ANCIENT ISLAND WOODLANDS ILLUMINATE FOR AGE-OLD DIWALI FESTIVAL
Discover Electric Woods’ Festival of Light on the Isle of Wight this autumn, celebrating the Hindu festival of Diwali, the ancient celebration of light. This series of stunning light-inspired events will run every day until 15th November, 6-10pm, in ancient woodland gardens.
Brought to you by Robin Hill Country Park, a short 20-minute drive from the ferry port at West Cowes, this immersive and colourful Indian-themed experience in the park’s ancient woodland gardens includes spectacular exhibits made up of thousands of lights, live entertainment, dancing and award-winning street food.
Now in its fifth-year, the festival brings night skies to life with its breath-taking displays curated by expert light designers. One of the biggest events of its kind anywhere in the UK, Festival of Light transports the sounds, sights, smells and flavours of the Asian sub-continent to idyllic English woodlands.
Each evening, visitors can discover colourful thrills at the Holi Powder Arena, alongside the vibrant light exhibits of the serene Woodlands Ponds water projections and the Taj Mahal Garden.
2018 sees the introduction of the Neon Jungle to the Festival of Light and Robin Hill’s new attraction, Jungle Heights, will be brought to life like never before, allowing guests to cascade and climb through nocturnal treetops at up to six-storeys high on net towers, bridges and mazes while immersed in the lights and sounds of Diwali. There’s also mouth-watering Indian street food from Brighton’s award-winning ‘Curry Squad’; including curries, traditional teas and sweet treats.
On Fridays and Saturdays, visitors can also get creative with Rangoli Art and Lantern Decorating workshops and the half-term holidays (20th-28th October) will see the festival reach new heights with Bollywood dancing, Chakra yoga workshops, live DJ entertainment and a brand new Electro-Light Circus show. Choregraphed specifically for Robin Hill, Electro-Light Circus is a spectacular, contemporary dance show of light taking place in the park’s amphitheatre featuring 'Brightsparks' fire performers and jugglers, circus acts, acrobatics, dancing and special lighting effects synchronised to the music.
Robin Hill's woodland gardens
The park has 88 acres of beautiful English woodland that has grown here at Combley for hundreds of years. It has a tantalising mix of planted clearings, specimen trees, streams, ponds and sculptures. It is a must-see for all green-fingered enthusiasts visiting the Isle of Wight.
Over 100 years ago, the woodland had been planted with an array of unusual plants and trees and was used as a private woodland garden for the local Willis-Fleming estate based at near-by Combley farm. It was used for riding and walking for the family who had wide interests in gardening and it was well maintained and coppiced. Species can still be seen today from that era that would never normally be seen growing in an English woodland, like a Giant Redwood from North America or a Eucalyptus from the southern hemisphere.
However these woodland gardens were lost back to nature during the world war periods and became re-populated with native plants and species once again, but since 2005 work has been ongoing at Robin Hill to reclaim the glades, ponds and paths that once existed, which you will now see when you visit. A number of new plantings and features have been added to add interest and now the woodland in its own right is a popular destination for visitors.
What is Diwali?
Also known as Deepavali, meaning ‘rows of lighted lamps’, Diwali is a worldwide festival of lights celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains worldwide. The event in early November celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and is often marked in Indian culture by lighting up homes and public places with earthenware oil lamps called ‘diyas’.
Tickets start from £16.50 per person and can be purchased online at: www.electricwoods.co.uk/events/festival-of-light-and-diwali
Ferries can be booked with either WightLink (www.wightlink.com), Red Funnel (www.redfunnel.co.uk) or Hover Travel (www.hovertravel.co.uk).
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Notes to Editors:
About Robin Hill Country Park – www.robin-hill.com
Festival of Light is part of Electric Woods, a series of stunning evening events featuring a spectacle of themed light, colour, sound and entertainment at Robin Hill Country Park.
Owned by Vectis Ventures, Robin Hill boasts 88-acres of ancient woodlands popular with everyone from families and children to discerning couples, wildlife enthusiasts and gardeners such as Alan Titchmarsh. Beautiful English gardens offer a tantalising mix of planted clearings, specimen trees, streams, ponds, sculptures and unusual and international plants and trees.
Popular family attractions include falconry shows with birds of prey, a 4D cinema, a giant wooden maze and rides and slides such as Cows Express, the Colossus Swinging Galleon and Hilly Billy Snakes & Ladders. Adventure playgrounds include the new tree-top Jungle Heights, Squirrel Tower and Run, Duckdown Play Village and the Canopy Sky Walk.