In this #SecretKendal post, we are shining a light on some of our favourite festive corners of Kendal. We start with a wonderful tradition at Kendal’s Parish Church.
Kendal’s Holy Trinity Parish Church is ablaze with colour and light as it hosts the 8th Annual Christmas Tree Festival. About 40 trees, each decorated by local charities, schools and groups are on display, it’s a brilliant fundraiser and awareness raiser of all the great things that happen in our community. Refreshments are also on offer and this Saturday (14th) at 2pm, Burneside Brass Training band will be performing. Next Saturday (21st) it’s the turn of the U3A Recorder Ensemble. For more details visit their website.
Holy Trinity is one of the widest churches in England – only four feet narrower than York Minster – a fact which makes for a clunky introduction to our next festive corner of Kendal, the Market Place. Because it is here you can find the town’s Christmas tree and, on Wednesday and Saturday market days, chestnuts and mistletoe.
Apparently, York Minster held a Mistletoe Service where wrongdoers could come and be pardoned. This strange, iconic, festive Christmas plant is one we are more likely to associate with affection. At some point this season you may be puckering up under a mistletoe branch. The Victorians plucked a white berry from the branch before every kiss and, when all were gone, so was the Christmas kissing. The Woodland Trust says Mistletoe grows in the branches of trees such as hawthorn, poplar and lime, although in the UK it’s most common hosts are apple trees.
Another place to find Christmas trees, in addition to the one in the Market Place (pictured above). Is in Wainwright’s Yard.
If you are looking for a complete contrast to a traditional tree, then head for the sculptural lighting spheres that make for a magical, ethereal tree in Wainwright’s Yard near Booths. The giant orbs of light, balanced to make a tower of light, are quite fabulous and brighten up the dullest of days.
Our final festive tree spot is on the top floor of lifestyle store Armstrong Ward, which is filled to the rafters which Christmas gifts, some by British producers. Popular purchases, says Jacqueline Ward, have been whoopie cushions and talking parrots. She does a happy dance inside when a customer finds a perfect present which she and husband and co-owner Andrew have picked.
Our final two stops on this festive tour of Kendal’s Christmassy corners are window displays. One is a Christmas mannequin in the Maya Maya window, which has been beautifully dressed with the help of Mother Nature. The team will also dress, or rather Christmas gift wrap, any gifts you buy in-store in exchange for a donation to CancerCare North Lancashire and South Cumbria.
And we just love the smell and floral goodies at Flowers by Arrangement near Marks and Spencer.