The Glow Wild illuminations at Wakehurst (West Sussex) have a reputation for being magical and evocative but this year they surpassed all my expectations! The theme for 2022 is a celebration of the spectrum of colours in nature, and an invitation to explore how we see colour and the role it plays in our daily lives. It’s a very sensory experience and feels quite spiritual too.
Setting off on a magical journey
You arrive to an avenue of brightly coloured lanterns glowing gently in the dark, under the branches of great oaks and winter trees, lit up in ever-changing colours.
From here, you follow the trail and the bob of bright colours from the lanterns of those ahead. And you’re met with an array of giant and colourful insects.
Listen carefully, to the buzz of the wasps, the quiet chatter of the ladybird bugs, and the work of the dung beetle, all set against a curious musical background.
From bugs to birds, with an animated peacock and then dozens and dozens of different birds in the tree tops, some changing colour, most singing quietly.
Look out over a field of glowing lights and candles and see the illuminated deer grazing quietly in the glade underneath the moon and the stars
Then onwards ho, through a glistening tunnel of light!
The next stage of the walk allows you to unleash your imagination with different installations saying different things to different people. Do you see bats, ghosts or bells perhaps?
The path then winds and weaves its way past tree frogs and swaying mushrooms to a fantastic sound and light show beamed onto the branches of a cluster of large trees and telling the story of nature.
Finally, the lakes light up with a magical sequence of lights. From electric blue lines to brightly coloured flowers, once again, it’s a sensory sensation.
At the end of your magical journey, you arrive through a colourful arch to a Christmas market selling hot food and drink overlooked by the largest living Christmas tree in England. It feels unbelievably evocative and festive!
It’s hard to do justice in words and pictures to such a sensory and otherworldly adventure, but if you’re looking for a special Christmas experience, Glow Wild at Wakehurst has to be up there at the top of your list.
Under 4’s going free and you can book here: Glow Wild 2022
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