Lantern trail lights up the Lost Gardens of Heligan in St Austell

One of the many lanterns on display along the lantern trail

A winter lantern trail in St Austell has opened to the public at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, complete with thousands of fairly lights and fire pits.

The annual one mile route opened today (18 November), with families invited to spot wildlife, admire the lanterns and be dazzled by lights.

Laura Chesterfield, head of garden experience at the site, said walking around at night is "just beautiful".

"You just notice different things... You see beauty with, you know, a certain lens. And at night, it's just completely different. And your senses connect to different things.

People are invited to visit the garden at night to see how they experience it differently

"Like I say, the silhouettes of the trees or the patterns in the walls, or you know, what you can smell or the fire pit and the colour from that - and your senses just experience it in a different way", she added.

The trail also feels a tribute to the bereaved families supported by the Children's Hospice South West using 89 shooting stars.

But as well as lanterns and displays, there are also a phenomenal number of lights involved in the trail. One of the highlights is three turkey oak trees wrapped in fairy lights, which used around 900m of cabling.

As well as lights and lanterns, people can look out for wildlife and enjoy a hot drink

But the man in charge of setting up the trail's electric atmosphere has said he believes there are enough lights to stretch to Charleston Harbour, a distance of more than five miles.

"The team have been working relentlessly for months, since the end of September," Laura said. "So, it's a really proud weekend to open the gates, show our visitors what we've been preparing all year actually," she added.