Visitors to Bristol International Balloon Fiesta are being greeted by an illuminated elephant and a sparkling stag as part of a display by Longleat Safari & Adventure Park.

The Wiltshire attraction is previewing its spectacular Christmas Festival of Light at the Ashton Court event with the help of a trio of giant Chinese lanterns crafted in to the shapes of an elephant, a stag and a peacock.

The animal figures, which are filled with LED lights, were handmade in China and flown over to the UK this week for the Balloon Fiesta.

Longleat’s Steve Mytton said: “We asked the team who are creating the Festival of Light if they could provide us with some preview lanterns which we could bring to the event and they literally arrived on a flight from China this week.

“These are among the smallest displays which will form part of our Festival of Light event – the ones we will be getting for Christmas are up to 10 times larger - but they’re still attracting lots of attention,” he added.

The Festival of Light will see hundreds of enormous illuminated features, some measuring up to 18 metres in height, transform the Wiltshire estate in to a glowing wonderland.

Starting in November and running into January, the display will cover more than 30 acres and feature a variety of traditional Chinese designs including dragons and pagodas alongside giant recreations of some of Longleat Safari Park’s famous animals.

Filled with thousands of LED lights and handmade by a team of 50 highly-skilled craftsmen, the lanterns will recreate a world of Chinese myths and legends with individual designs higher than a two-storey house.