
- Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children): ₤60 per ticket
- Child ticket (under 3): free
- Child ticket (age 3-16): ₤13 per ticket
- Adult ticket: ₤20 per ticket
For the latest updates on ticket prices and details, stay tuned or visit the festival’s official website.
Weather and What to Wear
Wintertime means lights festival season in Manchester! Wintertime lasts for three months, from December to February. While the temperatures are not too low, the humidity and wind increase the cold sensations.
Generally, the sky is cloudy, while you can experience frequent rainfall. In some instances, the intense Atlantic depressions result to wind storms. Snowfalls occur less often, and the cold spells do not last long and are not too intense. Low temperatures are relatively rare. They are usually below 19˚F.
If you plan to visit Manchester during festival season, ensure to bring appropriate clothing for the weather. That way, you can prevent yourself from getting sick, and you will stay comfortable throughout the visit. Ensure to pack and wear clothing such as layers, warm coats, raincoats, hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, and wellies. You also need to bring umbrellas.
Hotels Nearby the Festival of Lights Manchester
Before heading your way to Manchester, see that everything is ready, including the place you will sleep. Fortunately, you can find lots of accommodations near Heaton Park. You may want to book a room from the following options:
The Westlynne Hotel & Apartment
This hotel is popular among tourists due to its clean rooms, and it is only a couple of minutes’ walks from Heaton Park. It features a free manager’s reception, a free self-parking area, and free Wi-Fi. Each room has a flat-screen TV.
Fairways Lodge & Leisure Club
This hotel has 40 rooms that got high marks from guests for being clean and comfortable. It features a restaurant, a free self-parking, and free Wi-Fi in public areas. Each room has a flat-screen TV.
The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel
All rooms in this hotel are comfortable and clean. Besides being close to Heaton Park, the hotel is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Manchester Opera House. It features free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV in each room, an indoor pool, and a full-service spa.
What to Eat
Eating out in Manchester is one of the best experiences during your festival visit. You can choose from plenty of food destinations available. Below the top choices you may want to consider:
This cozy restaurant serves a wide variety of spatzle dishes and hand-made European dumplings. You will also love the wine selection, daily baked bread, and delicious sauces.
Mana is famous for its Avant-grade British fine dining experience. It serves thoughtful and flavorful dishes using fresh and locally produced British ingredients. Most diners love the nixtamalized corn broth and reindeer moss.
If you are looking for a vegetarian restaurant, Greens is the top choice. All vegetarian dishes are worth the try. Plus, you will love the relaxing atmosphere.
More Things To Do
While the festival of lights is the highlight of your visit to Manchester, Heaton Park itself has something great to offer.
The Heaton Park Garden Center sells English-grown plants. This old-fashioned garden has its own cafe, where you can have a delicious breakfast and lunch options.
Animal lovers will love visiting the Animal Center. It is home to alpacas, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, and chickens.
Treetop Trek is an exciting and award-winning aerial destination that lets you fly, balance, climb, and swing through the woodland canopy. Treetop Nets, Mini Trek, and Zip Trek are the three different trek options you can try.
Manchester has lots of exciting and fun things to do, from historical attractions to lights festival. Do not forget to invite your loved ones and create unique memories.
1. Where can I park my car?
Heaton Park has several car parks, and additional parking facilities are often set up specifically for the Lightopia Festival. Just follow the signs as you approach the venue.
2. Is smoking allowed at the festival?
Smoking is not permitted near the light installations or in enclosed areas to ensure a family-friendly environment. Designated smoking areas are available, so make sure to use them if needed.
3. Can I bring my pet?
While Heaton Park is generally pet-friendly, pets are not allowed during the Lightopia Festival for safety and comfort reasons.
4. What are the best times to attend?
Although the festival dates for this year have not yet been announced, it’s worth noting that weekends and holidays are the busiest times. Consider attending on a weekday for a less crowded experience.
5. Are there any food and beverage options?
Yes, various food and drink vendors are typically available throughout Heaton Park during the festival. From hot drinks to keep you warm to local and international cuisine, there’s something for everyone.
6. What’s the dress code?
There’s no specific dress code, but given that the festival takes place outdoors, make sure to dress appropriately for the weather. Comfortable walking shoes are a must.
7. Are there guided tours?
While there are no official guided tours, the festival is designed to be a self-guided experience. Information boards and mobile apps are often available to provide context and background on the installations.
8. Is the festival accessible for people with disabilities?
Yes, most parts of Heaton Park and the festival itself are accessible to those with mobility issues. However, due to the natural terrain of the park, some areas may be more challenging to navigate.