Longleat lights celebrate Beatrix Potter anniversary

The Festival of Light at Longleat will bring the curtain down on the safari park’s 50th birthday celebrations – and mark 150 years of Beatrix Potter.

Running on selected dates from November 11 to January 2, the Chinese lantern spectacular will combine safari animals with some of the author’s famous characters including Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Squirrel Nutkin.

The Festival of Light launched in 2014 with hundreds of illuminated designs – some measuring up to 20 metres in height and 70 metres in length – and helped to transform the Wiltshire estate into a “glowing winter wonderland”.

About 40 types of animals, from rabbits to lions, will be depicted with 2,500 lanterns for this year’s light show.

The single biggest illumination will be a cake measuring 20 metres high and 12 metres wide.

Another highlight will be three elephants made of porcelain pieces from 30,000 Chinese rice wine cups, tea cups, fish dishes, plates and Chinese soup spoons.

The Festival of Light will again run alongside Longleat’s traditional Christmas celebrations, which includes a new giant musical Christmas tree show.

Longleat House will be decorated for an Edwardian Christmas and feature some of the costumes from Royal Ballet production from the tales of Beatrix Potter.

Picture shows Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit being unwrapped at Longleat. Picture by P. Mumby