Winter Lights

For three weekends in December the grounds of Anglesey Abbey were filled with coloured lights illuminating the trees, shrubs and a few other things. This was a very popular event and you had to pre-book to get your tickets. I visited on the last night and by the time I arrived the overflow car park was almost full and there were long queues to get in the entrance.

Once inside the coloured lights had turned the winter garden into an almost surreal experience. The white birch grove was glorious in its purple light. At the far end, near Lode Mill, there was a refreshment area serving hog roast and mulled wine. This went down very well in the chilly December air and many people were partaking thereof. As an added bonus the folk group Strangeworld were playing to entertain the crowd. I had not come across them before and was impressed enough that I bought one of their CDs, Demons Within to take home with me.

When I had first arrived there was quite a throng of people moving along the path but as I dawdled along taking photographs the crowd thinned out and did so even more after I stopped for the hog roast and music. I was never on my own but it got easier to get the shots I wanted without getting in other people’s way.

The poplar trees on the far side of Bottisham Lode were another high point especially when combined with Lode Mill. The path led around to the abbey itself where there was a jazz band playing but I did not catch their name. There was however more refreshments in the form of roasted chestnuts. The demand was so great that they could not cook the chestnuts fast enough which led to periodic delays of about ten minutes while the next batch were roasted. Naturally the person before me got the last of the previous batch and I was left waiting before I could get my fix. My patience was rewarded when I finally got my roasted nuts as they were delicious and just what was needed.

I thought that was going to be about all but then I found the fire and light performers as I made my way back towards the exit. I could have stayed and photographed them for hours but by then I was getting a bit cold and tired and there was not too long before the festival closed. Even without a tripod they proved to be interesting subjects yielding some good abstract shots.

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