The ( fairly ) local arboretum at Westonbirt does a regular Christmas event which involves a woodland walk with special lighting effects. It's a mile of easy walking and given that it was pouring with rain we didn't think it would be terribly busy!
So after dark we set out. It wasn't terribly busy but even so we were far from the only ones to brave the appalling weather. The walk is lovely and some of the special effects dreamed up by the lighting specialists were extremely effective. Not all photographed well and most of the following pictures were taken on my daughter's BlackBerry which proved more equal to the conditions than my fancy Nikon!
A lot of the lightening effects had movement with the spot lights fading out and coming back on. The rain added a whole new dimension to the scene with the patter of rain drops falling from the trees - well pouring off the trees would be more accurate. The rain didn't let up at all. Those said raindrops contributed an otherworldly mist around the spots as they evaporated in the heat - almost like dry ice.
The following selection of pictures were our best attempts at capturing some of the effects. Unfortunately the bubbles which provided some of the most memorable vistas proved to be somewhat camera shy.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's a giant smoke ring!
A tree with a face ( thanks to a camera and projector). Very spooky this one.
and finally a very bad picture of the Green Man (the others were worse!)
As well as the illuminated trail there was a craft activity for the children ( somewhat underwhelming; most of the children thought so too as I didn't see any actually trying it and only one Dad carrying around the completed project!)
I was hoping for some nice rural crafts as well but I was to be disappointed on that score. We were also faintly horrified by the price of the mulled wine (£4.00 a cup) so passed on that one.Given the price of entry they could have at least given us a free mince pie :-(
However all credit to them - a traditional Father Christmas. Not a red robe to be seen.