It’s that time of year again, when Scotland’s forests are lit in fiery shades. Perthshire, also known as ‘Big Tree Country’, is a wonderful place to immerse yourself in spectacular autumn displays. One Perthshire forest in particular has an extra special display in store for you…
This October why not enjoy an October holiday in Perthshire and have a truly unique autumn experience at The Enchanted Forest?
Here’s what our Marketing Administrator thought of her Enchanted Forest experience last year:
The Enchanted Forest 2013
I first stumbled upon Loch Dunmore in Faskally Wood this summer during a bike ride from Pitlochry. I didn’t realise at the time that the woodland around me would be spectacularly transformed three months later into The Enchanted Forest. I remember hopping off my bike to photograph the lilies that decorated the surface of the loch, thinking that this tranquil little spot was magical. This October I returned to a very different Faskally Wood, with my husband and son in tow, and was shown exactly how magical this woodland could be.
To say that The Enchanted Forest is a light and sound show doesn’t seem to do it justice (even saying it is ‘Scotland’s premier light and sound show’). For me, it is so much more: a place where the forest is brought to life; a place to ignite imaginations; a place where magic seems to dart between the light and the shadows; a place that entrances and delights the young and the old(er!); a place I could only have dreamt of as a child.
And yet it is not just a place for children; in the two and a half hours that I was there, the ‘real world’ disappeared behind the forest and I too was drawn into a world of wonderment, completely absorbed in what I saw.
This year’s show is called exactly that – ‘absorb’ (and captivated you will be). The ‘orb’ is the central theme, with spheres providing a link between displays, from a giant moon-like sphere hanging in the trees near the entrance to the stunning display of coloured orbs dotting the loch’s surface. My favourites, though, were the globe-like spheres, guarded (and explained) by ‘druids’. At first glance they looked as if they contained a galaxy of stars but as soon as you touched the sphere it would glow; throwing light on the trees around and increasing the volume of a tinkling chime sound. Magic at your fingertips.
The creative team behind the show was led by Derek Allan, and included Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes, Scottish lighting designers. The interplay of light and sound is extremely effective and atmospheric, and the beautiful music that accompanies you around the forest is the result of an orchestral piece in collaboration with composer Jon Beales.
As much as I loved the impressive display of a section of woodland sending an array of colour and sweeping light beams into the sky, the highlight for me was the ‘Trepidation’ animated display, where images were projected onto a backdrop of rock and trees. As the images scuttled and leapt across the rock, the music galloped along in unison, bringing the animation to life. It was something quite unique and a delight to watch.
Forget the pre-bedtime ‘In the Night Garden’, this is the Night Forest – after an evening here, you know you’re sending your little ones off to sleep to dream of a world of fairies and pixies and all things enchanted. One of the loveliest things for me, with an almost-one year old son, was that this enchanted Night Forest came complete with a storytelling yurt. Cuddled on my lap, my son listened to storyteller and harpist Claire Hewitt weave her tale of a hungry clay man, along with the other enraptured children. (At the end of the story he, quite adorably, gave her a little round of applause).
As I walked around the forest, I thought how it must look through my son’s eyes – if I found the light and sound displays captivating, I can only imagine what he made of the evening. He would not have seen the lights lining the bottoms of the trees, only the spectacle of trees changing colour with beams of light, as if commanded by the music. He wouldn’t have seen a bridge strung with fairy lights but a magical walkway lighting up the darkness. He would have seen only flickering, floating orbs of light; pairs of blue eyes peering from behind trees; spheres of twinkling stars that glowed when touched; a forest dancing with colour and singing in his ear. A darkness that wasn’t dark, a night time full of light. I watched his little face as we explored the woodland – and it was the face of someone truly enchanted.
This post was written by Emma Gibb, Marketing Administrator for EmbraceScotland/ASSC.