Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens will light up for autumn with the return of the hugely popular annual Enchanted Illuminations.

From Thursday 18 October, candle-lit pathways will lead visitors on a twilight route through the 30-acre Gardens, where the exotic trees and plants will be dramatically lit by multicoloured spotlights.

The Enchanted Illuminations run from dusk to 8.30pm until Tuesday 23 October and then again on the evening of Sunday 28 October.

Weldmar Hospicecare is holding a ticket-only Charity Preview evening on Wednesday 17 October.

This year there will be even more chance to celebrate Halloween with an extra Family Fright Night.

From Wednesday 24 October until Saturday 27 October youngsters – and their parents – are invited to don fancy dress and come to Dorset’s greatest Halloween party.

Witches and the mysterious White Lady who haunts the lily ponds will be there and who dares to walk through the Tunnel of Terror?

Face painting, scary scars and a chance to meet and hold creepy-crawlies like insects and snakes will add to the fearsome fun. Watch out for Twitch the Witch with her slimy dips and prizes.

The gardens open at 10am each day of the public event and stay open until 8.30pm, or 9pm on Family Fright Nights. The magic happens with the big switch-on at dusk each day.

Abbotsbury Tourism manager Martin Alderman says: “The Enchanted Illuminations offer the opportunity to see the Gardens on an autumn evening in a completely different light.

“As night falls, the coloured theatre lighting creates amazing shapes and shadows and the path, lit by hundreds of candles, takes visitors on a 40-minute route through the trees and borders.

“Our Family Fright Nights are great fun for all ages. We positively encourage people to dress-up and we are delighted to be able to invite everyone to an additional fourth Fright Night this year!”

The 40-minute walk around the garden has a shorter route, which is suitable for wheelchairs or prams. It is advisable to wear sensible footwear and bring a torch.

For further information and to buy tickets call 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. 

More information at www.abbotsburygardens.co.uk

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