DUNSTER will launch a new winter festival to replace Dunster by Candlelight, an annual event that was held over 37 years but will not return.

The name ‘Dunster Winter Festival’ was suggested by Gaynor Gough.

It was chosen from almost 150 entries after deliberation from the committee, who agreed it best reflected their plans for December 2024.

The competition was open to all, and the committee have thanked the school children, residents and visitors who took the time to enter the competition.

In December, Dunster by Candlelight's committee decided the event would not return for 2024 after raising over £200,000 for St Margaret’s Hospice.

A spokesperson said the event had been a “victim of its own success” and said “all good things come to an end”.

But this year, from December 6 to 8, the the Dunster Winter Festival will carry on the traditions that visitors grew to love at Dunster by Candlelight.

As usual, the castle and other venues will be open to the public, and the committee say guests can expect some good entertainment in the village with lanterns providing ‘atmospheric lighting’.

Somerset County Gazette: Gaynor Gough received a gift voucher for coming up with the new event's name.Gaynor Gough received a gift voucher for coming up with the new event's name. (Image: Nina Dodd)

They also hope to include craft workshops and storytelling, with more activities to be announced closer to the festival date.

Committee member David Noad said: “We had an incredible response from the local community-residents and traders alike, who want to support a new event.

“The name ‘Dunster Winter Festival’ best describes how the event has evolved, keeping the elements visitors love and adding new ones.

“Now we need to raise the financial support needed to deliver an amazing event.”

Any businesses looking to get involved can get in contact with The Dunster Winter Festival team by emailing them at

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