Christmas at the Lost Gardens of Heligan 2023

Festive umbrellas brighten up the lost gardens! Image courtesy of The Lost Gardens of Heligan

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In Brief

Name: Christmas at the Lost Gardens of Heligan 2023
Date: Friday 17 November 2023-Tuesday 2 January 2024 (it’s on throughout December 2023!)
Type: Probably the most beautiful Christmas lights display at a Cornwall attraction!
Suitable for: Families, romantic couples and anyone who’s crackers about Christmas
Location: The Lost Gardens of Heligan, just off the B3273, Pentewan, near Mevagissey and St Austell
Price: Adults £18.50 and children £9. Under-fives go for free. The lantern-making workshops cost £6 per child


The Lost Gardens of Heligan nature attraction near Mevagissey shines at any time of the year.

The Victorian pleasure grounds and productive gardens that were thought to have been ‘lost to the brambles of time since the outbreak of the First World War’ but were rediscovered for future generations about three decades ago, are like a green and leafy paradise in the heart of Cornwall. They stretch out over 200 acres and are criss-crossed by winding woodland paths that were laid out more than 200 years ago.

But how do you make this paradise shine even brighter, especially in the cold winter months? You put on perhaps the best Christmas lights display in Cornwall 2023, that’s how. Welcome to the 2023 Heligan Christmas exravaganza!

Well, off the back of a highly illuminating 2022 light extravaganza at the attraction, the Christmas Lights at the Lost Gardens of Heligan 2023 experience is set to be a cracker. Between Friday 17 November 2023 and Tuesday 2 January 2024, the Christmas lights and ‘Heligan Night Garden’ experience should delight all ages, especially with the atmospheric lanterns all around.

A crescent moon hangs above The Lost Gardens of Heligan's famous 'mud maid' statue on the floor. The scene is at night and there are lanterns with candles in them that surround it with trees in the darkness behind it all. The mud maid is half submerged under the ground at The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall. This installation is part of its Christmas lights 2023 attractions.
A crescent moon illuminates the ‘mud maid’ next to some lanterns along this year’s Christmas walk. Image courtesy of The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The team behind the attraction invites people to ‘journey through the magical garden trail, exploring woodlands and gardens beautifully lit with installations and lanterns’ over the festive period. The venue has been working with outdoor arts organisation The Lantern Company on ‘fresh installations’ around the nighttime route.

Expect ‘a joyful family of cheeky Tamworth pigs’ alongside bees, badgers, butterflies and mushrooms to be created and delicately illuminated by The Lantern Company. The seasonal nocturnal trail is one-way only and stretches out about a mile across the accessible gardens at the much-loved attraction. Most walkers will complete it in about an hour, recommends by the team.

The team urges visitors to ‘explore at your own pace’ before you ‘stop to take in the smells, toast marshmallows by our stunning fire bowls, experience our glittering oak trees and enjoy seasonal warming takeaway refreshments and meals amid a truly festive backdrop for your winter’s evening’. We couldn’t put it better ourselves!

As it’s all outdoors at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, sturdy footwear, torches and ‘appropriate dress for the Cornish winter weather’ is encouraged. The route, says the team, is suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs but ‘it is not recommended to bring dogs’.

The Heligan Shop will also be open during these magical trail nights. Snap up some festive treats, tastings, local produce and gift ideas there. Plus, lantern-making workshops for the kids are also on the menu between 4pm and 6pm every day. Pre-booking these workshops is essential, though. You can’t just rock up and join in.

A fireball on the right, which is actually an orange sphere with a small fire crackling inside it, lights up the Heligan Night Garden. There's a sign on the left next to a Christmas tree. The scene is warm and at night at The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall as part of its Christmas lights 2023 extravaganza. There are benches here too
The Heligan Night Garden is illuminated by a fireball! Image courtesy of The Lost Gardens of Heligan

This year’s event comes off the back of a super-successful 2022 display and trail that was officially called ‘Heligan Night Garden: A Magical Winter Experience’. A spokesperson for the attraction urged the public in 2022 to ‘discover breathtaking displays of fauna and flora as we celebrate the characters of the community, all illuminated within Heligan’s much-loved and iconic locations’.

Well, that message remains the same. In short, the Christmas lights at the Lost Gardens of Heligan are anything but traditional. They are intricate works of art in the natural wilderness that await visitors at the attraction. Don’t forget your marshmallows, though. That’s where you’ll find us, for sure!

Be illuminated by beautiful works of art at the Lost Gardens of Heligan this Christmas. Get lost in lights at this stunning natural venue in the heart of the Cornish countryside. Merry Christmas!