Specatular Annual Light Show
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Powerchair
Amazing light and sound show that is hosted annually during the crispy Autumn season. Different shows produced every time and is the place to be at this time of the year. Been wanting to go to the Enchanted Forest for a few years now, but there wasn’t much information online on accessibility. I was truly surprise though at how accessible it was for my wheelchair.
Transport & Parking
There are 10 disabled parking spaces in the Faskally Wood area where the Enchanted Forest is hosted and once these spaces are gone they are gone. You can reserve a space when you book your ticket online and you will be told if there isn’t one available. Unfortunately, there aren’t any other disabled or non-disabled spaces nearby as Faskally Wood is 1.6 miles from Pitlochary. There is however a bus that takes guests to the Enchanted Forest from the Fishers Hotel if you have enough mobility to get on to the bus, this is available to all guests with their Enchanted Forest ticket. Within Pitlochary there is some on street parking and council parking available in short walking distance from where the bus would pick you up from the Fishers Hotel. If you can’t get on to the bus for the Enchanted Forest and no disabled parking spaces are available then you could possibly get a taxi to Faskally Wood by parking in Pitlochary, but I’m not sure how good the taxi services are. Alternatively, you can get to Pitlochary by bus or train, check your local bus and train station for more information.
All main pathways that you follow for the Enchanted Forest in Faskally Woods are resurfaced to accommodate individuals with mobility issues. When I went I was expecting the occasionally tree roots on the pathways, however there were no issues. The main bumps that I encountered were the wire protectors they used throughout the forest for the lights and even then, I have driven over bigger ones that they had (see image below). There are a few steeper gradients that you go up and down, but there are plenty of stewards around to help if you need it. Also, if you are like me and have minimal upper body strength then you may need support going down these gradients because with the issue of these pathway sections being a little steep there are also a few bumps. There is also a bridge that you go across twice throughout your walk and I needed support on my chest to go down this as it was a couple of inches higher than the pathway. For the two main shows that were on this year there was a viewing platform for both. Here there was a designated area where people with prams, in wheelchairs and people with other impairments are given priority. The barrier may still be too high for people; however, I think this is needed for safety and most of the light shows are higher up in the forest trees. There are some areas of the Enchanted Forest that have bark laid down which for me I know the wheels of my powerchair would just spin in so I didn’t even try it. These areas were two light scenes which I could see from the pathway, a food area, where they sold the merchandise and the story telling hut. One of the light shows was interactive. However, the way I see it is that I managed the majority of the light show, more than I thought I would, so missing out on a couple of things I didn’t mind. I don’t know much about visual impairments however; the pathways are quite dark and there are embankments at the edge of the pathways with a single rope to highlight the edge. It is recommended on the website that you don’t attend the Enchanted Forest if you have photo-sensitive epilepsy.
There are no Changing Places toilets on site at Faskally Wood and as far as I am aware there are none in Pitlochary at all. There are portacabin disabled toilets on site, however even though I am unable to use these I tried to fit in and if you could transfer yourself there may be enough room. But if you need someone to help you then there would not be enough room. Within the car park there is a wooden cabin with two normal sized toilets and a disabled toilet. This is bigger than the portacabin toilet, however if you are only able to transfer from one side then you may struggle if that side is your left because you are unable to get to the righthand side of the toilet.
Every staff member that I spoke to could not have been any nicer. The organisers of the Enchanted Forest provide training to all the stewards for different scenario and one being regarding disability awareness.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
I would highly recommend that you visit the Enchanted Forest at least once, although I am already excited about hopefully visiting again next year. The route that you take for the show may change every year, however the features that I have spoken about mainly stay the same and from speaking to staff members they are always trying to improve the accessibility they provide. Of course, everyone has their own individual needs, so what was accessible for me might not be accessible for someone else. Also your wheels might get muddy. YouTube and blog will be produced soon.