Wassailing the Orchard - Saturday 20th January 2024
This is our 6th annual Wassail, and we are very excited to invite you back to the Nightingale farm!
The tradition of wassailing dates back to pagan times, ‘Was Hael’ coming from the Old English meaning Good Health.
The first record of wassailing was in Kent in the 1400s. A wassail is a celebration of the harvest past, and for the future crop, a blessing of the trees and a scaring off of the evil spirits.
This wassail is an opportunity to learn traditional wassail songs and join in the celebration. It's suitable for all the family.
This year, we're supported again by the fantastic Ashford Folk musicians, who will be leading the torch-led procession and the evening's entertainment. We're also very pleased to announce that we will have Woodchurch Morris Men dancing for us again!
5:45-7:00pm: The torch-led procession will start at 6pm sharp with the lighting of the torches just before. We will be walking for 15-20 minutes into the orchard so please make sure you are well wrapped up for a winter night and wearing sturdy footwear. This is a farm, so mud may be present! The ceremony occurs in the orchard, where everyone is encouraged to join in the wassail songs, and the scaring of the spirits.
We will then return to the farm building for the 2nd part of the evening for about 7pm. This second walk could take a further 15 minutes.
From 7pm, there will folk music, Morris dancing and general merriment!
Food and Drinks
We will have a paid bar serving a fantastic selection of mulled cider, still and sparkling cider, beer and non-alcoholic hot and cold drinks, the bar will be open before and after the ceremony.
A selection of fine gourmet locally sourced food will be available to purchase, meat and vegan options, provided by the talented Vine and Country (Tours) Kitchen.
Food and drink will be available all evening.
There will be no parking on site.
Instead, we are offering a return minibus service from the bus stop outside the Vine Pub on Tenterden High Street (76 High St, Tenterden TN30 6AU).
The ticket proceeds go towards the event costs include transport, toilets, and insurance, this fee is not for profit and any extra will be shared among our performers.
After our first year's wassailing of the orchard, we realised that limited parking on site was an issue, therefore we made a decision with the increased interest that we would not have parking on site. This is for safety reasons; we're on a dangerous road, and also to stem the environmental impact of having many vehicles on site.
Transport minibuses will run between 4:15pm and 5:45pm from Tenterden to Gibbet Oak Farm.
Return minibuses will run from 7pm until 9:30pm.
By prior arrangement, drop offs on site will be allowed. Please email email@example.com.
Parking (no parking at the event)
The following car parking is available in Tenterden and charged until 6pm at £1.20 an hour (link to car parks)
- Recreation Ground Road car park (Waitrose side)
- Recreation Ground Road car park (smaller car park on the Recreation Ground)
- Leisure Centre car park
- Station Road car park
Before and after the event Tenterden is a lovely town to enjoy in the day before the event, and has a selection of great pubs and overnight stay options if you wish to keep going later into the evening.
If you have special requirements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our best to accommodate you.
Please note that your furry companions will have to stay at home. We're a working farm and while we love all dogs big and small, we can't have them on the site. Apologies, but we hope you understand!