Thursday, 4 July 2019

Well Dressing at Tissington

Hi there everyone 😀

We had a day out to see the Tissington Well Dressing at the beginning of June and it seems like an absolute age ago.

Whilst Martin and I have both visited The Peak District lots over the years, neither of us have ever actually managed to get to see a well dressing. I think in the past, when we could probably have only visited on weekends, we didn't really fancy seeing the pretty little village of Tissington crowded out.

Now, of course, we are lucky enough to have time to be able to visit on a weekday, when I guessed things would be just a little bit quieter.

The annual well dressing festival in Tissington runs for 7 days, starting on Ascension Day every year. There are six wells dressed around the village and all are decorated with flower petals or other natural materials and we were really looking forward to having a good wander around the village and seeing the wells up close and personal.

The roads in and out of the village had been turned into a bit of a one way systems for the period of the well dressing and we parked up in a field at the top end of the village and headed down the main street with our eyes peeled, looking for our first well ...
Tissington is a really lovely Peak District village ... full of traditional stone houses, with pretty cottage gardens bursting with early summer flowers. There are a few quirky little shops, always worth a look, a church,  duckpond, a cafe and a nursery ... and of course, not forgetting Tissington Hall itself.

The first well we came to was Hands Well and it was really pretty ...
Up close you can see all of the individual petals and other bits and pieces that have been used to decorate the well ...
The process of decorating the wells begins a fair while before the event ... with new designs being chosen each year. The boards which are used to mount the pictures then spend a few days soaking in the village pond before being plastered in clay and the pictures marked out. The final step is filling in the picture with flower petals and other natural materials. Pretty much the whole of the village is involved in some way in preparing the displays ... whether by digging the clay, picking the flowers or helping to put them up.

A bit further down the main street and we found the Children's Well ...
We then passed Tissington Hall ...
... where opposite we found Hall Well, which was our favourite. It depicted Jonah and the whale and was stunning, with a whale's tail of woven willow to really set off the display ...
Again, up close, you could really see the intricacy of the design and appreciate just how much work would have gone in to placing all of the individual petals ...
From here we decided it would be a good time to visit Herbert's Tea Room, which is situated in The Old Coach House, where we had very welcome sausage sandwiches to keep us going, whilst we admired the photographs of well dressing visitors from times gone by ...
Refreshed, we were ready to continue with our meandering, wandering to the bottom of the main street and heading right, delighted to see a bit a blue sky making an appearance ...
The next well we came to was Yew Tree Well, where we were definitely feeling the 60s vibe ...
Retracing our steps we headed past the village duckpond ... where the boards used for the well dressings are soaked ...
... to Town Well ...
There was just one more well left for us to find and we made our way along a narrow footpath, between gardens ...
... to find what we were looking for ...
I don't know why it's called Coffin Well, I'm sure there will be an explanation for this somewhere, but our last well was literally in someone's back garden ...
It was time to wend our way back ...
... along the footpath through the cottages ...
... stopping to chat with the locals along the way ...
... admiring the gardens and wondering why this house had its very own individual post box ...
The blue sky was holding out nicely ...
Our plan was then to visit Tissington Hall, which was open for the afternoon for tours ...
... but it felt a bit pricey for us so we decided to give it a miss. I think we must have got too used to visiting either National Trust places or places where we can use our Gardeners' World two for one entry tickets ... must be getting old.

We couldn't resist a few photos of the allium in the garden though ... they were absolutely stunning ...


We decided to head back to the car and have a ride to Ilam Park ... but we couldn't leave without a visit to Acanthus ...
... which, as always, was crammed full to the rafters of all kinds of loveliness ...
I restricted myself to buying just a couple of these herb labels, which I just loved ...
We both really enjoyed our first visit to a well dressing festival. These take place in lots of villages all over The Peak District & Derbyshire right through the summer months, so if you fancy a visit, there is still plenty of time to see somewhere this year.

It was a really lovely way to spend a couple of hours and to explore a pretty Peak District village. I'm sure it's something we will definitely do again ... perhaps in a different village next time, not that we didn't love Tissington ... it's just nice to get out and see different places.

We made our way back to the car to head off for Ilam Park ... but I'll tell you more about that in a separate post.

*********************************************************************************

No comments:

Post a comment

Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.