Candlelight Stroll | Strawbery Banke

Last weekend, I attend an event at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, New Hampshire called Candlelight Stroll. Strawbery Banke (so named by British settlers because of the wild berries growing there) is a nearly 400 year old neighborhood in Portsmouth that has now been turned into a museum. It is a gorgeous place, with stunning old colonials, right near the ocean.

A beautiful Portsmouth home we saw on our walk over to Strawbery Banke.

At Strawbery Banke

This was the first time we went to the Candlelight Stroll, and we were so pleased that we are determined to make it a tradition. St. Nick, in his long, velvet robes strolled the grounds all night, as did carolers and a town crier. There were also horse-drawn carriage rides. All the paths were lined with atmospheric, magical lighting and lanterns. It all gave the sense of an old-fashioned, idyllic Christmas.

We became members of Strawbery Banke that night, and in doing so we were able to gain access to a home only open to members, where we were treated with cookies, chocolate truffles, cider, punch, and a pressed glass Christmas tree ornament. What a fabulous surprise!

Lit pathways

The historic homes were all decorated for the holidays, each decorated in differing eras of history. Though most homes were decorated for Christmas, the Shapiro home was decorated for Hanukkah during the 1940's. Each house was so intriguing.

Historic re-enactors decorating the tree

In one home, we were able to sit down and enjoy harpsichord music. It was a nice break from the cold to sit in the warm home and just take in music that made you feel as if you went back in time.

Lighted garland lining the path

I was so envious of this collection of pewter!

More beautiful Christmas decor in more beautiful homes.

This home is not in Strawbery Banke, but right outside the property, and it was gorgeous too!  The whole town is!

As this is probably my last post before Christmas, I would like to wish you all a wonderful holiday, filled with love, peace and hope!


  1. The first home reminds me of the Mary Poppins house.

  2. You live in a magical place. Merry Christmas!

  3. How exquisite! I love living vicariously through you. Living in New Hampshire has always been a dream of mine, one that probably will never happen, but this helps! Merry Christmas!

  4. I love Portsmouth!! But I have never been to the Candlelight Stroll! Love it! Especially the lighting, music, truffles and atmosphere! You are so good at finding the best places with holiday magic! I love this for a Christmas tradition and Thanksgiving in Plymouth...you may run into me at one of these in a few years. New England has such a strong sense of place. It's the best place for holidays, I have to say. Merry Christmas Alyson! Thanks for sharing your special gifts with all of us!

  5. What a wonderful, magical place. Your photos are so pretty. I love the idea of a robed Santa and carolers strolling through the town. Dreamy.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!


  6. Barb - Yes, I can totally see that!

    Julie - Merry Christmas to you too!

    Erika - Thank you! New Hampshire is an amazing place. Merry Christmas to you!

  7. What a magical place! I would love to spend Christmas in a place like this and forget the outside world for just a while... Wishing you and your family a wonderful and magical Christmas xo

  8. Megan - Thank you so much! And I got your email, you are the sweetest!! I will respond tonight. I hope you guys get to move back soon! I can imagine the heartbreak of leaving New England behind, once it gets in your soul.

    Jenny - Thank you! Merry Christmas to you too!

    Mademoiselle - Thank you very much! Hope the same for you! xx

  9. Lovely! I feel like I traveled back in time. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  10. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Alyson!
    I love Strawberry Banke. I have not been there in years.
    We have to get together after the holidays :)

  11. Peace and happiness....Merry Christmas!

  12. Magical place indeed...Merry Christmas!

  13. WOW! This sounds and looks absolutely magical. Add this as #678534 reason that I need to move to NE ;)

    That fireplace mantle is incredible!

  14. Yes, I know just how you feel. I would feel heart heavy and even a little guilty sending my own little one to school. I just could not stop dwelling on sad thoughts. Throughout Christmas day I kept thinking of and praying for the families of those who lost loved ones, I knew it must be a hard day to spend.
    But slowly there is room to start looking at loveliness again and finding a little joy and thankfulness. I love these photos of your candlelight stroll! Wow, the wallpaper on that stairwell is fantastic! What an amazing and beautiful place!~