As the temperatures drop and the crisp winter months move in, the dark skies make glittering lights look even brighter.

Longleat’s annual Festival of Light takes full advantage of its naturally magical backdrop to bring something special to the festive season.

Taking place from November 5 until January 7, 2018, the theme of this year’s event is The Magic of Storytelling. Set in a ‘Once upon a time’ land of wonder and magic, anything is possible and new surprises lie around every corner.

Days out at Longleat

Longleat’s Festival of Light offers a double whammy of fun. Each day ticket entitles guests to visit the popular Longleat House and Safari Park as well as attend the evening festival. If you’re setting off from Essex, this is great news as its means you’ll get maximum value out of the trek up to Wiltshire.

longleat's festival of light

For an additional fee you can also hop aboard the Santa Train and take a trip past the picturesque Half-Mile Lake to meet the man in red himself in his enchanted snow-covered winter wonderland (pre-booking essential).

The Longleat Festival of Lights

After spending a day with the animals and attractions at the safari park, the ‘main event’ begins at roughly 4.00pm as the lanterns are turned on (this can vary slightly depending on daylight hours).

Visitors can expect far more than a few fairy lights. At Longleat, large-scale 20m high exhibits glow against the night sky. Drawing inspiration from classic tales, these giant Chinese lanterns will transport you into a world of fantasy where mermaids swim, firebirds fly and dragons roar!

longleat's festival of light

Clearly a huge amount of effort goes into designing and preparing the displays. There are usually plenty of gasps and wows of amazement, particularly from children. It’s a wonderful experience for little ones, with all the spectacle of fireworks, but without any of the scary bangs and explosions. It’s truly stunning for adults and children alike.

Visiting Longleat’s Festival of Light

Our top tip for the event would be to pack plenty of extra layers of clothing as the lantern route is entirely outdoors and it can get very cold at dusk. If you don’t want to end up paying the usual attraction-inflated meal costs, a well-stocked picnic would be a good idea as well!

To find out more and to book, visit