Homeowners light up streets with festive displays including man who spent £10k on winter wonderland

They’ll have VERY large energy bills! Homeowners light up their streets with festive displays – including electrician who spent more than £10,000 on mini Winter Wonderland with 30,000 LED lights, model railway line and Swan Lake scene

  • Homeowners are lighting up their neighbourhoods with festive displays 
  • One man has created a mini winter wonderland in his garden in Scarborough
  • An estate in Audenshaw, Manchester, has gone big on Christmas decor this year
  • Have you decorated the outside of your home for Christmas this year? Email your pictures to [email protected] 

Have you decorated the outside of your home for Christmas this year?

Email your pictures to [email protected]

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People up and down the country have been lighting up their neighbourhoods with intricate, eye-grabbing festive displays on their homes as the nation cuts back on Christmas lights amid soaring energy costs. 

Incredible photos of festive displays have been snapped in London, Cambridgeshire, Bradpole, Yorkshire and Manchester. 

One man Nigel Watkinson, 56, has transformed his garden in Scarborough, North Yorks, into a winter wonderland complete with a model railway line, light up foxes and a ‘Swan Lake’ scene – and has opened it to visitors to raise money for a hospice. 

People have been flocking to an estate in Audenshaw, Manchester which has gone big on Christmas decorations this year with almost every house adorned with festive lights.

Meanwhile a sculptor, Paul Crawford, has been travelling all over the UK bringing joy to households with his Christmassy window art with snow spray.

It comes as some towns known for dazzling displays are deciding not to put up lights this year and are cancelling popular switch-on events amid soaring energy bills.

Nigel Watkinson, 56, has transformed his garden in Scarborough, North Yorks, into a winter wonderland

Nigel Watkinson, 56, has transformed his garden in Scarborough, North Yorks, into a winter wonderland

Nigel's magical display of Christmas lights with 30,000 bulbs to create 'Santa's garden' at his home

Nigel’s magical display of Christmas lights with 30,000 bulbs to create ‘Santa’s garden’ at his home

Electrician Nigel Watkinson has spent more than £10,000 on a magical display of Christmas lights with 30,000 bulbs to create ‘Santa’s garden’ at his home.

The dad-of-two first came up with the idea 21 years ago when he decorated a friend’s garden with string lights and children could go into a greenhouse to meet Santa. In the two decades since, he has spent around £500 a year on lights and raised around £20,000 for charity.

Nigel, who lives in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, spent an additional £700 on lights this year and was gifted more, which were worth the same, so 260 sets of lights will illuminate the garden.

This year’s display is in memory of his dad, Brian, who died earlier this year aged 75.

The garden measures around 40m by 20m, and Nigel said his favourite moment is seeing people’s reaction when they emerge from a side alley and set eyes on it with 2,000 people expected to visit this year.

Nigel said: ‘I started putting them up in August. I work on it every weekend and had an opening last weekend for people who donated lights.

‘It stays up until Christmas Eve and then I spend all of January taking them down.  

‘I’ve spent around £500 a year on lights for 21 years.’

Nigel securing a huge bauble as part of the display which attracts visitors and raises money for charity

Nigel securing a huge bauble as part of the display which attracts visitors and raises money for charity

He added: ‘There are 30,000 LED lights and it probably costs around £100 a month.

‘We’re expecting 2,000 people, mostly from Scarborough but a friend came over from York last year.

‘It’s in memory of my dad who died earlier this year.

‘One part of the garden has lots of reindeers, unicorns and snowmen. The vegetable patch is decorated with light-up foxes and rabbits.’

A model railway line has homemade lit-up Christmas trees beside it.

This year EON have agreed to waive electricity bills for the month. 

Next year he plans to raise funds for Marie Curie, which helped his dad. This year cash will be donated to St Catherine’s Hospice.

A Christmas light display on the home of Helen and John Attlesey in Soham, Cambridgeshire

A Christmas light display on the home of Helen and John Attlesey in Soham, Cambridgeshire

Helen and John Attlesey have decorated their house to raise money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices

Helen and John Attlesey have decorated their house to raise money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices

It is not the first year Helen and John Attlesey have decorated their house

It is not the first year Helen and John Attlesey have decorated their house

Meanwhile over in Soham, Cambridgeshire, a big display with lit-up snowmen, fairy lights, and an image of Father Christmas sits outside the home of Helen and John Attlesey.

The couple decorated their house to raise money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

The retired couple have been putting on the impressive display since 2012, each time raising money for three causes close to their hearts: East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Dreamflight.

An estate in Audenshaw, Manchester has gone big on Christmas decorations

An estate in Audenshaw, Manchester has gone big on Christmas decorations

People have been flocking to the estate to get pictures and witness the lights themselves

People have been flocking to the estate to get pictures and witness the lights themselves

Almost every house is adorned with festive lights and decor on the Audenshaw estate

Almost every house is adorned with festive lights and decor on the Audenshaw estate 

Actor Martin Clunes switched on Christmas house lights in Bradpole to raise money for Julia's House Children's Hospice

Actor Martin Clunes switched on Christmas house lights in Bradpole to raise money for Julia’s House Children’s Hospice

Martin Clunes switched on the Christmas lights in Bradpole on December 5, 2022

Martin Clunes switched on the Christmas lights in Bradpole on December 5, 2022

Actor Martin Clunes switched on the Christmas lights at a charity display outside a home in Bradpole near Bridport. The Doc Martin star turned on the Christmas lights in White Close on Monday evening in aid of Julia’s House Children’s Hospice.

The festive display is organised by Monica and Rob Teague and the lights have been sponsored by Bridport Building Suppliers.

‘I got into it after I was asked by a friend (to switch-on the lights). He just asked about it and I said yeah. I have been a patron of Julia’s House for 20 odd years,’ Clunes told Dorset Live.

‘They (Monica and Rob) raise a lot of money here for all the right reasons. It’s money that Julia’s House spend very well.’

A house decorated with Christmas lights in Palmers Green, North London

A house decorated with Christmas lights in Palmers Green, North London

The house in Palmers Green, North London, stands out amongst its neighbours

The house in Palmers Green, North London, stands out amongst its neighbours

Enjoying taking a selfie with the lights - despite the cost of living crisis there are still plenty of people out on Carnaby Street, London

Enjoying taking a selfie with the lights – despite the cost of living crisis there are still plenty of people out on Carnaby Street, London

A sculptor says he earns a fortune over the festive period – creating Christmassy window art with snow spray.

Paul Crawford, 36, travels all over the country during the run-up to December 25, bringing joy to households and businesses with his designs.

The dad-of-two started creating festive window art six years ago in his local community. Using snow spray and silicon brushes, he turns clients’ windows into traditional snowy winter scenes – adding personal touches upon request.

At first, he just did the windows of families in his area. But, through word of mouth, his services have become very popular – and he now takes on jobs all over the UK.

This year Paul has been fully booked from November 1 onwards and says he is doing eight to ten windows a day.

His prices start at £70 per job but vary depending on the size of the window and how detailed the client wants the design.

Paul, from Liverpool said: ‘I started doing the artwork in 2016 and it seems to be getting and bigger and bigger each year.

‘It’s really rewarding work, and I love giving homes a festive touch on the run up to Christmas.’

Paul works as a sculptor the rest of the year, and has worked on multiple film and TV sets – including hit series Game of Thrones.

Paul Crawford, 36, travels all over the country during the run-up to December 25, bringing joy to households and businesses with his designs

Paul Crawford, 36, travels all over the country during the run-up to December 25, bringing joy to households and businesses with his designs

Paul has been fully booked from November 1 onwards and says he is doing eight to ten windows a day

Paul has been fully booked from November 1 onwards and says he is doing eight to ten windows a day

Using snow spray and silicon brushes, he turns clients' windows in to a traditional snowy winter scene

Using snow spray and silicon brushes, he turns clients’ windows in to a traditional snowy winter scene

An incredible Christmas display, costing well over £1,000, has been growing year on year and now, raises money for Bristol Children’s Hospital.

David Whittle, 67, and his wife Lynn Whittle, 65, decided to put their popular display to good cause, taking donations from members of the public.

Last Christmas, the couple from Bristol, decided to put their Lemax display in the garage for neighbours to see, but after posting pictures online, had an amazing response, causing queues of people up and down the street to see it.

The couple raised £1,102 for The Grand Appeal and Cots for Tots, who work with the Bristol Children’s Hospital, entertaining plenty of patients with their festive display in the process.

A Christmas display, costing well over £1,000, has been growing year on year and now, raises money for Bristol Children's Hospital

A Christmas display, costing well over £1,000, has been growing year on year and now, raises money for Bristol Children’s Hospital

'I've switched all the lights to LEDs this year to save on the cost of electricity and a lot of the display is battery powered,' David said

‘I’ve switched all the lights to LEDs this year to save on the cost of electricity and a lot of the display is battery powered,’ David said

David said: ‘Initially, only family and close friends had seen the collection as we used to have it in the living room, but last year we decided to open it up to the public and were absolutely blown away with the reaction.

‘We had loads of people queuing down the street to see it and decided to showcase the display for charity.

‘We raised over one thousand pounds – it was lovely. We even had two little girls donating their pocket money.

‘The collection is made up of so many pieces, easily over one thousand pounds worth. I purchase more items a couple days after Christmas when the prices get reduced.

‘I’ve switched all the lights to LEDs this year to save on the cost of electricity and a lot of the display is battery powered.

‘My grandchildren always love the display, and now a lot of the neighbours bring their kids over every day to see it once it’s all set up.’

It comes as some towns and villages known for their dazzling displays are deciding not to put up the lights this year and are cancelling popular switch-on events.

Christmas lights being axed by councils and ditched by struggling families as electricity bills soar.

Ely in Camridgeshire scrapped its display months ago as it said its typical £9,000 bill, which is likely to have increased by now, would not be a wise way to spend taxpayers’ money.

Guildford Council is also scrapping it’s switch-on event, with it’s leader saying last month that it ‘faces significant financial challenges’.

While the council is protecting the budget for its much-loved Christmas celebrations, it says it has concerns it cannot afford to accommodate the size of the crowd.

‘We cannot afford or justify value for money for such an additional significant cost,’ Council leader, Joss Bigmore, said.

Businesses, which do not have energy bill price caps, are also set to opt out of decorations. 

* Have you decorated the outside of your home for Christmas this year? Email your pictures to [email protected] 

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