Dunster by CandlelightPosted: 2009-05-29
The historic village of Dunster is tucked against the fringes of Exmoor, in north west Somerset. It's about as pretty a place as you can imagine; famous for the castle that overlooks the village and for its superb medieval buttercross.
But the village is also known for its annual Dunster by Candlelight event, which takes place in the lead-up to Christmas. In this lovely old folk event, all the modern lights in the streets are turned off and instead the streets are illuminated by candles, in a scene that really brings back the aura of Christmas past. The festival kicks off with a Lantern Lighting Procession through the village, led by stiltwalkers, who put the lanterns aloft.
There are traditional. seasonal events, such as Morris dancing, bell-ringing, choir singing, and a brass band. There are carols and street entertainers to keep visitors entertained and amused. The shops of Dunster keep special hours, and there are street stalls featuring Christmas gifts and good food to eat.
Because Dunster by Candlelight is such a popular festival, there is no parking allowed in the village. But don't worry, it's easy to get to; there are park and ride buses from Minehead and special train service on the historic West Somerset Railway. The 2009 event is due to take place over the weekend of the 4th and 5th of December. Friday the 4th from 5pm to 9.30pm, and Saturday the 5th from 4pm to 9.30pm.
I've been to Dunster several times and really enjoyed myself. Its a very picturesque old place, with lovely cottages that seem lost in a time warp. I can heartily recommend a visit, so maybe Dunster by Candlelight is the perfect opportunity!