This winter the UK’s biggest lantern festival returns to Longleat. Running from 9 November – 5 January, Festival of Light – Myths and Legends will take visitors on a thrilling odyssey to discover epic tales from around the globe.
From the heroes and villains of Ancient Greece and Norse Mythology to the spectacular Day of the Dead, the Arabian Nights and the tale of the Sword in the Stone, thousands of illuminated lanterns will bring this magical and mysterious realm to life around the beautiful grounds at Longleat.
Enter the Land of the Gods and come face to face with Zeus, Poseidon, Medusa and the Minotaur. Venture past Cerberus, the three-headed hound and gatekeeper to the Underworld, to witness Hercules battle the many-headed serpent.
Watch in awe as the monstrous Kraken emerges from the depths of Longleat’s Half-Mile Lake to overwhelm a full-sized ship, and see Jack the Giant Slayer take on his colossal foe.
Beware the troll as you step under his bridge and look out for the mischievous leprechauns and fairies of folklore inside the Fairy Garden.
This year’s Festival of Light includes more than 3,000 lanterns, crafted using 50,000 LED lights and 30,000 metres of silk. Among the legendary figures are St George slaying the mighty dragon, the trickster spider god Anansi, Atlas and King Midas with his golden touch.
The Main Square at Longleat will be dominated by a huge Tree of Life and there’s also a life-sized recreation of a palace from the Arabian Nights, alongside dozens of other spectacular, brightly-coloured, illuminated tableaux spread across the 30-acre ‘Capability’ Brown designed gardens.
Festive light shows will be projected on to the front of the house for the very first time as part of an impressive new feature. Visitors will also be able to paint their own lanterns using special light projections.
The giant, enchanted, musical Christmas Tree returns with its tale of festive joy and the Santa Trains will be transporting visitors to meet Father Christmas in his wintry woodland grotto.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the magic of storytelling with Flight Before Christmas – a unique festive experience featuring real flying owls. Plus there’s the chance to enjoy all of Longleat’s popular animal and adventure attractions, including the safari drive-through, Jungle Kingdom, Koala Creek, Jungle Cruise and Longleat hedge maze.
Plus Longleat House will be decorated in style for a 1920s Christmas to make you really feel like you have travelled back through time.
The Festival of Light – Myths and Legends opens Fridays to Sundays from 9 – 30 November and will be open daily from 1 December – 5 January (excluding Christmas Day).
Adult ticket prices range from £22.45 for an online Twilight, £31.45 for an online Standard and £34.15 for an online Peak ticket. Advance booking is essential.
• For more information, go to longleat.co.uk