With twinkly lights and giant light sculptures currently adorning the WWT London Wetland Centre in Barnes, ILLUMINATURE is one of the most romantic spots in the capital to wrap up warm, take a stroll and get closer to nature after dark. And, just a day after opening, a couple from south west London chose the magical illuminated landscape to get engaged.

Matthew Lorenzo proposed to Tao Lategan, both aged 28 and originally from South Africa, on the illuminated bridge. The couple, who have been together for six years, are both nature and wildlife supporters and had been looking forward to visiting the new trail, which they both describe as “truly magical and immersive.”

Matthew, who had been waiting for months to find the perfect spot to propose with the beautiful peach sapphire and diamond ring he had specially made for Tao, got down on one knee on the bridge at ILLUMINATURE, which has a kingfisher, lapwing and oyster catcher perching on the edge.

Tao said: “We had already walked around and interacted with all the parts of the trail and then Matt said we should do it again. It was when we got to the bridge again, which looked so pretty with all the lights, that he proposed and it was just beautiful – the perfect setting looking over the water and such a magical and romantic moment.

“We loved ILLUMINATURE and a favourite of mine is the otters and also the jellyfish lights, as I call them, which you can walk through and touch, plus there are lots of animal figures, lily pads and light tunnels, and the bridge of course! I can’t imagine anywhere more perfect to get engaged.”

The couple are planning to get married next year.


The illuminated trail features huge, beautifully lit wetland wildlife models including a heron, Nene goose, otters and an owl, amongst many others. In total, there are 214 different elements that make up the illuminated trail.

ILLUMINATURE is hosted by WWT and Lumagica, in association with MK Experience. It is open every evening until Sunday 9th January, from 4pm until 9pm, on Thursdays to Sundays. It is open daily from Monday 19th December to Sunday 9th January, except Christmas Day.

Tickets are priced at £17.50 for adults and £12.50 per child and must be pre-booked online at wwt.org.uk/illuminature.