A Christmas Fairy Trail, Archerfield Walled Garden, East Lothian (4 stars)

A Christmas Fairy Trail, Archerfield Walled Garden, East Lothian

Magical world of light, music and sound at this immersive outdoor theatre experience

Staging an outdoor winter event in a country known for its inclement weather is a bold move – but whatever the temperature, there's a genuine warmth to A Christmas Fairy Trail.

From the silent disco that gets us in a festive mood at the start, to the s'more toasting at the end, there's a steady supply of wonder to keep attention spans (young and old) gripped, without dipping into commercial tackiness.

The walled garden and forest of Archerfield has been transformed into a magical world of light, music and sound. Small, beautifully-lit wooden huts are dotted along the pathway, ripe for exploring – while colourful beams reach up into the sky beckoning us forward into the woodland.

A huge amount of work has gone into the visual display, and that by itself would make for a nice 45-minute stroll. But the creative team behind A Christmas Fairy Trail set out to give audiences much more – and they've succeeded.

At the edge of the forest we're greeted by friendly guide 'Gus', who ushers us through two wooden doors – one for little people, one for big. Once in, we encounter a fairy wearing huge illuminated wings, a dancing magician, a body popper who looks like a walking disco ball and – most striking of all – an aerial artist whose hoop is strung between two giant trees.

Everyone and everything looks colourful and dazzling, with intermittent chances for children to get involved if they choose, and photo opportunities galore. Festive entertainment is an increasingly crowded market, but A Christmas Fairy Trail offers something just that little bit different, that the whole family can enjoy.

A Christmas Fairy Trail, Archerfield Walled Garden, Dirleton, until Tue 24 Dec.

A Christmas Fairy Trail

An immersive theatrical experience set along a 1.5km trail, designed as a magical world of fairies and forest folk, with surprises around every corner.

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