Longleat Safari Park is a fantastic day out for all the family. Nathan and I visited before Christmas to see Longleat’s annual event – the Festival of Light. We spent the day exploring the safari park which you can read more about in my previous blog post here – be sure to check out the pictures of the naughty little monkeys surfing Nathan’s car on the safari drive through!

This year’s Festival of Light centred around two young explorers whose adventures to India, Egypt, Antartica, under the sea, outer space and more were told using the beautiful and colourful Chinese lanterns.

These were just some of the first lanterns we saw which had a medieval theme to them and I thought they were really effective lining the paths for people wandering about the park. They looked amazing in the day but by night when it was dark they really came alive and were stunning to look at!

The beginning of the light parade to us back to prehistoric times to see the dinosaurs – super effective aren’t they! They even had some lanterns that moved for added special effects!

Next, the young explorers ventured to Egypt to see the pyramids and camels! The picture of the pyramid doesn’t really do it justice – it was such a huge lantern – very impressive indeed!

I just loved these train themed lanterns – so clever the way the lampposts look so realistic but really they are just made of very thin paper-like material! It was cool too as there was steam coming out of the train making it look like smoke from the engine!

Next, we took to a colder climate and explored the artic – this made me want to visit an igloo although I think it would be rather chilly!

The jungle was our next stop with some incredible animal shaped lanterns – the leopard definitely being one of my favourite of the collection.

The explorers even made it to outer space to see the planets and some shooting stars – not somewhere I’ve been before!

Next up we were transported to India. How cute are the elephant and the lovely lilac flowers – so pretty and very effective against the dark night’s sky.

This rose reminds me of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast – just like a fairytale.

I loved the colours of the next journey, especially the bright pink fairy lights. Contrasted with the yellows I think they really stand out.

Our last stop on the light parade was to be taken under the sea to witness all the amazing sea creatures that live in the ocean. I loved all the bright colours and the characters dressed up with their little diving suits and equipment.

As part of the Christmas event, Longleat House was decorated with an Edwardian Christmas theme. No pictures were allowed inside but I can tell you that the decorations were spectacular and made us feel super Christmassy. Well worth a visit!

We were also able to see the big Christmas tree that’s full of lights that are so bright to the naked eye. Regularly throughout the day, there are light shows where the tree changes colours and patterns dance to a musical story – definitely worth the watch!

Tickets to the Festival of Light also included a chance to see the birds of prey show which was a nice watch and a fun way to end our day. It’s only short, lasting about 10 minutes, but the story is nicely told and you get to see some amazing birds flying and swooping overhead.  I always really enjoy watching birds of prey shows but also get a bit nervous in case one decides to sit (or poo!) on my head!

We really enjoyed our day at Longleat Safari Park and loved the Festival of Light. Whilst tickets are pricey, I think there is so much to see and do that it is worth the entry fee. Even better if you can, use your Tesco Clubcard points as we did and you get in for free! The lanterns are so incredible and the theme was lovely to follow. I hope to visit again next year!


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