Wondrous Woods

Walk the Lighting Trail at Hopetoun House

Lothian Life emerged joyfully (and moderately unscathed) from lockdown on Tuesday to walk the (masked, socially trail) of autumn lights in the gardens of Hopetoun House.

Starting and finishing at the House, the beautifully lit 2km woodland trail begins through the wrought iron gates to the north, leading through the unique and unseen areas of the grounds of Hopetoun.

The track winds through hidden pathways amongst ancient woodlands, clearings and past the old summerhouse before leading back via the Lime Avenue. From talking tree shadows, and spooky, smoky Halloween spectres; to fairy lands and flights of owls, there’s a musical accompaniment that varies from eerie to disco, from soothing to uplifting.

Quite simply, it’s a magical evening walk that takes an hour or so of gentle wandering, and with a refreshment area en route. The nine and ten year olds would have gone around again if let – a high accolade from small boys – their only criticism that the hot chocolate was disappointingly weak and the marshmallows too sickly. The adults were simply delighted (and somewhat disoriented!) to be out in the fresh air, in beautiful, peaceful surroundings.

By day, Hopetoun is a thriving 6,500 acre estate, well known for its farming, hospitality venue and as a good day-out. By night the team at 21CC Group have made it something very special indeed

Make sure you have plenty of time (and a car) to get there, and be aware that only some of the walk is wood-chipped or paved – it was very muddy in places. Social distancing is firmly in place, masks encouraged, and there’s hand sanitiser points along the way.

Highly recommended. October 21st– November 15th

Tickets: https://wondrouswoods.seetickets.com/tour/wondrous-woods

Website: https://www.wondrouswoods.com/

Professional photographs courtesy of Rankine Photography

(and extra credit to Edward and Simon whose pictures, video footage and personal sound effects really added to the experience!)

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