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The nights are drawing in and becoming chillier but one of the great pleasures of autumn in Scotland is the glorious changing colour of trees as they prepare for yet another winter - a splendid time to visit Scotland and to explore our countryside. In addition to the natural attraction of trees at this time of year, we are rapidly approaching the time when The National Trust for Scotland turn The Hermitage, Dunkeld, Perthshire, into 'The Enchanted Forest'. Talking trees, floating balls of light, a wild witch and a hall full of fire and water are just some of the amazing effects you will see at The Hermitage this autumn.
The experience is based around The Hermitage, a delightful mixed woodland adjacent to the spectacular River Braan gorge, just north of Dunkeld. This dramatic journey of light and sound, for all the family, extends deep into the enchanted forest, bringing trees and plants to life for a few hours each night from 6.15pm to 10pm between Friday 24 October 2003 and Sunday 9 November 2003. Visitors will step back in time to Ossian's world of nymphs, witches and kelpies of the forest. Star attractions will include the Witch and Warrior of the glen, whose constant battling will captivate the audience and lure them along the riverbanks to the brightly coloured waterfall. Visitors will find themselves trapped between the raging waterfall and the illusion of the flaming walls before continuing the journey along the path... and who knows what they might see and hear there!
In 2002 The Enchanted Forest attracted nearly 3,000 people. Deand was so great that a further six nights have been added to this year's programme in order to accommodate more visitors. This all helps attract more visitors to Perthshire - which bills itself as 'The Big Tree Country'.  
No car parking facilities will be available at The Hermitage on performance nights and visitors are advised that buses will operate a shuttle service from the North Car Park in Dunkeld from 6.15pm to 8pm at 15 minute intervals ; returning up until 10pm.
Tickets for The Enchanted Forest are - Adults 8; Bairns 4; Family Ticket 22 and should be pre-booked. Tickets are on sale through Perth Theatre Box Office or can be collected in person at the following Tourist Information Centres - Aberfeldy, Auchterarder, Blairgowrie, Crieff, Dunkeld, Kinross, Perth and Pitlochry. A visit to or will give you more information.
Perhaps you will feel the cold after viewing The Enchanted Forest or any outdoor evening event at this time of year so a hot drink is in order to take the chill out of your bones - Toddy is just the ticket for thawing-out purposes and a great excuse to enjoy a drap o The Cratur for medicinal purposes only.
Heat tumblers with boiling water, pouring it in very slowly until they are half full. Swill the water round until the whole surface is thoroughly heated. Pour out water, then add loaf sugar to taste and fill almost half full with boiling water. When sugar is melted, fill tumblers about three-quarters full with whisky, then add boiling water to taste. Stir with a silver spoon. Slainte mhath.

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