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Andrea Bristow tells us what’s new for the Year of Legends at GreenWood Forest Park.

Here at GreenWood, we’re doing our best to really embrace the Year of Legends. We try to add something new every year, so we thought this was an opportunity to do something a little quirky. Our new attraction is called the Magic Chair and it’s already been a big hit. It’s an amazing optical illusion that makes the people sitting on it look tiny.

We did a research trip to a park in Scotland a couple of years ago and saw something similar so we took our inspiration from that. We thought it was a really fun idea and we had a great time designing and building it. We’ve had some great feedback. A lady even told me the other day that she had posted a picture of her on the chair to her slimming club Facebook page saying that she had shrunk.

Snowdonia is an area that’s full of magical myths and stories. We’ve had storytellers coming to GreenWood for a long time, but this year, we’ve increased the number of storytelling sessions throughout the summer. We have two storytellers who come in regularly and cover lots of different tales. It’s not just sitting down and being read to though. They’re closer to theatre performances and they can take place in different areas of the park, from the woods to the stone circle we call Poet’s Corner.

This focus on storytelling has been a great opportunity for me to catch up on some stories and legends that I wasn’t familiar with. I’ve even got into a bit of storytelling myself. For the Year of Legends I wrote a little legend about the park and our new Magic Chair. It was something quite outside my comfort zone, but it was good to step away from the business side of things and think about some more magical stuff for a change.

I’m hugely appreciative of the heritage and landscapes around me here in Snowdonia. You can feel centuries of history under your feet on the streets of towns like Beaumaris and wild places like Cwm Idwal have a unique, almost otherworldly atmosphere. Snowdonia is the kind of place where legends feel that little bit more real. Writing my own story was a fun way to feel part of that, but I don’t think I’ll be giving up the day job.

Head to the GreenWood Forest Park website for more details on what’s going on this year.

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