Are you needing to get into the Christmas spirit? If so, the Longleat Festival of Light is sure to bring festive cheer and wonder to even the Grinchiest of souls!
This glowing walk through light trail in Wiltshire is certainly a sight to behold, with it’s ginormous show-stopping lanterns and dazzling light displays as far as the eyes can see.
So grab your winter coat and wrap up warm, ready to soak in all the festive atmosphere Longleat Safari Park has to offer!
In this article...
How much are tickets for Longleat’s Festival of Light?
This year there are 3 types of tickets to chose from for the Festival of Light:
- Day ticket with the safari
- Day ticket without the safari
- Twilight ticket
The prices vary depending on whether you require a full day ticket to explore the entirety of the park, or if you’re happy purchasing a slightly cheaper ‘twilight’ ticket, which gives you entry from 3pm for the Festival of Light. There are peak and off-peak pricing options too. But in all cases, under 3’s go free!
|Peak – All Day
|Peak (Non safari) day
|Off-peak (Non Safari) day
With no discounted family ticket options available, an all day trip to Longleat Safari Park can work out pretty costly at £174.80 for a family of 4. Whereas the peak twilight ticket will come in at £104.80, which may make this trip a little more accessible for some.
It’s also worth mentioning there are some optional additional charges once you’re in too! Like the Santa train for example, but we will get to that later.
What is there to do at Longleat safari park?
Longleat is actually the UK’s OG safari ! In 1966, it became the first drive through safari park to open outside of Africa!
Other than enjoying the festival of Light, you can carefully drive your own car through the animal safari where you will pass elephants, lions, tigers, deers and wolves. You’ll also have the option to cruise through Monkey Mayhem, where you’ll likely experience a cheeky monkey perched on your bonnet whilst another clambers along your roof. Just be aware, these monkeys have been known to peel off wiper blades like banana skins. So, if you’re particularly precious about your car, you may wish to bypass a trip through the chaos that can sometimes be caused in Monkey Mayhem!
Other than the Safari, house and array of animals to see and learn about. There is a huge park for the kids, a fun Rockin’ Rhino ride, plus the chance to take a ride on the train and boat. You’ll also find the largest maze in all of Britain here!
Longleat is vast and there’s loads to explore. The safari itself can take 2-3 hours to complete, so you can easily spend an entire day here.
Top tip: To avoid becoming the lions lunch, motorbikes and soft top cars aren’t allowed to drive through the safari.
What’s the address for Longleat safari park?
Longleat is just off the A36 between the picturesque city of Bath and Salisbury. As you get closer to Longleat, you’ll see plenty of brown tourist signs to help guide you the rest of the way. Or, tap the following postcode straight in to your google maps:
Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW
How long is the Festival of Light on for?
The festival of light only runs for a few months out of the year. Opening on selected dates between 11th November 2023 – 7th January 2024. Head over to the Longleat website to see which days they are open.
What is Longleat’s Festival of Light?
The Festival of Light is an immersive walking trail which winds it’s away around the grounds of Longleat Safari Park. This year the light trail has 1500 exciting and incredibly detailed glowing lanterns, with some stretching over 15 meters high! Plus theres other impressive light shows to admire too, like the enchanted Christmas Tree show.
Every year they unveil a different theme for their Festival of Light, so if you’ve been before – know that it will be a different theme the following year.
What is the 2023 theme at Longleat?
The 2023 Festival of Light is named Treasured Tales, so get ready to step into all of your favourite childhood books this year. The epic displays will include scenes from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Cinderella, Snow White, and The Wizard of Oz to name a few!
My photos are from a previous year, where the theme was ‘Myths & Legends’.
Are dogs allowed?
As Longleat is a safari and home to many animals. No dogs (or pets of any sort) are allowed.
Do you have to pay to park
There is no additional charge for parking at Longleat, its included in your ticket price.
Longlest Festival of Light blue light card holder discount
Longleat offer a discount to any blue light card holders when tickets are prebooked online in advance.
|Day ticket peak
|Day ticket off-peak
They offer a blue light discount on the twilight tickets too, plus you get earlier access than the regular twilight tickets with entry from 11am instead of 3pm.
|Twilight – Peak
Whats the Enchanted Christmas Tree show?
Be sure to head over to the Enchanted Christmas Tree during your visit to The Festival of Light. Illuminated with over 88,000 twinkling fairy lights, this singing christmas tree stands a whopping 15 meter high! This year the tree has been fitted with multiple snow machines to provide you with a magical flutter of snow and even more Christmas cheer.
The Enchanted Christmas Tree show has a duration of 15 minutes, which is repeated every 20 minutes between 3:30pm-7:10pm.
Can you drive the safari with a Festival of Light ticket?
You’ll be able to drive the 6.5 mile safari with your Festival of Light safari day ticket. It’s worth remembering that during the winter, last entry for the drive-through Safari is at 2pm. The safari is unavailable for people who have booked ‘non safari’ and ‘twilight’ tickets.
Top Tip: Some of the animals don’t enjoy the cold too much, and will be snuggled up inside in the warm. Which means you may not see quite so many out and about on the winter safari!
Is the Santa train an extra charge at Longleat?
Fancy a quick trip to the North Pole whilst you’re here? Then you’ll need to fork out even more money, as a ticket for the Santa Train is an additional cost on top of your Festival of Light ticket. Adult tickets for the Santa train are £6.95 each, and children are £22.50 each.
For the adults, the train ride to visit Father Christmas includes a hot chocolate and a mince pie. Whereas the children’s tickets will include a gift instead. If you’re bringing a baby along (who doesn’t require a gift) then they wont need a train ticket and can stay bundled up in your arms for the ride.
Longleat Christmas light show
Back again, but this year it’s bigger and better! This dazzling light show is synchronised to music and projected onto the front of Longleat House – a little bit like the Saks light show in NYC! Plus, there’s even more magic to be found at the all new fountain show on half mile pond.
How long do you need to spend at the Festival of Light?
You’ll probably find you’ll be here for the majority of your twilight ticket. Even though the lights get switched on around 3:30pm, the Festival of Light comes alive once the night sky turns dark. I would advise to allow 2-3 hours to see it all.
Food options at the Festival of Light
Around the main square you’ll find seasonal pop up stalls offering some tasty takeaway options like hot dogs, dirty fries and loaded nachos. There’s vegan options on the menu too, and nearby you can tuck into something sweet with some mouthwatering churros!
Or you could head over to Pizza Piazza for a delicious little slice of Italy, and if you’re looking for somewhere warm to sit down, the regular cafes are open too.
Is the Festival of Light wheelchair friendly?
The majority of the Festival of Light takes you along flat, concrete paths. Making it accessible for wheelchair users and pushchairs.
Places to stay near Longleat’s Festival of Light
Longleat has a few fabulous accommodation options on site. I think the best one looks like ‘Keepers House’ or ‘Keepers Cottage’ which is situated in the heart of the safari! Imagine waking up and seeing a zebra right outside of your window?!
Theres also Longleat Centre Parcs just down the road, although I recommend booking well in advance as the lodges get snapped up quickly.
Top tips for visiting the Festival of Light
To help you be extra prepared for your trip, here’s a few tips:
- The cheaper twilight tickets sell out fast, book early if you want one.
- Be sure to prebook your Santa train tickets. You cant just turn up on the day and they aren’t included in your entry fee.
- Don’t miss watching the Enchanted Christmas Tree show – it’s really beautiful.
- Expect everywhere to get extra busy from 3pm when all the twilight ticket holders start to arrive!
- Some attractions like the Lorikeet Aviary, Boat Safari and the Maze, will close before the Park does (they wont open in the dark).
- To help beat the queues, order food before the influx of twilight guests arrive.
- The catering areas and shops are only accepting debit card/credit card/smartphone payments.
- It’s a good idea to pack a power bank in your bag. You don’t want your phone battery to run out with all the photos you’re going to be taking.
Longleat Safari Park is a special destination for a family day out, and there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll make heaps of lovely memories together here. Yes, it might be a bit of a splurge for a day trip. But the sheer magic and wonder of the place, especially during the immersive Festival of Light, makes it a unique experience that’s sure to captivate everyone, young and old alike.
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