Every year on the first Friday and Saturday in December, the medieval village of Dunster steps back in time by staging a magical spectacle in aid of St. Margaret’s Hospice.

Dunster by Candlelight attracts visitors from across the region and beyond to enjoy the special festive atmosphere, shopping and entertainment.

Since the event started in 1986, it has raised almost £200,000 to help St. Margaret’s Hospice care for people in Somerset who are facing a life-limiting illness.

Founder Hannah Bradshaw said: “There’s so much to see and the atmosphere is so special. Many people who come every year say their Christmas starts with Candlelight.

“When Candlelight started in 1986, we wanted people to come from far and wide and St. Margaret’s Hospice was just being built in Taunton. It was agreed that we support St. Margaret’s – a popular decision.

“We hope everyone will come along and support the hospice. Even people who come from other parts of the country are happy to support our local hospice because they know what good work hospices do.”

Dunster by Candlelight is funded by local traders and the annual spectacle is the culmination of a year-round effort by the organising committee. Up to 10,000 people are expected to descend on the village, with a dedicated bus service operating from Minehead, Watchet, Wheddon Cross and Porlock.

Chairman Andy Fay said: “This wonderful event brings together the traders and residents of the village who take great pride in welcoming so many visitors to our small village.

“The heart of Candlelight is about raising valuable funds for St. Margaret’s Hospice, which provides so much support to those in most need. All the monies raised from programme sales as well as a further contribution from the organising committee go to this great cause.”

This year volunteers from St. Margaret’s Hospice will be running a chocolate tombola and merchandise stall in West Street.

Community Fundraiser Kara Frampton said: “We’re really excited to be part of Dunster by Candlelight, which is always such a highlight of the festive season in Somerset.

“We’re very grateful to the organising committee and all the traders who make it possible, as well as all the volunteers who will be helping over the weekend. Everyone who buys a programme will be helping us to deliver high quality, responsive and compassionate care to patients and families in Somerset who are facing any life-limiting illness.”

More information can be found at dunsterbycandlelight.co.uk.