November is a colourful month here in the UK – it starts off with the russet red and brown leaves still falling from the trees as Autumn reigns, fireworks in the sky owing to Guy Fawke’s Night, and for some of us, the month ends with a walk in the park in the dark through Syon Park’s magnificent gardens lit up in glorious colours.
Syon House in Isleworth, West London is home to stunning landscaped gardens, an ornamental lake, and historic arboretum. In the nearby neighbourhood of the more well-known Kew Gardens and Richmond Park, Syon House, which is actually the London home of the Duke of Northumberland, and its 56.6 hectare gardens feels somewhat more of a secret hideaway and as if you have been transported somewhere deep in to the English countryside.
Every year, Syon House opens up their gardens for a few evenings in November for their Enchanted Woodland, where an illuminated trail takes visitors around the private park and historic arboretum. Syon Park’s been calling me for sometime now, so this year, having not visited a fireworks display, we yelped at the idea of doing something different and taking an illuminated walk in a park in the dark.
The trail was an absolute delight and pleasure for both adults and kids, shining colourful lights upon Syon Park’s elegant and majestic trees and grassland. The lights were displayed in alignment with nature and to enhance the elegant silhouettes of Syon Park’s tree inhabitants.
The Enchanted Woodland walk wound its way around the ornamental lake, following the natural footpath at Syon Park. The lake also played a part in reflecting the colourfully-lit trees like a mirror, making for marvellous photo opportunities.
Reds, greens, blues, pinks, white, sparkles, twinkling gold stars and a lawn filled with round balls of varying shapes all assisted in accentuating and complimenting the natural beauty and charm of Syon Park’s resident nature. In parts, the circular route hosted small areas displaying characters including a gardener and wheelbarrow made from recycled materials, fairies and various wildlife. There was even a tree with roaring sound effects.
A total joy to the senses, Syon Park’s gardens and arboretum lit up in various colours was a fun and awe-inspiring evening. The trail ended with a walk through the Great Conservatory – with an opportunity to walk through the corridor among huge ferns before getting to the main room, housed in the dome-structured part of the building with its high, glass ceiling and fine acoustics. There in the main room of the conservatory a stream of lights merrily danced in rhythm with blaring music.
What was particularly fun about the main room in the conservatory was that the lighting was done such that you couldn’t really see the exit in the observatory, unless you’d visited Syon Park before, so encouraging visitors to have a boogie or stay until the music finished and the lights went up revealing the exit. It did remind us of our clubbing days and had the music been our cup of chai, so to speak, we would have gladly taken residence until the Enchanted Woodland’s 9pm closing time ;).
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com