Early in December, Caitlyn and I visited Silent Night, a Homestead region design by Nessa Nova of Lost Unicorn fame. As you might expect given the region’s name, it is a winter / Christmas setting – one that is eye-catching in the simplicity of its setting, carrying a natural beauty together with little touches of detail and humour than encourage visitors to explore.
Ringed by mountains, the region sits under a starlit sky across which the ribbon of the Milky Way has been thrown, a bridge of light and colour that spans the gap between two peaks, a gibbous Moon peeping at it from over the shoulder of another high mountain.
Heavy in snow, the mountains shield the land from the rest of the world, a spur line of a railway cutting through the roots of the high peaks to bring a steam train hissing into the local station, the tunnel through which it has travelled seeming the one link between this place and the world at large. However, the train coming into the station is no ordinary service; it appears to be powered by the magic of the season: its coal tender empty of everything other than toys, presents and a Christmas tree glowing with lights.
The station is the region’s landing point, and from here, across the end of the line, a path winds past Babba’s Café where a hot drink can be enjoyed should the snow prove a little too much – and snow there is aplenty across the region. It lies deep on the ground, has frosted the trees, and sits upon roofs and on benches as it falls softly from the sky.
Beyond the end of the path, rutted tracks cut through the snow, marking routes that might be explored, whilst the heart of the region is given over to frozen lake where skating might be enjoyed around a tall, decorated tree at its centre, holding aloft a shining star.
The frozen lake is not the only place for skating, however. A Short walk across the snow from the café is a more formal rink, festooned with lights of its own, a snowman waiting to greet visitors and offer them skates.
Elsewhere, a winding track runs back from one of the two piers that stretch out into the frozen waters of the Lake. It curls through woodlands, passing under the high arch of rock curving out from the arms of a mountain, to lead the way to a cosy cottage to the north-east of the land.
To the south of the lake, a tongue of snow-covered land extends out into the frozen water. It shelters a heart-shaped tree guarded by a peacock and rabbits, where a fairy is waiting to offer couples the opportunity to dance. The path to it passes around the west side of the lake, offering the chance to visit a carousel and a little camp fire (one of three waiting to be found), whilst another little café offers food and drink.
Simple in presentation, rich in contents – not everything is described here – and ideal for photography and winter romance, Silent Night is an engaging and attractive visit.
- Silent Night (New Jersey Beach, rated Moderate)