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Dunster by Candlelight

We are returning to one of Roadmark’s favourite hotels to enjoy the atmospheric ‘Dunster by Candlelight’ Festival. This unique event takes place on the first Friday and Saturday of December in the remarkably well-preserved medieval village of Dunster on the fringes of Exmoor. A charming start to the seasonal festivities, Dunster’s ancient streets ring with carol singers, choirs, brass bands and bell ringers. There are street entertainers, fire spinners, flame jugglers and medieval plays. The village’s independent shops stay open late providing ideal opportunities for quirky Christmas shopping. Colourful stilt-walkers lead an exuberant procession through the village to light the lanterns on the Friday evening, and these take the place of electric street lamps for both nights. We have been fortunate in booking accommodation at the comfortable Yarn Market Hotel, in the heart of the Village.

Day 1 - Thursday

A taxi will collect you from home and bring you to the coach to join your driver and fellow travellers. We will make our way to the pretty town of Sherborne on the Dorset/Somerset border. It has an abundance of medieval buildings, small shops, cafés and ancient inns, and provides a good place for our lunch stop. This afternoon we continue through the Quantocks to reach Dunster in good time to settle in to the Hotel and, perhaps, take a stroll through the village before dinner.


Day 2 - Friday

After breakfast we will take a drive into the nearby Edwardian seaside town of Minehead. It has a long seafront, pretty harbour and a wealth of small independent shops. It is also home to the West Somerset Railway. A true country branch line of the GWR, the line runs along the coast to Watchet then through the gently rolling Quantock Hills. We will join a steam-hauled service for a nostalgic ride through lovely countryside. Later in the afternoon we return to Dunster as the village descends into darkness and the lantern lighting procession gets underway. Dunster Castle (free to National Trust members) will be spectacularly floodlit, and the rooms dressed for Christmas. Hot chocolate and cookies will be available before bedtime.

B, D

Day 3 - Saturday

Today we include an excursion along the hilly North Devon coast to Barnstaple. The town lies on the River Taw and has an ancient Pannier Market. Largely unchanged in over 150 years, the Market has a wide range of stalls selling fresh local produce, art and crafts, fashion and much more. Back in Dunster there will be plenty of entertainment and shopping opportunities as the second evening of the Festival gets underway. We include a glass of mulled wine before bedtime.

B, D

Day 4 - Sunday

The festivities are over and it is time to return to Sussex. Enroute we will be calling at Clarks Village, the outlet shopping centre in Street, where there are all kinds of bargains on offer and a selection of food outlets. We arrive home for taxis late afternoon/early evening.


B=Breakfast, D=Dinner



Perfectly situated to make the most of Dunster by Candlelight, the family-run Yarn Market Hotel is in the heart of the village, just a few hundred yards from Dunster Castle. The Hotel prides itself on offering a warm welcome and friendly service. As you would expect in an old building, bedrooms vary in size and character. There is a small lift to some of the rooms, but expect to encounter a few steps. Tea/coffee making facilities are provided and there is free Wi-Fi.

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Roadmark Travel Ltd
4 Mill Parade, Mill Lane, Storrington, PULBOROUGH, RH20 4NF
Tel No: 01903 741233   E-mail:
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