What is a Wassail?

Wassail comes from the old English Waes Hael meaning ‘be in good health’. The tradition involves: warding off the unfriendly spirits lurking in the orchards by making lots of noise; encouraging nature to thrive by feeding bread to the birds; and perking up the fruit trees with a good sprinkling of cider! In doing so we hope that the coming year's fruit crop will be bountiful and that we'll add some winter cheer at this often drab time of year.

What are the arrangements?

The Colwall Wassail event is organised by Colwall Orchard Group. 

This is a family event suitable for all ages (but there will be a  couple of loud bangs during the Wassail ceremony).

It will be held on Saturday 18th January 2020 at Colwall Village Garden in Old Church Road, Colwall, WR13 6HB.

Gates open at 5:30pm and the event finishes by 9.00pm at the latest.

Admission to the event will by ticket purchased in advance. Tickets are £3.00 for adults and £1.00 for children under 16.

We have a maximum capacity of 499 people for the Wassail.

Where can I purchase tickets?


What happens at the Wassail?

We will assemble by a bonfire at 5.30pm onwards.


At 6.00pm there will be a torchlit procession through the community orchard to the Wassail tree where the main Wassail ceremony will take place.

After the Wassail ceremony we return to near the bonfire where there will be singing, food and drink.

What should I wear?

The entire event is outdoors.

You should wear footwear suitable for muddy and uneven ground.

Wear warm / waterproof clothing appropriate for the conditions.

This is a fun evening so you may wish to dress up a little with fancy Wassail hats and coats.

What should I bring?

We would suggest that you bring a battery operated torch with you or mobile phone with a torch.

Part of the Wassail ceremony involves making a noise to ward off unfriendly spirits so you may wish to bring horns and pots/pans to bang.

Pets unfortunately cannot be brought to the Wassail.


How do I get there?

 If possible we would recommend that you use public transport, or your own private transport, to get to the centre of Colwall village. 

Colwall Railway Station is on the Worcester to Hereford railway line.

Colwall is served by the First Worcestershire Bus Service which goes between Ledbury and Great Malvern. The 675 bus goes through the centre of the Village. We would suggest alighting at Colwall Stone close to Colwall Railway Station, and then walking from there.

Details of car parking are given in the section below.

From Colwall Railway Station walk along the station approach road to Colwall Stone. Cross straight across Walwyn Road into Stone Drive and walk straight ahead for a quarter mile to the 'T' junction with Old Church Road. Turn left and walk for half a mile until, just after the junction to Orlin Road/Old Orchard Lane on your right, you will find Colwall Village Garden on a trackway to the left.

It takes approximately 15 minutes to walk from Colwall Railway Station to Colwall Village Garden.

Where can I park my vehicle?

There is no on-site parking for this event and the Colwall Village Garden is on a narrow country lane, so opportunities for dropping people off are limited.

Please park in the centre of Colwall village and walk to the venue. Wherever you park your vehicle please do so considerately.

In respect of our neighbours and other road users please DO NOT PARK in any of these roads - Old Orchard Lane, Orlin Road or Old Church Road.

Are there toilet facilities on site?

We have a single composting toilet on the site. 

This is accessed via a small flight of timber steps, so unfortunately may not be accessible to all people.

What will we be selling?

We will be serving hot pork rolls, vegetarian and gluten free soup, samosas and home-made cakes.

A bar will be available serving  warm mulled cider and warm mulled apple juice, as well as cider, perry, beer and apple juice.

For the procession within the orchard we will be selling Procession Torches. These are commercially manufactured wax torches which come with a handle. They burn for about an hour. Only those over 16 years of age can purchase a torch. Any child under 16 years old must be supervised at all times (we recommend that there is one adult supervisor per torch). We advise that children under 8 years old should not carry torches.

No Procession Torches will be allowed in the area where food is being served and where entertainment is provided. They will only be allowed in the orchard area when the procession is taking place.

If you wish to purchase a Procession Torch you will need to buy a token from the stall near the entrance gate when you arrive at the event. Tokens will be exchanged for Procession Torches as the procession begins and on entry to the orchard. The cost of a Procession Torch is £3.00.

Cash sales only.

Where can I find out more information?

We hope that this has given you a flavour of what the Wassail is all about and we hope that you will be able to join us at this fun family event.

If you would like more information or have any thoughts or queries please contact us at members@colwallorchardgroup.org

Waes Hael!