All posts by: Jim C

Wassailing is so ancient that putting a date on when it began has been lost in time.

Wassailing however has given birth to other customs such as carol singing, and wishing others good health when drinking.

The main purpose of wassailing is to perform a ceremony to protect the trees from evil and to make them bear a plentiful fruit crop in the coming year. The event involves lots of cider, singing, dancing and celebrating trees in orchards on the 12th night.

How to wassail your apple trees

The assembled company surround a tree and toasted bread, soaked in cider, is placed in the branches of the tree (supposedly for the robins). Cider is then poured into the roots of the tree.

Everyone sings to the tree:

Old apple tree we wassail thee and hoping thou wilt bear
For the Lord doth know where we may be ‘til apples another year
For to bloom well and to bear well so merry let us be
Let everyone take up their cup and drink to the old apple tree

Then everyone calls out to the tree:

Old apple tree we wassail thee and hoping thou wilt bear
Hatfuls, capfuls, three bushel bagfuls and a little heap under the stairs
Hip hi hooray!

Then a great noise is made, customarily with shotguns being fired through the branches of the tree. The wassail ceremony is very simple and short but feel free to add your own variations.

There’s a great seasonal recipe for making Mulled Cider recipe ideal for your wassail here.

More information on what happens at a Cider Wassail on the Daily Telegraph site, and at the National Association of Cider Makers.

Visit our events page for Cider events near you.

There is a wealth of Cider information on the web as well as places and organisations to help you find learn more about how fantastic cider is!

Here are some of the recommended resources for you to explore. If you have any that you would like to see here, please contact us.

Sites run by the Real Cider Network

Cider Museums

Cider Organisations

Cider Making

  • Wittenham Hill Cider Portal by Andrew Lea. A highly recommended guide to cider production including cider making, problem solving, apple juice and vinegar making.
  • National Orchard Forum This site lists orchard groups across the country, some of which offer training and advice on the care and maintenance of orchards, and cider juice making.
  • Brogdale Orchard The home of the National Fruit Collections. Brogdale orchard offer advice on orchard management, fruit identification, events and training courses.
  • Orange Pippin The comprehensive resource for apples and orchards.
  • Bramley Apples A website dedicated to the Bramley apple, complete with recipes, tips and information about the nation’s favourite cooking apple.
  • Tom the appleman – Tom Adams Fruit Tree Nursery, Shropshire
  • Brew UK suppling equipment and ingredients for making ciders, beers, and wines.
  • Vigo Hobby Presses Cider making equipment for small scale production
  • The Homebrew Shop bottles, measurement and other cider making equipment
  • Bag in Box As the name implies buy cider ‘bag in boxes’

Cider web sites

Cider photography

  • I am Cider – Bill Bradshaw’s delicious cider lifestyle blog

Cider Making Training

Online Pub Guides

  • community driven UK pubs guide, with ratings and reviews by real customers
  • Beer in the evening UK pub listings site featuring maps, pub search, pub ratings, and reviews

Cider Industry Jobs

List of nurseries and recommended apple trees suppliers

UK Nurseries

  • Adam’s Apples Tel: 01404 841166 – A family run nursery located in Devon
  • Grown for you Tel: 0845 512 0143 – Supplying young fruit and vegetable plants and quality fruit trees to help you produce all your favourite foods.
  • Orange Pippin Tel: 01759 305079 – Offering good quality fruit trees for sale

US Nurseries

The best selection of cider apples, depending on whether you are in UK or US, if you find any of these you will not only have found a good supplier, but have wonderful cider apples growing each year for your enjoyment.

  • Binet Rouge
  • Brown Snout
  • Brown Thorn
  • Chisel Jersey
  • Claygate Pearmain
  • Coat Jersey
  • Crimson King
  • Dabinett
  • Dufflin
  • Grenadier
  • Harry Masters Jersey
  • Marin Oufroy
  • Mettais
  • Michelin
  • Muscadet de Dieppe
  • Nehou
  • Noel des Champs
  • Porter’s Perfection
  • Reine des Pommes
  • Bulmer’s Norman
  • Stembridge Cluster
  • Stoke Red
  • Vilberie
  • Yarlington Mill

Of course there are many more local vareties, but these are the apple types we have seen most widely available at these outlets and suppliers.

The best pubs for drinking and appreciating Cider.

Real Cider gives suggestions for pubs all around the country, where you will be served cider or perry, cheers!

The following links to you directly to the list of pubs in each County:





  • The Station Inn, Doncaster Rd, Darfield ,Barnsley,S73 9JA,Tel 01226 752096


  • Fighting Cock, 21-23, Preston St, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD7 1JE, Tel 01274 726907


  • The Head of Steam, Town Centre
  • The Rat and Ratchet, Chappel Hill
  • The Sair, Linthwaite


  • Haven Arms, Sheriff’s Highway, Hedon, Hull, HU12 8HH.
  • Walters, 21 Scale Lane, Hull, HU1 1LH. Tel: 01482 224004 or email : [email protected]
  • Whalebone Inn, 165 Wincolmlee, Hull, HU2 0PA.
  • Wellington Inn, 55 Russell Street, Hull, HU2 9AB.


  • Black Bull, Market Place, Otley
  • Duck and Drake, Kirkgate, City Centre
  • Miners Arms, Aberford Road, Garforth
  • Scarbrough Hotel, Bishopgate Street, City Centre


  • Lister Arms, Gordale Scar Road, BD23 4DB 01729 830330


  • One eyed rat, 51 Allhallowgate, HG4 1LQ


  • Tap and Spile, Falsgrave Road (head out from the town centre past the railway station).
  • Valley Bar, Valley Road (near the junction with Westwood Road).


  • The Harlequin, 108 Nursery Street, City Centre Sheffield S3 8GG
  • Kelham Island Tavern, 62 russell street sheffield S3 8RW (0114 2722482)
  • The Sheaf View, 25 gleadless road, heeley, sheffield S2 3aa (0114 249 6455)


  • Fernandes Brewery Tap, The Old Malthouse, Avison Yard, Wakefield


  • The Station Inn, opposite railway station
  • The Little Angel Flowergate, Whitby.
  • The Shambles, Market Place, WHITBY, North Yorkshire YO22 4DD
  • The Black Horse Church St., Whitby.


  • The Maltings, Wellington Row, York (just off Lendal Bridge, between station and city centre).
  • The Ackhorne St. Martin’s Lane, off Micklegate, York,
  • Tap & Spile, Monkgate, York (just outside city walls near Deangate)
  • The Swan Junction of Clementhorpe & Bishopsthorpe Rd.
  • York Beer Shop (specialist off-licence), Fishergate, York (about 3 mins walk beyond city walls)
  • Evil Eye Lounge (bar/off-licence), Stonegate, York.
  • The Bottle, 48 Stonegate, York
  • Fabeers off-licence, Goodramgate, York
  • The Yorkshire Terrier, Stonegate, York (opposite the Punch Bowl)

Lancashire and Greater Manchester


  • Cheshire Ring, 72-74 Manchester Road, Sk14 2BJ
  • Wrenbury cider, Wrenbury, Cheshire 01270 781212


  • The Knott, 374 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LY
  • The Crown & Kettle, Oldham Road
  • Bar Fringe, 8 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JN 0161 835 3815
  • Ye Olde Man and Scythe Inn, 6-8 Churchgate Bolton BL1 1HL 01204 451237


  • The Bobbin (Mitchells) 8 Chapel Street, Lancaster (01524)32606
  • The Boot and Shoe (Mitchells) 171 Scotforth Road, Lancaster
  • The Penny Bank 51 Penny Street, Lancaster
  • The White Cross, White Cross Ind Est, Quarry Rd, Lancaster, LA1 4XT (01524) 33999
  • The Yorkshire House, (Mitchells) 2 Parliament St, Lancaster, LA1 1DB


  • Head of Steam Lime St Station
  • Fly in the Loaf 35 Hardman Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 9AS
  • Ye Cracke 13 Rice Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 9BB Tel: 0151 709 4171
  • Ship & Mitre, 113 Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2JH Tel: 0151 236 0859
  • Baltic Fleet, Wapping (opposite Albert Dock)
  • The Belvedere, Sugnall Street, off Falkner Street


  • The Smugglers Den 56 Poulton Road, Morecambe (01524) 421684


  • The Dog & Partridge, Friargate, Preston PR1 2AT
  • New Britannia, 6 Heatley Street 01772 253424
  • Old Black Bull, 35 Friargate 01772 823397



  • Telford’s Warehouse, South View Road, Chester
  • The Bear & Billet Lower Bridge St, Chester, CH1 1RU. 01244 311886


  • The Beartown Tap, 18 Willow St, Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 1RL Tel: 01260 270990


  • Helter Skelter, 31, Church Street, Frodsham, Cheshire, WA6 6PN. (01928) 733361

Cumbria and Lake District


  • The Drunken Duck

Dalton in Furness

  • Black Dog Inn Broughton Road, Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria. Phone: 01229 462561



  • The Prince of Wales, Foxfield, Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA20 6BX Tel: 01229 716238


  • Dale Lodge Hotel, Grasmere, Lake District, Cumbria LA22 Tel: 01539 435300

Great Langdale

  • Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, LA22 9JY


  • The Watermill, LA8 9PY


  • Miles Thompson, Allhallows Lane, Kendal LA9 4JH. Tel: 01539 815710.


  • Kirkstile Inn


  • The George Hotel, Front Street, Orton, Penrith CA10 3JR. Tel: 01539 624229


  • The Eagle & Child, Kendal Road 01539 821320

Wasdale Head

  • Wasdale Head Inn


  • Bransty Arch, Bransty Arch Row, Whitehaven, Cumbria CA28 7XE

Newcastle Upon Tyne

  • The Union Rooms, 48 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 1JF
  • The Newcastle Arms, 57 St Andrews Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 5SE
  • The Bacchus, 42-48 High Bridge, City Centre, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 1EW
  • The Town Wall, Pink Lane, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne & wear, NE1 5DW
  • The Free Trade, Saint Lawrence Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear NE6 1AP
  • The Cumberland Arms, James Place Street off Byker Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear NE6 1LD
  • The Cluny, Ouseburn, 36 Lime Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear NE1 2PQ

Durham City

  • Tap and Spile, 27 front street, Framwellgate Moor, DH1 5EE
  • The Water House North Rd, Durham DH1 4SQ 0191 3706540

There are a number of cider producers you can buy online who can deliver a wide range of ciders to your door.

Their products vary throughout the year, have a look at the sites below for the best current deals:

Cider Producers

Cider Suppliers

Cider homebrew Supplies

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