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Festive magic at the Heligan Night Garden

This week the What’s on team headed out for our first festive event of the year, and what a cracker it was! As big fans of Christmas, Florence and I feel you can never start too early so we were delighted to be asked to preview the Heligan Night Garden before it opens to the public.

As soon as you arrive you are transported into an illuminated wonderland. There are Christmas trees dotted about and a tunnel of lights to run though before you enter into the Gardens. Even the car park has been imaginatively lit! We were greeted at the ticket desk by one of the friendly staff (the staff throughout the garden were so lovely and really added to the visit), and we headed off to explore.



The route begins by meandering down the Woodland Walk which is full of magical toadstools and the illuminated Giants Head. As you journey through the garden, the trees and shrubs are illuminated with colourful up-lights and delicate fairy lights, so you continuously feel part of the magical wonderland. Here you can also discover the iconic Mud Maid, gorgeously lit by a half moon and soft lanterns.



We then moved on, ducking under branches and crunching leaves underfoot, before arriving at the breath-taking umbrella installation The installations have been created by The Lantern Company, a leading outdoor arts organisation, and our pictures really don’t do justice to just how beautiful this section of the Heligan Night Garden is!


The route then takes you to the Home Farm. Some of our favourite installations were here including the beautiful barn owl, a mischievous red squirrel, and the large Frog and Lily Pad. I was particularly taken by the sow and her two piglets, a re-creation of Heligan’s own herd of Tamworth Pigs.



The Night Garden is our Winter What’s On Guide lead event and we were eager to find the little mouse who is the star of the cover! As we rounded the corner there she was, hiding in the hedge.



Next you journey around Flora’s Green and the Northern Gardens. Here there are woodland creatures exploring the environment including a stately fox surveying his surroundings and a family of snuffly hedgehogs searching for food. We also loved the bee and butterflies in the productive garden.



This being the Lost Gardens of Heligan there is a wide range of food options available. We opted for delicious pork baps from the barbecue and our first mulled wine of the year. You can see all of the options here, including the excellent marshmallow toasting!


The event includes an installation for The Lost Gardens of Heligan’s sponsored charity. Children’s Hospice South West provides hospice care for children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their whole family. This beautiful installation was deeply moving and gave space for quiet contemplation amongst the festive fun.



The Night Garden is the perfect event to get you in the festive mood this year. There were families of all ages enjoying their time in the garden, with the adults just as excited as the children (in our case more so when we found the little mouse!). There are also lantern making workshops available for those who want to get creative before exploring.


We had such a wonderful visit and finished our time by sipping hot chocolate by the fire. What a brilliant way to start the festive celebrations!




Heligan Night Garden runs from 18th November 2022 to 2nd January 2023.


All of the information about the Heligan Night Garden, including accessibility information, can be found by following this link 


You can book your tickets by clicking here


The Lost Gardens of Heligan


Heligan is one of the most mysterious estates in England. Lost to the brambles of time since the outbreak of WW1, this Sleeping Beauty was re-awakened in 1990 to become Europe’s largest garden restoration project. Today Heligan’s 200 acres are a paradise for the explorer, wildlife, plant lover and garden romantic.


Bethany is often happiest watching one of Cornwall’s brilliant theatre companies. She also loves festivals, coastal walks, and exploring Cornish history and heritage.