Angelsey Abbey

Anglesey Abbey is located about 7 miles east of Cambridge, just off the A14. From Cambridge take the A14 going east, turn off at the Burwell Rd (B1102) turning, drive through Burwell, and as you enter the village of Lode, Angelsey Abbey is on your left.

The Abbey is operated by the National Trust, and so entry is (usually) free to National Trust members. I cannot speak about the Abbey itself, entry to the building has been restricted since the Covid-19 pandemic, and whilst the house/abbey and mill are now open, we haven’t as yet taken the opportunity to view them, but the gardens are a fabulous scenic and serene environment.

We have been round the gardens on a number of occassions. In particular we have experienced the ‘snowdrop‘ walk in early spring, and the Christmas light show – which is principle focus of this page – on two occassions.

Christmas Lights

Every year, commencing early December, and running through to the week before Christmas, Angelsey Abbey sets out a Christmas light show around their gardens. The show is magnificent, atmospheric, magical and provides an excellent photograhic opportunity.

The only real issues surrounding the event, are its popularity. The tickets go on sale usually late summer early autumn, and are sold out in days, if not hours, so you do have to keep watching out for when they become available. And, for taking pictures at night, the number of visitors. The number of people admitted is time controlled, and it is not packed, but even so it is still busy enough to disrupt getting the shot you would like. Plus, to get really sharp images will require a tripod, as even at high ISO settings, shutter speeds will rarely be faster than 1/10 sec, and, of course, setting up a tripod in the dark without obstructing or inconvenicing the other visitors is time consuming, but do not let that disuade you, it really is a stunning visual experience, and provides for some terrific photo opportunities.

For myself, I do not take a tripod. Instead I wind the ISO up to 2000, accept that there will be some bluring / camera shake, but I am not looking to obtain magazine publication focus levels, just trying to capture some of the imagry of the display.

One point to note. I mentioned above that the estate is operated by the National Trust and entry is usually free to National Trust members. That used to be true for the Christmas Lights display as well. However for 2021 the event was sub-contracted to a third party organiser and is no longer free to members, indeed not even a reduced rate. I would anticipate that being the case going forward.

The sets of images below are from 2021 and 2019 repectively – enjoy

December 2021

December 2019