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Enchanted Forest – First Time Visit Review & Helpful Tips

Are you planning a visit to the Enchanted Forest?

The Daily Record described the Enchanted Forest as a “mesmerizing underwater voyage of discovery”

After our visit, I would say that’s a very accurate description.

Read on to learn everything you need to know to plan your trip in 2024.

Author BioMelanie Newdick, Professional Traveller

  • +36 years travelling for work. Visited +40 countries (many multiple times)
  • Stayed in over 700 hotels. Taken +9,500 on coach holidays
  • Check all out my best money saving resources

Enchanted Forest – Summary of Visit

1 = Poor, 5 = ExcellentComments
Personal Safety 5
Scenery5Amazing light shows
Friendly People5Stewards and staff great
Weather4Extremely wet
Getting There5Shuttle bus easy to use
Facilities5Catering, toilets, shop, bus
Value for Money5
Cost£52.00Two Adults
Date of VisitNovember 2023
Enchanted Forest, Pitlochry, Summary of Visit

Where is the Enchanted Forest?

The Enchanted Forest is just North of Pitlochry in Perthshire. The actual forest is Faskally Forest which is set beside the River Tummel. That said you don’t need to worry about where the forest actually is because you take a coach there from Pitlochry. (Unless you are a Blue Badge holder that needs wheelchair access.)

Getting to the Enchanted Forest

As mentioned above you need to take a coach to get to the Enchanted Forest. The coach departs from outside Fishers Hotel on the main street in Pitlochry. You just need to show your tickets to join the queue.

The bus is a regular 49-seater bus operated by a local coach company. The journey takes just under 10 minutes from Fishers Hotel to the Enchanted Forest.

The bus does not kneel, nor does it have a ramp so to board it you need to be able to climb up 3 steps and walk down the bus to get to the seats. For some of the toddlers, this proved a little bit challenging.

If you do have toddlers you can put your prams/buggies in the lockers underneath the coach.

Enchanted Forest

Accessibility Bus

There is another bus for anyone with any additional needs. This departs from Blair Athol Distillery. In 2023 it was a 22-seater bus with step-free entry onto the bus. However, there was no space for wheelchairs on the bus.

The bus runs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only. For everyone going on the accessibility bus, there is free parking at Blair Athol distillery.

The accessibility bus is for people who might find boarding a full-sized bus difficult or having to stand in queues with lots of people challenging etc.

Enchanted Forest

Autism Friendly Performances

Autism-friendly performances are open to anyone. They are at the start of the evening so there should be fewer people on site and little or no queues to board the buses.

They can be booked online and the numbers are restricted for these performances to reduce the number of people on site at one time.

Enchanted Forest Cost

These are the costs for 2023;

Under 3’s – Free

3-15 years £14.50

Adult £26

Family £72.50

There are some free tickets for carers. To claim these you need to upload proof of your caring capacity and email the organisers.

Enchanted Forest

Tickets for 2024

Tickets should go on sale around July 2024. The best way to know is to sign up to the Enchanted Forest newsletter. That way you will get an email when the tickets are released.

Click here to sign up.

enchanted forest post picture showing dam at pitlochry
It was too wet to take any photos on the night we visited so this is Pitlochry Dam taken the same day

Arriving at the Enchanted Forest

The coach drop-off point is also the coach pick-up point for the return journey to Pitlochry.

When you arrive at the Enchanted Forest you simply follow along the main path towards the woods.

There is a shop at the entrance before you bear right to start heading down to the edge of the Loch and the main part of the displays.

Enchanted Forest

Walking and Paths

Most of the paths had a tarmac surface – this made it easier for buggies and pushchairs. However, due to the number of people, we found ourselves hopping off the path frequently. Some parts that were off the path, such as the introductory welcome video etc were not paved.

The weather conditions had been extremely challenging in the days before we visited and on the night we visited it was raining very heavily. This meant that puddles had appeared alongside many of the paths.

Enchanted Forest

Toilet Facilities

The toilets were Portaloo chemical toilets. These were fairly near the entrance to the Enchanted Forest.

There were toilets on the bus but given the route the buses take it isn’t really safe to be moving around the bus to use them.

Enchanted Forest

Catering Facilities

There was a choice of catering facilities available. There were two main hot food concessions towards the entrance of the Enchanted Forest. This was also on the walk to the buses after the visit to the site concluded.

There was nowhere to sit but the area had a canvas shelter over to provide some protection from the rain.

I thought prices were reasonable given they were operating in the middle of a forest. Fish and Chips were £12.50 for example.

On the first section of the visit, there was also a Churros concession that did hot drinks. I really liked the firepits where you could toast marshmallows (£4 per toasting stick). These were also a nice point to pause for a minute and warm up a little bit.

We were able to pay with cash or contactless for our purchases. The weather was so wet however that my mobile phone stopped working. Thankfully my nephew’s Apple watch was able to complete the purchase, but we did have cash just in case.

Enchanted Forest

What to Expect

We had seen some videos of the Enchanted Forest online and the experience was pretty much as we had seen in the videos.

We really enjoyed the projections and light displays over the water as well as the colour-changing displays in the trees.

There were things like LED octopuses hanging overhead, lights activated by stepping on them, neon strings that you could walk through, and much more.

It really was spectacular and even though we only saw less than half of the event we still enjoyed it.

The site operates a kind of one-way system for most of the visit, ensuring that visitors can enjoy the exhibits easily.

This worked well when we visited.

We did find that we had to keep an eye on those around us as many people just stopped in the middle of the path to take a film or video without realising there were people close behind them.

There were lots of stewards at the site. They were friendly, despite clearly being absolutely soaked. They were very helpful in terms of directions and also assisting people who decided to cut out early. They helped direct people to shortcuts so they could avoid having to walk around the whole site.

The catering staff were also friendly and helpful.

On the night we visited quite a lot of the path lighting had packed up due to the weather conditions. This was OK for us but it’s just something to be aware of.

For next time we will be taking a small torch just in case there are any issues in the woods and the lights went off completely.

Check out this video by the Enchanted Forest that gives you a great idea of what it’s all about.

Enchanted Forest

Weather Conditions

It’s Scotland of course so the weather in October isn’t always going to be great.

That said the Enchanted Forest had experienced lots of rain, including Storm Babet in the previous couple of weeks.

On the night we visited there was another storm with winds and really heavy rain. The ground was really waterlogged and simply not able to absorb any more rain leading to lots of puddles and standing water.

The weather had also led to a few cancellations of the event which must have been very frustrating.

You may think that there will be some cover from the rain being in a wood but that is absolutely not the case. The rain was extremely heavy wherever we were around the site and there are no covered areas to escape the rain.

There was a viewing around for one of the light shows and this was exposed to the elements as well as the Churros catering van. That’s to be expected when visiting an outdoor event like this but it had taken a few people by surprise.

The event has a helpful local weather update on the front page of its website which is updated every day.

Enchanted Forest

Short Cuts to The Exit

If you decide to leave early, as we did, there are some shortcuts that stewards can direct you too. On the night we were there many people were leaving because they were simply too wet or cold.

It was helpful to have a shortcut where we could head back to the coach without having to keep walking much further than we wanted to.

Top Tips for an Even Better Visit

Plan Your Parking in Pitlochry

There are several car parks around Pitlochry that people visiting can use and easily walk to Fishers Hotel to catch the bus.

Be warned that there is no on-street parking anywhere nearby. Police cones and parking restrictions operate from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. The shuttle buses do a loop around Pitlochry centre so they pick up and drop off on the same side of the hotel.

When we visited the turned left up West Moulin Road (A924) and then came back down Bonnethill Road.

The Station car park and West End car park are nearest to Fishers Hotel.

Don’t Underestimate the Numbers Of People Attending

The official figures say that 80,000 people attend each year. Given that the event operates for around 30 nights that 2,666 a night. That’s 75 buses each way (based on 35 people per bus!).

When we returned to Pitlochry at 7.30 pm there were big queues to board the buses with a couple of hundred people waiting inline.

I would recommend going earlier to avoid the biggest crowds.

Take a Torch and Some Cash

As mentioned above we almost had a problem paying with contactless due to the wet weather affecting our phones.

It might be worth taking some emergency cash just in case.

Whilst I am sure the stewards all have torches and an emergency plan in case all the lights go off I’m going to take my own torch in 2024 just in case.

(Just be aware torches really are for emergency use only. Using them on the night just inteferes with the displays.)

Be Prepared for the Weather

We wore all our wet weather gear but the rain was pretty monsoon like so our regular trousers soon became soaked with water gradually creeping up through the material to our underwear. Yes, we got wet right through!

We also got very muddy due to being splashed by people walking by, buggies, and having to step off the paths to avoid other people.

Some people had taken umbrellas but having got knocked a number of times by these I wouldn’t recommend it, especially if going later as you are likely to spend the night apologising to people.

Kids in the all in one weatherproof suits seemed to be doing quite well!

Be Prepared for the Cold

We went earlier – 6.15pm, and whilst we were wrapped up all warm and cozy we soon started to get cold once we got quite waterlogged.

Have a Change of Clothes if Driving

Originally we were going to drive 2.5 hours home after the Enchanted Forest but decided at the last minute to stay overnight.

It would have been a pretty uncomfortable drive home in such wet clothing. Next year if we aren’t staying we will take a change of clothes with us.

Consider Taking the Train

The main train line and the railway station are close behind Fishers Hotel. Why not park at one of the stations and take the train in, or travel from your home area on the train or simply take the train to somewhere nearby and stay there to get a cheaper hotel deal?

Book Ahead if Staying Locally

Prices are quite high for Pitlochry already for 2024 when the Enchanted Forest is on. This is probably because of the number of visitors and people planning ahead. If you are planning to stay locally it’s probably best to book earlier (with free cancellation just in case) if you want to be sure of having somewhere to stay.

We stayed at the Pitlochry Hydro which was within walking distance of the event.

Be Familiar with the Site Rules

There are some site rules that you should be aware of including;

  • No dogs are allowed on site at all.
  • There is no smoking or vaping allowed.
  • No alcohol is allowed on site.

Enchanted Forest – Conclusion

  • The Enchanted Forest is a really wonderful experience – if you can get there and get tickets then you won’t be disappointed.
  • Get all the logistics organised for getting there and parking so you don’t need to worry on the night.
  • Make sure you have the right clothing for the weather conditions and spare clothing to change into if needed.
  • Remember the site rules and enjoy a wonderful visit.

Want to Stay in Pitlochry?

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If you have found this Enchanted Forest review helpful you might also like;

My review of the Pitlochry Hydro Hotel

You can find lots more reviews and travel ideals on my Travel Inspiration page

Author BioMelanie Newdick, Professional Traveller

  • +36 years travelling for work. Visited +40 countries (many multiple times)
  • Stayed in over 700 hotels. Taken +9,500 on coach holidays
  • Check all out my best money saving resources

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