Light Festivals

Blackpool Illuminations
The grandaddy of them all, this is hailed as the greatest (and largest) free light show in the world (to 5 Nov). On full beam since 1879, and growing steadily since then, more than one million bulbs span six miles of this northern seaside resort, plus there are stunning 3D projection shows on the front of Blackpool Tower each night. Enjoy a taste of history with an illuminated tour, along the Pleasure Beach Loop, on board an Art Deco heritage tram.

Longleat Safari Park 
This family-favourite destination is best known for its resident lions, tigers and
giraffes – you’ll see them all if you take a drive-through safari. But this season sees illuminating 
events starting with Fantastic Fireworks (26-28 Oct), a dazzling display against the majestic backdrop of the Elizabethan-era Longleat House. Next month, its famous The Festival of Light festival (selected dates from 5 Nov) brings to life the magic of storytelling, with huge Chinese lanterns of famous characters transforming the gardens into a wonderland.

Lumiere Durham 
Ingenuity meets illuminations at this breathtaking event, where artists create works to light up public spaces and buildings (16-19 Nov). In 2015, when the event was last held in the north-eastern city of Durham, a record 200,000 visitors enjoyed the event: gazing at light installations including an interactive projection on to Durham Cathedral; and enjoying a ‘whale’ in the River Wear. Whatever creations this year’s festival brings, they will doubtless leave you wired.

Magic Lantern Festival 
If you’re in London later this year, make sure you visit Chiswick House and Gardens. It’s a beautiful place to visit any time of the year, but during the Magical Lantern Festival (from 24 Nov) it becomes even more dazzling. This year’s display is themed around Christmas – follow an illuminated trail through the 18th-century gardens filled with lakes, woodland and pathways. The installation includes giant, brightly coloured lanterns and sculptures, plus food and drink stalls and
plenty of fairground rides.

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