We’ve been to visit the fairies at Balfron quite a few times over the past couple of years. It’s one of the little lady’s (and my) favourite places to go. (You can read about the fairies here.) In fact, it’s one of my favourite small businesses I’ve ever come across. So when we were asked along to the Woodland Light Experience I jumped at the chance.
The Light Experience
We have been to a few other light shows; there was one in the Botanic Gardens a while back that we went along to, and we went to the Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry too a couple of years ago. The little lady and I have only ever seen the woodland at Balfron in daylight and in fairy form, and my husband had never been at all, so we didn’t really know what to expect before we went along.
As you might expect, the Woodland Light Experience is a walk through the woodlands at Balfron. The woodlands are lit up with lots of pretty lights, and the show features the woodlands using these lights, alongside music and water.
There are a few different parts to the light show but my highlights were the teapots (as pictured from my phone – apologies, I forgot the big camera) and the fairy light tunnel, which was really pretty (and totally made my eyes/brain go funny).
The little lady was delighted that she could go to the fairy village (and get her face painted) and see the fairy doors at night. The fairies were all in their beds (except the tooth fairy, who was obviously out doing her toothy thing) but she had a great time wandering round there.
There is food available about half way round the experience. At this point you can also toast some marshmallows. I hadn’t toasted marshmallows in a while and even just the smell of the campfire there was amazing.
At first the little lady just wanted to eat the uncooked marshmallows, but she soon came round to the idea of lovely gooey ones. She was so happy sitting there toasting her own. (They have stick extenders so that kids (and adults) don’t injure themselves on the fire).
The experience starts and ends at the big barn. Within the barn there are food and drinks (more on that below), a couple of local sellers with stalls, a tractor bouncy castle (both of my kids had an absolute blast on this) and an actual tractor. There are also storytelling sessions available in the yurt (you need to book these separately).
The Woodland Light Experience is not a large scale commercial event; it’s a small family run business. It isn’t on the same scale as Pitlochry, but this is one of the things I really like about the place. It’s rustic and folksy (the lights aren’t rustic and folksy though, they’re professional and ambitious). I found the whole evening quite tranquil and relaxing, even though I had 2 young children with me! The woodland looked beautiful all lit up and there were some really lovely parts to the light show.
Hot food is available in the big barn; burgers, hotdogs, etc., and hot and cold drinks. I had a halloumi burger and husband had a cheeseburger. Both were delicious.
There are also cakes and sweets and treats plus some young child friendly snacks available from the shop (like raisins etc), and from some of the stalls.
Half way round the experience there is a pit stop for food selling the same sort of grub. Here you can also toast your marshmallows.
The Helpful Bits
The light experience is incredibly family friendly. Yes, the paths are stony and have tree roots etc, but you’re walking round a woodland in the countryside. Our pram has tyres and they get round the paths there no problem at all (apart from that one time my tyre was punctured…) but you may find it a bit more bumpy with rubber tyres. Bring a carrier if you’re worried.
The whole experience, walking (strolling and investigating everything with a 4 year old) round the woodland took us just over an hour. This including toasting marshmallows (and also included the few points where it started raining and my husband started walking much faster). Altogether, we were there for over 2 hours.
The Woodland Light Experience is located at North Ballochruin farm which is about a 45 minute drive from the centre of Glasgow. Just as a guide, leaving our house at 5.30pm on a weekday it took us exactly 45 minutes to get there.
Staff at the woodland experience, as with all the other times we’ve been along to the fairy trail are incredibly friendly and helpful. They really go out of their way to make the experience special. (That’s probably not actually that helpful, but I really wanted to say it).
Entry to the Woodland Light Experience is free for children under the age of 3. On Monday – Thursday, entry to the light experience is £12 for adults and £6 for kids. Friday to Sunday it’s slightly more expensive. Full details of cost can be found on the Woodland Light Experience website.
Extra costs when you get there will be things like face painting, marshmallows for toasting, and the bouncy castle (I think that was £1). Obviously if you’re buying food or drinks too that will be extra. And then there are things from the shop (there are a bunch of toys including lots of fairy toys) and christmas decorations. There are also flashy light sticks available to buy from the shop.
The Little Lady Said…
I asked the little lady what she liked best about the light experience. She informed me that she liked the pink trees and the flashy lights. Then she thought about it for a minute and said the marshmallows and the bouncy castle. I think that pretty much sums up the mind of my 4 year old.
We had a lovely evening as a family, walking round and seeing the lights at the Woodland Light Experience. As a light show, it isn’t as grand as Pitlochry, but the woodland is really pretty all lit up. I thought it was a really nice way to spend a chilly autumn evening with my favourite people. Especially with a nice hot cuppa and food at the end when we got back to the barn.
Our kids had a fantastic time looking at the lights and investigating the fairy doors that they could find. With marshmallow toasting and fairy doors and face painting and a bouncy castle there’s plenty to entertain them. Our biggest problem was getting them both to leave the bouncy castle at the end.
The Woodland Light Experience is located at North Ballochruin Farm, Balfron Station G63 0LE.