Giant illuminated versions of Beatrix Potter’s much-loved characters, and a 20-metre-tall multi-coloured birthday cake, with over two kilometres of lighting, will be among the highlights of Longleat’s Festival of Light this winter (November 11th – January 2nd and additional dates of 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th January 2017).
There will be glowing tableaux of Peter Rabbit’s close encounter with Mr McGregor, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle putting out her washing and Jemima Puddle-Duck looking after her ducklings.
Jeremy Fisher’s lucky escape from a gigantic trout has been recreated on Longleat lake alongside Squirrel Nutkin’s ill-fated rowing trip to collect acorns on Old Brown’s Owl Island.
The displays – which celebrate the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth – will also feature the star of her newly-discovered story, ‘The Tale of Kitty in Boots’.
This year’s festival also marks the 50th anniversary of Longleat’s world-renowned safari park and features a giant birthday cake and a huge stack of presents alongside an illuminated Christmas scene, a group of Longleat’s infamous monkeys on board a recreation of the original dragon safari boat, and an avenue of four-metre-high lions.
There is also a safari scene which includes a trio of life-size porcelain elephants, created from tens of thousands of Chinese plates, bowls, and a tower of giant giraffe.
This will be the third year running Longleat has staged the event and organisers say it will be the largest and most ambitious to date with over 2,500 individual lights, 20 km of silk, more than 30,000 bulbs and over 4km of LED lighting.
A team of highly-skilled artists from Zigong in China’s Sichuan province, which has been staging lantern festivals for more than 2,000 years, helped create the must-see event.
Other festive attractions include the Santa Trains, the all-new enchanted animated musical Christmas Tree and Arctic Corner themed playzone for kids, plus a special exhibition featuring costumes from the famous 1971 Royal Opera House ballet production of The Tales of Beatrix Potter in Longleat House
The Festival of Light at Longleat opens Fridays to Sundays from November 11th to 27th. Daily from December 1st to January 2nd (excluding Christmas Day).