As most of you know I am a big fan of the Lost Gardens of Heligan as a place to visit which never disappoints. I use it as a lovely spot to go for a good long walk in the woods, popping in to wear out energetic children for an hour or a day, and to soak up many of the theatrical offerings throughout the year.

The cafe is a great venue for catching up with friends, the shop is stocked with lovely things for presents and Lobbs farm shop abounds with locally produced wholesome food. What’s not to like?

It is also only 10 minutes drive from Bosinver! Entry was free on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day with donations in lieu of the ticket price. Many of our Christmas and New Year guests went on those days and all came home delighted.

Heligan's children's Christmas trailI took the four grandchildren for the afternoon when they broke up from school. They were buzzing with excitement and energy so we wasted not a moment.

Heligan's children's Christmas trailDuring the school holidays the staff manage to conjure up a host of things to keep them entertained, usually a trail with things to spot and follow as it wends its way around the gardens.

Write a letter to Father Christmas at HeliganWe had boxes to sniff with Christmassy scents, a letter to be written to Santa and posted in a gorgeous red post box to be delivered directly to the man himself, donkeys to drool over in the barn, turkeys to admire (not destined for Christmas lunch I might add, rare breeds you know!) and a host of crafts to make in the Steward’s House.

Rare breed turkeys at HeliganMy lot scattered around the lovely patient teachers and undertook to make robins, Christmas trees out of old Heligan brochures, scent jars and paper lanterns. They all loved it!

Christmas crafts at HeliganAfter being still for half an hour it was time to run them down to the rope bridge in the Jungle. They love it down there and the sense of adventure is evident.

Heligan rope bridgeWe made it back to grab some tea before the rest of the grown ups arrived to take our early evening slot for Heligan by Night. The gardens are majestically lit by renowned light artist Ulf Pedersen with colourful effects, sounds and videos and is quite breathtaking. We spent an hour taking it all in, by which time the children were worn out! It’s on until 5th January, so catch it if you can.

Heligan by Night - garden illuminations

I feel extremely blessed to have such an interesting and welcoming venue as Heligan on the doorstep and I look forward to more magical moments there in 2019. Thanks to all the wonderful staff and volunteers who work so hard to make it such a special place.

Heligan by Night

Heligan by Night runs until 5 January. You’ll need to book tickets in advance for this after-dark adventure. The first entry is at 5.30pm and the last entry at 7.30pm. The trail takes about an hour, so wrap up warm and enjoy!

There’s a selection of hot food and drink in the Heligan Kitchen if you fancy stopping for refreshments before or after you explore the garden.

Tickets are £6 (under 5s are free).

Find out more about Heligan by Night and book tickets >