Wakehurst adventure brings Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s popular tale to life in West Sussex

An award-winning story by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler comes to life at Wakehurst in Ardingly this autumn.
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Room on the Broom offers a whirlwind family adventure in the woodlands from Saturday, October 15, to Monday, October 31.

The trail has been developed in partnership with Magic Light Pictures and recreates Witch’s windswept adventure through 3D installations and family-friendly activities.

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There will be an add-on sticker hunt to accompany the main trail, where participants can build their own ‘magnificent broom’.

Room on the Broom offers a whirlwind family adventure at Wakehurst in Ardingly from Saturday, October 15, to Sunday, October 30.Room on the Broom offers a whirlwind family adventure at Wakehurst in Ardingly from Saturday, October 15, to Sunday, October 30.
Room on the Broom offers a whirlwind family adventure at Wakehurst in Ardingly from Saturday, October 15, to Sunday, October 30.

Lorraine Lecourtois, head of public programmes at Wakehurst, said: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome visitors to Wakehurst in Sussex for this new interactive trail over the autumn half term. Bringing the tale of Room on the Broom to life will encourage visitors to explore Wakehurst’s woodlands, bursting with vibrant autumn colour. The installations and activities will allow visitors of all ages to encounter nature in a new way, understanding the vital role of plants and fungi.”

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Visitors will begin their journey in Bethlehem Wood, where there is a willow wand-making workshop and the start of the trail will feature a wooden broom sculpture so people can pose for photos.

Families will then navigate their way through the birch woodland, as they take part in a treasure hunt to find the witch’s lost items.

Room on the Broom offers a whirlwind family adventure at Wakehurst in Ardingly from Saturday, October 15, to Sunday, October 30.Room on the Broom offers a whirlwind family adventure at Wakehurst in Ardingly from Saturday, October 15, to Sunday, October 30.
Room on the Broom offers a whirlwind family adventure at Wakehurst in Ardingly from Saturday, October 15, to Sunday, October 30.
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At the end of the trail is the friendly Witch, who will be carved from wood in a garden of cauldrons.

At this point visitors will be able to re-enact the end of the story, collecting natural ingredients to mix in a cauldron to create an autumnal spell.

Wakehurst said the trail also sets the scene for Glow Wild this winter, which celebrates the colour spectrum of the natural world and features a brand-new route and 11 bespoke light installations.

Entry to Room on the Broom is £14.95 for adults but free for members and children (0-16 years). Young people (17-25 years) can get in for £7.50. The Sticker hunt activity costs £3 per child. There is also a £1 entry ticket for people in receipt of Universal or Pension Credit.

Tickets must be pre-booked at www.kew.org/wakehurst.

There will be early opening for members and quiet sessions for those with additional needs.

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