Sunday, 2 December 2012

Enchanted Woodland: A Garden At Night

Enchanted Woodland

What a treat.  A night time walk in an enchanted garden, full of light, shadow, glimpses of majestic trees and other delights.  I couldn’t think of anything that could be more charming.

After dressing for the Arctic, we were stuck in London Friday night traffic for 50 minutes on our way there and my 7 year old decided that it really was a waste of time. He much rather be watching his favourite TV programmes.  Great start to our night trip to Syon Park in Isleworth to visit their ‘Enchanted Woodland’.  But please don’t worry, from the time he saw the search lights from the garden in the sky and even the  lights from the under belly of the planes en route to Heathrow, to meeting his friends, his excitement could hardly be contained.

There is no doubt that there is something very magical about a garden, particularly a large garden, at night.  This time of year we all tend to hibernate come dusk.  Night time trips are quite rare for my son.  Although I am all for wrapping up and getting outside there aren’t many winter evenings when we actually manage it.

I have visited the garden at Syon Park quite a few times, but never in the dark.  The Enchanted Woodland had come highly recommended and it did live up to all expectations.

winter wonderland

The garden was full of coloured lights of all shapes, sizes and types.  The reflections from the lit up trees in the water of the lake were simply quite stunning.  The route around the garden was about a mile.  It took us over an hour and a half, such was the level of interest from everyone.

kids looking in dragons den
There were constant delights for the children.  One of their favourites was the Dragons Den with its very own sound effects.
shadow acreen

A large shadow screen held all our attention for quite some time.  What a good idea. I have never done this outdoors before.  We could also view other families shadows from the other side of the lake, very spooky and surreal.

happy children in a nightimegarden

The tree and their structures were not the only ones lit up.  The children enjoyed being seen in different colours as well.

lit up tree

This children named this little display jurassic cove.  It really did look prehistoric and gunnera leaves next door helped to set the scene.

tree at night with birdcages and butterflies
The crowning glory of Syon Park Gardens in most definitely the Great Conservatory.  Our winter walk ended there with a tasteful light show and music.  The children had a dance, while the adults sat around mesmerised by the effect of the light and sound on this magnificent structure.  Our evening was then topped off by that winter essential -  mugs of hot chocolate. Perfection.
If anyone else has visited I would love to hear their views?  Are there any other similar events taking place in other areas of the country, because it really was a rather magical evening.
I am linking up this post with Learning for Life where you can find out what other families have been up to outdoors. 


  1. ohh that looks fantastic, I have never been to anything like this or heard about anything around near me but wow it does look and sound wonderful! :)

  2. I have never heard of anything like this but I would love to go, what a magical looking place indeed! Do they do anything special for Christmas?

  3. Such a cool idea. I would love it!

  4. Looks like some of the other Landscape Gardens are missing a trick here. Syon Park only set this up for a few weekends in the winter. A clever way to bring people into the garden at this time of year.

  5. Oh wow, it sounds very cool. I'd love to visit something like that.

  6. Thank you so much for adding this to the outdoor play party. I just love this idea & wish more big gardens would think of doing this for people to enjoy them in all seasons. Kierna

  7. How fab is that, wish we lived closer!

  8. Gorgeous park, my boys would love it, but we are a bit too far away. I'd love to recreate the shadow puppets in the garden though that'd be awesome! Stopping by from The Outdoor Play Party

  9. Thanks for the comments from those of you following the outdoor play party. This really was a very easy way to play outside - perfect for this time of year. All ages would love it.

  10. Hello, I'm stopping by again from Making Boys Men to let you know that I'm featuring your post tomorrow on The Outdoor Play Party. Feel free to pick up a featured button. Merry Christmas!


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