Let's Wassail!

The apple tree in winter

This corner of the National Trust is pretty passionate about apple trees. Bring the family to make some noise and scare away bad spirits so there is a bumper crop of apples next autumn!

Here in South Somerset, the National Trust holds a national collection of apple trees. In the summer, cider made at nearby Barrington Court, from apples grown in orchards across four local properties, won the Overall Drink award at the National Trust’s Fine Farm Produce awards.

So join in a traditional Wassail, an ancient tradition that involves processing to the orchards, making plenty of noise to scare off evil spirits and attracting good spirits with offerings of cider and toast (some say the toast is to attract a robin, which embodies the good spirits).

This year’s ceremony will be held at Montacute on Saturday 4 January. Meet at the stables at 4.30pm; bring a torch and something to make lots of noise (traditionally, a cooking pot and a big spoon). If you are bringing your dog, please be aware there will be loud firing at the end of the ceremony.