Wiltshire Publications

Longleat balloon fiesta

Longleat's balloon spectacle.

Longleat’s balloon spectacle.

Visitors to Bristol International Balloon Fiesta were greeted by an illuminated elephant and a sparkling stag as part of a special display by Longleat Safari & Adventure Park.

Longleat previewed its spectacular Christmas Festival of Light at the Ashton Court event with the help of a trio of giant Chinese lanterns crafted in to the shapes of an elephant, a stag and a peacock.

The animal figures, which are filled with LED lights, were handmade by craftsmen in China and flown over to the UK recently especially for the Balloon Fiesta.

Longleat’s Steve Mytton said, “We asked the team who created the Festival of Light if they could provide us with some preview lanterns which we could bring to the event and they arrived on a flight from China in time. These are among the smallest displays which will form part of our Festival of Light event – the ones we will be getting for Christmas are up to 10 times larger – but they’re still attracting lots of attention.”

The Festival of Light will see hundreds of enormous illuminated features, some measuring up to 18 metres in height, transform the Longleat estate in to a glowing wonderland.

Starting in November and running into January, the unique display will cover more than 30 acres and feature a variety of traditional Chinese designs including dragons and pagodas alongside giant recreations of some of Longleat Safari Park’s famous animals.

Filled with thousands of LED lights and handmade on location by a team of 50 highly-skilled craftsmen, the lanterns will recreate a magical world of Chinese myths and legends with incredibly-detailed individual designs reaching well beyond the height of a two-storey house.