Enchanted Illuminations

benchEnchanted Illuminations at Abbotsbury

The last two weeks of October brings the annual Enchanted Illuminations at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens.  The route around the gardens is well marked and  you get to see the gardens in a completely different “light”.

The Sub-Tropical Gardens at Abbotsbury are celebrating their 250th Anniversary this year and have really put on a superb display for all to enjoy.

On arrival at the car park it can be very dark, should you drop your keys (as I did) advice is to wear a stout pair of shoes or walking boots and bring a torch so that you can find our way back to the car later on.


Walking in through the entrance of the gardens at night was like walking into a different world…..sort of drifting into a forgotten, enchanted time where bedtime stories are reality and where the fairies really are at the bottom of the garden and the pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow………



With the wonderful subtropical gardens in illuminated showing all their splendour the, beauty, peace and tranquility of the gardens can be enjoyed at a very leisurely pace.  We arrived just after dark
as this is when the lights will be at their best. The enchanted illuminations give a route around the gardens that is well marked and lined with candle lit lanterns adding to the haunting, yet beautiful atmosphere.

One route is very easy to negotiate and has been designed with wheelchair access.

bridgepondThe other, longer, route is not challenging, but does have some steps and a couple of slopes to negotiate that are found along the “secret path” – along the secret path look out for a sign that says “To Floodlit St Catherine’s Chapel” – this takes you along to a dead end and with a bit of head scratching just turn to your left and look up through a gap in the canopy of  the trees and you will see St Catherine’s Chapel floodlit up on the hill above. The time taken to walk around this route in the gardens would be about 45 minutes, we spent much longer as we were almost spell bound with wonder and beauty of the marvelous gardens.

pond reflectionPricing and opening times for half term

A standard garden ticket allows access during the day and also covers the Enchanted Illuminations event if visited on the same day.

Family Fright Nights for Halloween

Normal admission applies, except to the 3 Halloween family fright nights when a different charge applies. With added attractions for the family for three nights at Halloween  from Thursday 29th October – Saturday 31st October, 4:30pm until 8:30pm.

treeFree face painting (scary faces), Laser Rave, fancy dress encouraged. Come and meet the Bugs and stay for the Bug show. And do not miss Dr D Ranged scary wounds, Surgery. Why not join the fun by dressing up and prepare yourself to be both ‘tricked and treated!’

NEW FOR 2015 – Haunted House and the return of the Witches Kitchen!

For further information and to buy tickets please ring the Abbotsbury Tourism office on (01305) 871130 or visit www.abbotsburygardens.co.uk to make an online booking saving 20%. Or just turn up the night of your choice.