The Lost Gardens of Heligan are one of my family’s favourite places to visit in Cornwall. They have some amazing play areas, new interactive activities on every school holiday and acres of beautiful spaces for my boys to explore and run wild in. So when we were offered tickets to the Heligan Night Garden, we all jumped at the chance.
The Heligan Night Garden has teamed up with The Lantern Company – a leading UK outdoor arts organisation which brings artists and communities together to create spectacular events. Together they’ve created a mile long route through the Heligan gardens which are lit up with the most spectacular hand painted lanterns. These beautiful lanterns celebrate the natural nocturnal British landscape – from fungi to badgers, and from dormice to foxes. They are set amongst the backdrop of trees that twinkle with fairylights, and carefully placed spotlights. Together the effect looks simply stunning against the dark night sky and completely captivated my whole family.
It was a very different experience seeing the Heligan Gardens lit up at night and what really struck me was the recognition of our often overlooked wild woodland landscape. We have such a rich biodiversity of life on our doorstep and it was a joy to see a literal light shone upon it in this way.
I was also really moved by the 89 shining shooting stars on the lawn which each represent a bereaved family who have been supported by the Children’s Hospice South West Little Harbour Hospice. The hospice is the Lost Garden of Heligan’s chosen charity of the year and I found this display really thought provoking and poignant.
We were directed along the route by several friendly members of the Heligan team who all used lit up wands to show us where to go (my children loved these!) Along the way we stopped to toast a complimentary marshmallow over the fire and sampled a particularly tasty hot dog at the BBQ Hut. They had lots of delicious sounding food and drinks on offer at several venues throughout the route – the full menu can be found here: It’s also worth mentioning that the shop at the end has some lots of lovely things in which would make brilliant Christmas presents.
We visited the Heligan Night Garden on a cold winter’s evening and were lucky that the promised rain turned out to be only a drizzle. But even if it had poured with rain, it would still have been absolutely unforgettable. The whole experience from the lanterns, to the lights and the food was a truly magical experience and one that my whole family thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend the Heligan Night Garden to anyone looking for an entrancing evening.
The Heligan Night Garden is on throughout November, December and January and tickets can be pre-booked on their website: https://www.heligan.com
Our tickets were complimentary but all views and opinions are my own.
A mum of two, Naomi Jones is a freelance editor and author of several acclaimed picture books including The Perfect Fit, One More Try, The Odd Fish and How to Catch a Rainbow.