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This Week in Somerset… we’re looking ahead to Christmas

November 6, 2018 Visit Europe No Comments Email Email

Blackmore by Candlelight               25 November 2018
Blackmore Farm, Blackmore Lane, Bridgwater, TA5 2NE.
A day of festive fun when the 15th Century, Grade 1 Listed, Manor House opens its grounds to over fifty craft and food stalls.  With ‘live’ music throughout the day, and a selection of local produce to try at the onsite farm shop, entry is £5 in aid of local charities.

For more information visit

 Dulverton by Starlight                2 December 2018

The pretty Exmoor village lights up its streets with the Dulverton Christmas lights, Starlight Sunday entertainers and free firework display.  Festivities take place all afternoon and into the evening. has a wealth of independent shops, businesses, organisations, restaurants, takeaways, pubs, cafes and tea rooms all of whom help to make this a special place to visit.

For more information visit

 World of Bears, Taunton

In June 1999 the Gorge Bear Co opened in Cheddar Gorge, followed in 2004 by the World of Bears in Taunton.  Nowadays, they are renowned for being the best/biggest teddy bear stores people have ever seen.  Proud of their Somerset heritage they stock over 4,250 bears, available on-line, and looking for a home for Christmas.

For more information visit

 Dunster by Candlelight                  7 & 8 December 2018                                

A unique festive night with the stunning medieval village lit by candlelight.  The event includes a firework display, stilt walkers, fire spinners, hog roast and live music.  On Friday (7th) there is a Lantern Lighting Procession and on Saturday (8th) the Sutton Household Soldiers march through the village with flaming torches and Drums.  A chance to experience the charm of an Exmoor village with all the festivity of Christmas.

For more information visit

Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Santa Specials  8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24 December

Santa will be in residence, 1,000 ft above sea level, at Woody Bay Station, Parracombe, Barnstaple, this December.  Families can get into the festive spirit and enjoy an exciting two-mile return journey from Woody Bay Station to Killington Lane and back by steam train.  Trains depart at: 11.00, 12.00, 13.00, 14.00, & 15.00.

For more information visit and

Other Somerset Markets of note…

Wells Christmas Market – 19 to 22 December 2018

Over100 stalls with a range of gifts, produce and Father Christmas

Cheddar Festive Night – first Friday in December

Opportunity to buy unusual gifts in the festive atmosphere.  Fireworks, choirs and bands, candlelit tours of the caves, and the village decked out with Christmas trees and lights.

Frome Christmas Market    Christmas Lights switched on 30 November.

A great treat to kick off the season, with lantern procession, carols and festive food stalls

Shepton Mallet Christmas Market Friday 14th – Sunday 16th December 2018

With a variety of different traders each day, plus Mendip’s very own Father Christmas!

Foodie of the Week

Brown & Forrest Smokery, Bowdens Farm, Hambridge, TA10 0BP    Mon-Sat  9-4pm

A small family run smokery, that has been producing a whole range of smoked foods including smoked eel, salmon, trout, chicken, duck and lamb for 37 years. Using a wood fired system it specialises in small scale batches, smoked to order, by either hot smoking (1-2 hour long process) or cold smoking (15-20 hours and ideal for salmon, trout, haddock, kippers, hams and cheese). The smokery has a well stocked shop, with hampers and selection packs available, and a fully licenced restaurant serving homemade quiches, terrines and pies, as well as its trademark bread & butter pudding and freshly made soups.

1st December – Smokery Open Day with product tastings and tours of the smokehouse.

Where to stay…

Exmoor has much to celebrate, with recent awards to three of its hotels.

  • Three Acres Country House won a Visit Britain Rose Award putting them in the Top 100 accommodation providers in the country.  Set in secluded peaceful grounds near Dulverton it has had a ranking of 5 Stars since 2007 and provides guests with a comfortable, relaxed and enjoyable stay on Exmoor.
  • The Old Rectory Hotel won an Editor’s Choice Award for Eco-Friendliness from the Good Hotel Guide.  Regularly voted amongst the Top 5 Travellers Choice Hotels by guests on Trip Advisor the hotel, has a new Chef Thomas Frost whose modern British menu includes just-landed fish and garden-fresh produce.
  • Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards named Dunkery Beacon Country House Hotel ‘Hotel Restaurant of the Year’. Intimate and friendly with a focus on seasonal and locally-produced food, the restaurant is open to non-residents Wednesday to Saturday.

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