Do you believe in fairies? We most certainly do and when we were asked to go fairy hunting at Weston Park this Summer we were very excited to see what was in store for us…
Weston Park itself is set amongst historical ‘Capability’ Brown parkland and it is the area of Temple Wood that is currently playing host to a group of magical guests.
The Temple Woods Pleasure Grounds were designed as a ‘relaxing haven’ for the Bridgeman family and it was the youngest member of the family, who inspires the fairy hunt.
Born in 1907, Lady Helen Diana Bridgeman spent all her time paying in and exploring the woods. It was here she found a secret world of enchantment and magical friends, all of course not visible to adults!
Before arriving at Weston Park, it is important that you download the ‘Enchanted Glen’ App to your phone to allow you to participate in the fairy hunt…the lovely lady on Reception mentioned that although some signal can be gained, it can often be a little more tricky and time consuming than downloading the App at home!
We were directed towards the Enchanted Glen and went eagerly in search of our first fairy friends…there is a map to follow (the little one took immediate charge of this and delighted in telling us where to go!) but it is relatively easy to just follow the path and stumble across the fairies as you go around.
Following the Augmented Reality (AR) Trail, each time you find a fairy friend house, there is an image to scan on your phone…this very quickly then shows you the fairy friend that lives in the house and the App allows you to ‘collect’ the friends as you go around.
It is only possible to see the fairies when looking at the phone, something the little one struggled to grasp! However, you can easily take photos within the App and both children were absolutely delighted with the end result…it really was magical!
The walk takes around 45 mins (with a 3 year old, you may be much quicker with older ones!) and goes in a relatively flat circle around the woods and next to a lovely lake, it is also in the shade which is great in this weather! After our magical stroll, we were more than ready for lunch!
The café in the courtyard at Weston Park was an excellent stop for lunch and only a few minutes’ walk from the Enchanted Glen. The staff in here were absolutely wonderful and the lovely lady making pizzas was more than accommodating as my two little ones watched in fascination as each pizza was made to order…they even had Gluten Free on offer which was wonderful! The pizzas were excellent and we found two pizzas were just the right amount for our family of four (leaving just enough room for ice cream afterwards!).
With our new found energy, we headed off to the amazing park at Weston…this really is a great set up with smaller equipment for little ones and some more challenging climbing frames, slides and zip lines for the older and more adventurous. There is also a good amount of seating around so it would be an option to bring a picnic and make a day of it! There aren’t any toilets or a café here though so worth remembering it is a 5 min walk back up to the main area for both…
The miniature railway also runs from here and for an additional charge, both adults and children can take a trip around the parkland…however, we struggled to get our children away from the park…that shows how good the park is!
There really is a whole day of activities to entertain a family at Weston…in addition to the playground and train there is also a Kitchen Garden Maze and a whole lot more parkland to explore!
There is also free entry to the Granary Art Gallery where visitors can see an original copy of the Paintings and Poems of Lady Diana Bridgeman which inspired all the fairy activities!
The Enchanted Glen experience is included within the admission price to Weston Park and runs till Sunday 2 September. Tickets are priced at £7 for adults and £4 for children (4-14 years). More information can be found at Weston-park.com