Longleat’s 50th Anniversary: The Festival of Light 2016

This year is looking BRIGHTER than BRIGHT!

As Longleat Safari Park’s glorious 50th year draws to a close, they certainly aren’t slowing down on the celebrations. In fact, on the 11th November, Longleat’s most dazzling spectacle will bask in Wiltshire’s tranquil countryside – yes you guessed it, the Festival of Light is back.

At Bishopstrow, another of the stunning Longleat country houses Wiltshire has to offer, we can’t wait for all the fun of then fair to arrive at Longleat. This year’s lantern display promises to be bigger and better than ever before with lanterns measuring up to 20 metres, and others as long as 70 metres! The theme of the lanterns this year sees the residents of the park taking centre stage, with lanterns representing a wide and wonderful range of the animals that call the park home. While you wander through the glittering paradise of paper lanterns, why don’t you try and spot a few of Longleat’s favourite inhabitants among the glowing lights…

Lions

These magnificent eight should be too hard to spot… Lions were the very first furry residents to arrive at Longleat Safari Park back in 1966, and as such their glowing homage will take pride of place (see what we did there?) at the grand entrance to the festival. As it stands, there are two prides of lions that currently call Longleat home- but there wasn’t quite enough paper or lights to make two entire prides! So, eight lion lantern will simply have to do.

Tigers

Longleat Safari Park is home to three beautiful female tigers, who can all be pretty elusive when they’re wandering around their enclosure, but let’s hope their shimmering reincarnations aren’t as hard to find!

Monkeys

Some members of the Longleat family that aren’t so hard to spot are the monkeys! From the teeny tiny marmosets and tamarins that call the ruins of Monkey Temple home, to the troupe of rhesus macaques that patrol the Wiltshire wilderness of the safari park, Longleat is home to many a cheeky primate. As cute as the real thing may be- at least the lanterns wont steal the parking sensor off your car!

Rhinos

These beasts won’t be too hard to find; they are enormous! Longleat’s ‘crash’ of Southern White Rhinos, Nanju, Marashi, Razina and Ebun make quite the spectacle when they are charging around the park and will be just as impressive in paper lantern form!

Elephants

Anne the Elephant is one of the most treasured members of the Longleat family and so there couldn’t be a festival that she didn’t feature in. See if you can spot numerous elephants, both realistic and artistic, throughout the festival that pay homage to rescued circus elephant Anne.

Camels

There are a few Bactrian camels at Longleat, always looking comical with their wibbly-wobbly humps- see if you can spot their lantern likeness!

Zebras & Giraffes

In the African Walking Village, visitors to Longleat are encouraged to get out of the car and get up close and personal with some of the park’s favourite frolicking friends- the Rothschild’s giraffes and Grant’s zebras. And you’ll be able to get even closer to their paper lantern counterparts- but maybe don’t try to feed those ones…

Gorillas

See Longleat’s band of lowland gorillas like never before. Somewhere hidden among the myriad glowing masterpieces, you may find the likeness of brothers Kesho, Evindi and Alf looking just as impressive in light as they do in life.

Deer

There have been deer at Longleat for far longer than 50 years, in fact the deer park dates all the way back to 16th century! The Estate is now home to three types of deer; red deer, fallow deer and the more unusual Pere David’s deer. see if you can spot their light up likeness somewhere in all of the lantern madness!

Beatrix Potter!?

OK, so Beatrix Potter doesn’t call Longleat home, but in her 150th anniversary year it seems to fit to pay homage to the well-loved children’s author and illustrator. See if you can spot Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, and watch out for Mr McGregor!

If you can’t wait to start planning your trip to Longleat’s lantern filled Wiltshire wonderland, then Bishopstrow provides the perfect accommodation near Longleat from which you can base your adventure. Book direct for our best rates or call us today on 01985 878946 to enquire.

Pssst! You can find out more about the amazing 50th Anniversary Festival of Light here.

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