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Beatrix Potter characters unwrapped at Longleat

Giant illuminated versions of Peter Rabbit, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Squirrel Nutkin are among thousands of Chinese lanterns being unwrapped at Longleat in Wiltshire in preparation for its Festival of Light event, which runs from 11th November to 2nd January.

The much-loved children’s characters will feature in a series of scenes recreating famous episodes from Beatrix Potter’s favourite stories to mark the 150th anniversary of her birth in 2016.

The figures have been handmade by a team of highly-skilled artists from Zigong in China’s Sichuan province, which has been staging lantern festivals for more than 2,000 years.

Other highlights include a 20-metre-tall birthday cake to celebrate 50 years of Longleat Safari Park, a group of Longleat’s infamous monkeys dismantling a car, and an avenue of four-metre-high lions.

There will also be a trio of huge porcelain elephants, created from tens of thousands of Chinese plates, bowls, cups and spoons.

The lanterns – many of which will have to be built on site due to their size – will create a series of massive illuminated outdoor tableaux at the Wiltshire estate.

The event is set to be the biggest ever staged in the UK and will feature over 25,000 individual lights, 20 kilometres of silk, more than 30,000 bulbs and over 4 kilometres of LED lighting.

For full details and to book a visit go to longleat.co.uk/festivaloflight

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