Wandering around windows

What a lovely window display in Landgate

For those who ventured out into the streets of Rye this last weekend they were in for a real treat, in addition to the fabulous Christmas lights which line the streets and the superb Christmas tree on the main approach road into town, we were all treated to something special.

Rye’s Window Wanderland, organised by Arabella Ansar, took hold of the town and stepped it up a gear when so many shops, homes and businesses got into the spirit of the weekend and put together a spectacular array of colourful displays as good as have ever been witnessed in Rye.

For once, the weather was kind to us (at least on Saturday) and the mild dry weather coupled with the social media advertising campaign brought a good number of additional visitors to the town to enjoy the spectacle and what a welcome relief after all that we have been through in recent months.

Two local characters enjoying the festivities

There was live music from Phil Trainor, Ryebellion drummers, Tommy Ludford and Rye Jazz favourites The Violet Jive, who performed live in a window as an installation piece, and an impromptu trumpeting Santa who arrived unannounced. ‘Live’ artist James Tomlinson pulled in the crowds at the Rye Heritage Centre, and around every corner, it seemed, there was a different window display – no common theme, but such a huge amount of effort by so many who grabbed the opportunity to take part in something special, and whose joint efforts made the weekend such a huge success.

Every window deserves a mention, but there just isn’t space to do it here, but everyone who took part should be congratulated for their hard work, initiative and ability to pull together against all the odds in true community spirit.

The pictures do the talking and the selection below are just a glimpse of what was available for all to enjoy, and for those who couldn’t make it, I’m sure the benchmark has been set – and next year, who knows what Rye Window Wanderland will look like?

Image Credits: Nick Forman .


  1. Looks very cheery event, I didn’t attend as I’m classed as vulnerable. Was assured it was under strict government Covid guidance: the photograph of the town crier and un-named drummer doesn’t exactly look like this was the case?

    • Hi Phil, the drummer and I were asked to stand together for a photograph, so we were side by side for the second or two it took for the photo to be taken; otherwise yes, Social Distancing was observed (and I put my mask back on straight after the photo!)
      I must say it was a very enjoyable event, well done to Arabelle and the other organisers!

  2. It was indeed a very uplifting weekend and notable for the efforts made by the local community, young and old, to mitigate the risks as far as possible. I would urge anybody, regardless of any understandable anxieties about compliance, to please show restraint in their comments on social media about how well or badly individuals are dealing with the current challenges. I’ve seen some quite dreadful comments (not on here where we’re polite!), hastily-deleted, often late-night, sweary rants and a generally unpleasant approach when judging what other people are doing. If “be kind” feels trite, then “be quiet” might be worth a go.

    • … the kindness would be to show restraint and diligently respect current health guidance for the increased safety of us all. Better to openly [but politely] challenge thoughtless behaviour than turn a blind eye to it or ‘be quiet’ – we all continue to suffer the consequences otherwise.

  3. Everyone had made such an effort and the town looked lovely! I decided to venture out on the quieter night(Sunday) which turned out very quiet as it was raining but still was able to see the windows which were fabulous!


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