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It’s no secret that in our house we *love* The Enchanted Forest. Based up in Pitlochry, it’s a complete gem of an annual event that we have attended as often as we can since we relocated to Dundee almost five years ago. I’ve written about it before on this blog as part of an outfit post back in 2017, but today I just want to focus on the event itself. It was spectacular this year, far more involved than just a light show, and after visiting so often I think it’s high time The Enchanted Forest had it’s own post!
The Enchanted Forest has had its home in Faskally Wood, part of the overall Tay Forest Park, since 2010. Run by The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, the event is part of a wider intention to celebrate the Pitlochry area and give back to the local community. They also partner and support different charities every year, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, PKAVS and Guide Dogs Scotland were their confirmed partners for 2019.
Each year the show is based around a different theme and this year that theme is ‘Cosmos’, encouraging visitors to experience the vastness of space – there’s even a geodome that takes you on a trek through the stars – and take inspiration from the stars as viewed through the tree canopy of the forest. A team of artists, lighting, and sound designers use the theme as their own inspiration, and get to work creating an immersive experience based on the unique landscape of the forest and lake itself.
One of the very first sights that greeted us as we embarked on our journey through the cosmos was a huge glowing model of the moon suspended above the lake. Just beyond it a similarly massive model of Earth was set amidst a blanket of twinkling lights in a hollow of the forest. This was definitely my favourite feature of the whole show, I especially loved the lunar reflection in the water and how you could linger to gaze at the earth from all angles.
Another aspect I really liked about this year were the interactive elements; in one corner of the forest you can listen out for messages from space through a vast network of conduits and cones. Then in another, you can compose your own otherworldly music on huge light up tubes.
This wouldn’t be a proper write up if I didn’t talk about the food and drink! Our first stop was to toast some marshmallows around a bonfire, which tasted absolutely divine. A small word of caution though, the marshmallows get incredibly hot so if you have go then be very careful. You can’t take your own marshmallows to the forest, and they are £2.50 to buy whilst there.
About three quarters of the way around the lake we stopped for hotdogs and mulled wine at the campfire. Then, just as we were finishing up, we were treated to a folktale and fire eating display which was a complete surprise but a lovely treat. Again, the cost of the food and wine here is – much like the marshmallows – a little on the high side. This is to be expected at an event like this one and I didn’t begrudge paying it, but if you’re planning to eat whilst there then I just want to prepare you.
I don’t want to reveal all the secrets of The Enchanted Forest and spoil the show in case you are intending to go before it closes. But if you weren’t lucky enough to get your hands on tickets this year, or you fancy giving it a try for the first time in 2020, then next years tickets are already available to buy. It’s a such a wonderful experience that delivers every year, and it’s for a great cause, I can’t recommend it enough.