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From the Blog

Be enchanted by these dazzling winter light festivals

Posted by Sophie Hesp on Updated on

Wrap up warm as spectacular shows light up the skies

From mesmerising lanterns and high-tech light performances to traditional Christmas switch-ons and bustling festive markets, the South West has plenty of dazzling events lined up for you to enjoy in the run-up to Christmas. We’ve rounded up our five festive favourites:

Mousehole Harbour Lights


Now in its 55th year, the Mousehole Harbour Lights switch-on promises to fill Mousehole’s streets with colour, sparkle and plenty of Cornish tradition. Held on 15th December 2018, the festival will feature an open-air Carolaire service at the North Quay, where the Mousehole Male Voice Choir will sing long into the night.

Beautiful floating light displays bobbing on the water pay homage to a handful of Cornish legends, including the Mousehole Cat and the fisherman’s favourite – Star Gazey Pie. The glittering Christmas switch-on is from 6:30pm, celebrating the run-up to the big day with a grand countdown, after which the lights will be lit every evening from 16th December until 4th January.

Just a short walk from the enchanting Christmas switch-on and occupying an exclusive position above the charming Mousehole harbour, Porth Enys House is a tranquil spot to host cosy winter getaways and watch the world sail by.

Illuminated Gardens at Saltram


© Baz Richardson via Flickr

Embrace the wintery magic of Christmas with a stroll around the illuminated gardens at Saltram. From 22nd November 2018, the National Trust house and grounds in Devon will be transformed into a glistening winter wonderland, with late opening hours and spectacular light shows inspired by well-known fairy tales.

As night falls and the lights begin to glow, set off on a woodland walk in the beautiful Devon countryside and admire the magically decorated house, as leaves crunch underfoot. Head back to the Winter Courtyard Café to indulge in some seasonal menu favourites surrounded by family, friends and plenty of festive spirit.

Less than a 40 minute drive from Saltram sits a beautifully designed holiday home with glistening sea views across Burgh Island. Avocet is bright, spacious and truly unique – a fantastic seaside home for making fond holiday memories.

Longleat’s Festival of Light


This winter at Longleat Safari Park, embark on a thrilling expedition around the world and discover magnificent creatures and beautiful scenery through a collection of stunning Chinese lanterns. Longleat’s 2018 Festival of Light is titled A Fantastic Voyage, and the illuminating line-up is set to feature gargantuan dinosaurs, singing Christmas trees, a towering 20 metre high pyramid and a wondrous hot air balloon suspended amongst the clouds.

An impressive spectacle for adults and children alike, an immersive trail of big, bold and beautiful lanterns will guide the way from one eye-catching display to the next, stealing the show with the wintery velvet sky as their backdrop.

Candlelit Dartmouth


For a truly festive weekend, Candlelit Dartmouth is returning for another year and bringing with it great music, fabulous Christmas markets and a bustling seasonal atmosphere. From 30thNovember in Dartmouth’s Royal Avenue Gardens, the event kicks off with carol singing around the Christmas tree, before entertainers take to Dartmouth’s streets and lead everyone to the Boatfloat to eagerly await Father Christmas – arriving by boat in true Dartmouth style.

There’s a ‘best dressed Christmas dog’ competition for animal lovers, as well as a craft market selling beautiful homemade wares. Dartmouth is also home to the spectacular firework display held at the River Dart Country Park on 3rd November 2018, where fire performers, a grand bonfire and a series of dare devil activities will help you kick off the winter season with a bang.

The Eden Project’s winter festival


Set to be an unforgettable visual feast, the Eden Project’s winter festival is brand new for 2018 and promises giant projections, playful light sculptures and live music as part of the magical after-dark Christmas experience.

Enjoy the menu of seasonal food and drink in the Eden cafés or get your skates on and head to the rink for a few laps on the ice. With late opening on selected evenings from 24th November - 20th December, the event promises a sparkling spectacle for all ages, with more details from the Eden team coming soon.

For more information or to discuss any of our properties in more detail with a member of our team, call us on 01208 895 570.


Posted by Sophie Hesp

When she's not out for a roast by the coast, Sophie loves exploring with her partner and their golden retriever pup, Obi. She writes about all things Cornwall and is a strong believer that there’s no such thing as too many house plants.

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