Friday, 8 November 2013

See The West Country’s Christmas Lights

From Christmas light switch-on ceremonies to parades of elaborate lanterns, the West Country has a special sparkle at this time of year.

Truro City of Lights (pictured above) is a parade through the Cornish city’s streets on 20th November. Huge handmade paper lanterns are carried by participants, this year following the theme ‘Expect the Unexpected’. Lemon Quay is a great vantage point for the event, which includes the switch on of the festive lights.

Angarrack designs and makes its own Christmas lights, which are added to each year and are unique to the village. Residents like to add their own lights to the display, so there is plenty to feast your eyes on. The main lights have a Twelve Days of Christmas theme and are switched on from 1st December to 4th January.

Mousehole Harbour Christmas lights celebrate their 50th year this December and have become so popular, they have their own website with a countdown to this year’s switch-on. The big day is 14th December and the lights will be turned on at 7.30pm. The evening includes carols from the Mousehole Male Voice Choir, Members of the Mousehole Methodist Church and members of the community with the Pendeen Silver Band. A collection is held to pay for this spectacle to continue.

The well-preserved medieval Somerset village of Dunster holds a special Dunster by Candlelight event on the first Friday and Saturday of December. This year, that’s the 6th and 7th of December from 5pm-9pm and 4pm-9pm. The event is funded by traders and proceeds from programme sales go to the local hospice. The event starts with a lantern lighting procession at 5.30pm on the Friday.

Clovelly makes a big occasion of its Christmas lights switch on. A local brass band leads a procession to the harbour, accompanied by Christmas carols with the Torridge Male Voice Choir. The lights are switched on at 5pm, giving visitors plenty of time to indulge in a hog roast and mince pies before a visit from Father Christmas and a firework finale.

To find a warm and cosy holiday cottage to retreat to after enjoying the West Country Christmas Light switch-ons and festivities, go to the Helpful Holidays website or call 01647 433593.