We’ve been Westonbirt Members for a few years now and I’ve wanted to go to their Enchanted Forest event for quite a long time. The trees are lit up for Christmas and you can walk through the Old Arboretum around a set route. I’m not keen on big crowds and last year suggested that Westonbirt run a ‘quiet’ sessions for those with disabilities who may struggle with the busyness of the usual event. When I was it advertised this year I booked tickets straight away. I’d only been discharged from hospital a few days before our session and I really didn’t want to go out as I was getting used to being back at home after 3 months in hospital. My family persuaded me to go through.
Parking was easy as we were the first session of the evening, it wasn’t quite dark when we set off. We were early and as Arboretum members we had a quick wander over the treetop walkway and around the woods whilst we were waiting. The amusements you have to pass through to enter the ‘Enchanted’ wood had music playing quite loudly, so this is something they may wish to look at turning down for the ‘quiet session’ next year. The trees looked beautiful all lit up. We had fun playing with long exposure on our cameras to create weird looking photos. We weren’t rushed through the walk at all and it didn’t feel busy. The talking tree reminded me of when my daughter was small and would become hysterical at talking Christmas things like that, she could still remember the terror aged 15! There was a santa rocket launcher when you could press a button for santa to lift off (I think) It was loud and I didn’t venture onto the stand.
It was a shame the quiet session couldn’t have begun closer to darkness to get the full effect of the lit up trees, perhaps they could run 2 quiet sessions next year to accomodate people with different needs. I think if someone struggled with noise some of the attractions before the walk and within the walk itself could be turned down for the quiet session. I am grateful to Westonbirt for running the session as I don’t think I would have made it there otherwise.