Enchanted evenings light up Purbeck secret garden

Dark December nights have just become a little more magical at Carey’s Secret Garden near Wareham in Dorset, with hundreds of multi coloured festive lights sparkling throughout the grounds.

The Enchanted Night Garden Illuminations are on show on selected dates in December 2023 with lots going on in the run up to Christmas including the South Coast Makers’ Market on Saturday 9th December 2023.


Illuminated plants, paths, trees and sculptures show the garden in a whole new light

Genuine sections of the Berlin Wall are also illuminated and on display

Beautifully lit gardens

Sculptures, trees and pathways have been lit up throughout the three acres of garden behind a Victorian wall, which is becoming established as a sustainable tourist and educational destination.

The beautifully lit gardens will remain open on certain dates beyond dusk until 7.30pm until the Christmas weekend, with access to the illuminated and poignant Berlin Wall exhibition also included.

Events in December 2023

  • Friday 8th – Enchanted Night Garden experience 4.30 pm to 7.30pm
  • Saturday 9th – South Coast Makers’ Market with local crafters and bakers offering sustainable handmade gifts for Christmas
  • Thursday 14th – Enchanted Night Garden experience 4.30 pm to 7.30pm
  • Friday 15th – Calming Calligraphy workshop 1 pm to 2.30 pm. Enchanted Night Garden experience 4.30 pm to 7.30pm
  • Saturday 16th – Festive Gentle Drawing workshop 10.30 am to 11.30 am. Enchanted Night Garden experience 4.30 pm to 7.30pm
  • Monday 18th – Enchanted Night Garden experience 4.30 pm to 7.30pm
  • Tuesday 19th – Enchanted Night Garden experience 4.30 pm to 7.30pm
  • Wednesday 20th – Enchanted Night Garden experience 4.30 pm to 7.30pm
  • Thursday 21st – Enchanted Night Garden experience 4.30 pm to 7.30pm
  • Friday 22nd – Enchanted Night Garden experience 4.30 pm to 7.30pm

The popular Makers’ Market is making a welcome return on Saturday 9th December 2023

Enjoy hot chocolate, mulled wine or hot food around a fire pit as night draws in

Uncover hidden secrets and trails

A Carey’s Secret Garden spokesperson said:

“We wanted to create some magical memories for families this December through our events and we thought that unique illuminations to create a sense of wonder and whimsy in our garden would create an immersive and enchanting experience for children and adults.

“The Secret Salt Pig coffee shop is staying open to offer delicious tempting treats to compliment walks around the walled garden under the stars, like hot chocolate with all the trimmings.

“We are also delighted to welcome other local food vendors to join us in the Secret Garden, to offer a unique dining experience amongst the warm glow of pretty festoon lights.

“Guests have the opportunity to uncover hidden secrets and trails within the garden and there’s a treasure hunt for children with some wondrous surprises!”

Carey’s studio workshop will host the makers’ market

Much of the three acre garden is lit up, but visitors are still encouraged to bring their own torches

Pet portraits and nursery decor

The South Coast Makers Market will include designer Sophie Natasha, who makes nursery decor, Trapeze Jewellery, and local artist Anna Margie, who specialises in pet portraits

Quirky clothing company Soul Creations is also taking part, as is the luxurious Chunky Knit Co, along with Carey’s Secret Garden creator Simon Constantine with his new range of fragrance gifts.

Other companies taking part are Koyo Tea UK, The Slow Lanes, Barefoot Walker Jewellery, Cao Cacao, Whisked Away Bakery and James Williams Makes.

A treasure hunt for children will reveal some hidden trails through the garden

A curated collection of quality

A Carey’s Secret Garden spokesperson added:

“We have brought together quality local stallholders from independent businesses, chosen for their sustainable principles. Their gifts are handmade and unique, made in a way which doesn’t harm the planet.

“Makers’ markets are becoming more and more popular on the back of a current craft revival which has been led by television shows such as The Repair Shop and The Great Pottery Throwdown.

“Online platforms like Etsy have opened up a new marketplace for crafters to cater for buyers who want to get away from the mass produced, drop shipped goods available on Amazon, but this is a stage further where you get face to face sales and experiences with the makers.

Carey’s Secret Garden has been restored from the ground up after being discovered by the Constantine family

Wild garden untouched for 40 years

Visitor numbers are restricted at the attraction to make sure that they don’t overwhelm either the gardens themselves or local roads, so prebooked tickets are essential.

Carey’s Secret Garden was restored by Simon Constantine after he moved into Carey House with his family and discovered an overgrown garden behind a Victorian wall which hadn’t been touched for 40 years.

It has since been restored using wildlife friendly methods to include an edible hedgerow, traditional orchard, wildflower meadow, rose garden, a fruit cage and a tea and herb garden.

Regular events are now held there and include parent and toddler groups on Friday mornings where hands on exploration of woodland is essential, while Saturday morning yoga sessions are held among the trees.


Parent and toddler groups continue at Carey’s through December 2023


Yoga is held in the gardens on Saturday mornings

Further information

  • Tickets can be booked for all Carey’s Secret Garden events on its website

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