This is the third year in a row that my family has been to The Heligan Night Garden, an amazing winter wonderland experience, and we all agreed it was easily the best year yet.
My boys are 7 and 9, and we love coming to the Lost Gardens of Heligan in the daytime, but there was something incredibly magical about going at night. Instead of following our normal day time route, there is a special evening route which weaves its way amongst the trees and through the gardens. It is easy to follow with stewards and signs along the way. The lights and route this time were completely different to last year and full of new surprises too.
We began by walking through a glade filled with lit up stars which led us to an illuminated moon that hung above glowing fairies and a sleeping, moss covered giant. There were stunning handmade lanterns of native British creatures displayed throughout the trail that we all enjoyed spotting too – our favourites were the owl, fox, bee, kingfisher and robin.
In some places lights twinkled and sparkled over the leaves, in others giant beams shone straight up to the sky. My boys were so excited to discover what was around the next corner, that they kept running ahead – although they did stop to tell every steward they saw just how much the liked it all.
My boys were particularly excited to discover beautifully decorated Christmas trees and a snow machine in the kitchen gardens. We spent a good few minutes while they happily playing in the ‘snow’ there. They also loved toasting marshmallows over an open fire. (As a parent of a child with allergies, I was really grateful they had allergen information available so my youngest son could have one too.)
There was also a breath-taking sound and light exhibit called The Wave on Flora’s Green. It was incredibly immersive to walk beneath the changing noises and colours of the five hundred suspended orbs.
The entire trail is just over a mile long and takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to walk around – although you can go at your own pace and can do it more than once if you wish. It was cold and slightly drizzly when we went, so we wore wellies, walking boots and dry robes – my advice is definitely to dress appropriately for the Cornish winter weather!
There are several places for refreshments along the way that serve hot and cold drinks and food. We also all enjoyed a mooch in the gift shop at the end which stocks a lovely range of Christmas decorations and gifts.
The lanterns were made by The Lantern Company again this year and you can also book a Lantern Making workshop which costs £6 per child. The Heligan Night Garden runs from now until 2nd January and is open between 4.30pm-9pm every night. Tickets can be booked on their website: www.heligan.com
I really cannot recommend this year’s Heligan Night Garden highly enough, it was such a memorable, magical experience. My family and I all had a brilliant time.
Our tickets were complimentary but all views and opinions are my own.
A mum of two, Naomi Jones is a freelance editor and author. You can find out more about her on her website: www.naomiandjamesjones.com
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
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