We are just one week away until the Bay of Lights initiative kicks off the festive celebration across the English Riviera.

This seasonal Bay wide programme of lights returns for a second year, inviting residents and visitors to explore the region during the festive period.

The Bay of Lights incorporates everything from the Illumination Trail at Torquay, Brixham Lanterns, Lights & 'Luminations, to the Christmas Train of Lights in Paignton, and seasonal illuminated events at popular local destinations, including Glo Wild at Paignton Zoo. Full details can be found at  Bay of Lights.

The Bay of Lights Illumination trail is a free attraction and an intrinsic part of the Bay of Lights initiative. Funded by ourselves, SWISCo and the English Riviera BID Company, the 2023 trail is also supported by a range of generous organisations and businesses including Torbay Business Forum, Big Wave Marketing, Model Village, May House Dental Practice, Treat Marketing, EF Language School, Twenty 1 and Otto, Pier Point, Shoreline, Rock Fish, Torre Abbey, and Healthy Selfie.

The trail and Pixel tree installations are created by Future Technical Solutions (FTS) and are set to light up areas across the English Riviera, starting Friday 1 December 2023 and running until Tuesday 2 January 2024. Each of the installations uses low-energy LED bulbs and are designed to allow people to stop and enjoy impressive light and sound displays as well as taking some memorable photos.

The Bay of Lights Illumination trail in Torquay, is a free 1.5-mile trail that winds its way along Torquay's iconic waterfront, starting from Abbey Park, through the Tunnel of Lights, up and over the curly bridge and across the seafront promenade before ending at the harbourside. However, you can follow the route in either direction. The trail in Torquay lights up daily from 4:30pm, with sound elements until 9:30pm and lighting displays until 11pm.

This year the Illumination trail will be reaching out further to include Paignton and Brixham. These locations will feature magnificent 10-meter-high pixel Christmas Trees that offer stunning digital light shows. The pixel trees will also light up daily from Friday 1 December 2023 to Tuesday 2 January 2024.

An array of local businesses can be found along the Illumination trail route and in the town centres, offering a wide selection of festive treats and experiences for people to enjoy.

To support town centres over the festive season, for a fifth consecutive year, we are offering our 'Pay for an hour, stay for the day’ parking promotion in selected car parks. The offer runs from Friday 1 December 2023 to Tuesday 2 January 2024 at the following locations.

  • Torquay – Lower Union Lane and Union Square (closes at 7pm)
  • Paignton – Victoria multi-storey
  • Brixham – Central (up to the maximum stay), Freshwater and Oxen Cove.

The fee will cover parking from when visitors arrive until midnight the same day (excluding Union Square which closes at 7pm, and Brixham Central which limits parking time to a maximum of 3 hours between 7am and 3pm). Fees are in line with zone charges. For Lower Union Lane, payment should be on entry and not when leaving the car park.

Cllr Adam Billings, Cabinet Member for Pride in Place, Culture & Events and Parking for Torbay Council, said; “There’s just a week to go until the Bay of Lights trail once again captivates audiences of all ages.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the support that local businesses have generously provided this year. It means we can keep growing the offering and expanding the trail into more and more areas.

“Mark your diaries, plan your route, take advantage of our parking offer and enjoy exploring the Bay this Christmas.”

Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive of the English Riviera BID Company said; “The Bay wide Bay of Lights initiative aims to bring joy to the local community whilst attracting visitors to our region.

“This winter festival of lights from a range of attractions helps bring the English Riviera to life, creating a new season for our tourism and hospitality sectors.”

A trail map is available to download to help people plan their route, with promotional material also available for businesses to use. The map and promotional material for businesses can be found on the Bay of Lights webpage 

Details of all Bay of Lights events can be found on the English Riviera website

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