Newcastle Christmas Tree Festival

The Newcastle Christmas Tree Festival has been happening every year since 2009, taking place one Saturday in early December. Each year History-for-kids enters the competition. Find out more about it here, and there is an interview with one of the organizers, Lesley Dinning. 

This Year:

The 2016 festival is on Saturday 3rd December 2016, with viewing and voting from 11am to 4:30pm.  Then at 5:00pm there is carol singing surrounded by the trees.  The winning trees will be announced during the carol singing.

Want to enter?

Decorate a tree as an individual, a group or a business, using any theme of your choice.

Open to all age groups.

Prizes for the best trees in the show - chosen by visitors to the festival!

Find out more


HfK: What is the festival all about?

LD: It's really just for fun - we decorate the church with lots of Christmas trees - each tree with its own theme. The church is open all day for people to come and have a look around. Some of the trees are pretty, others are really funny - there are some imaginitive people out there. Originally it was intended to be a one-off, but by popular demand, we have been doing it every year. People seem to love the idea, and love the display.

HfK: Where do the trees come from?

LD: From the local community - local shops, businesses, schools, hotels and individuals, all take part. We had 27 trees in the first year, but this year we are expecting about 40.

HfK: Does the festival raise any money?

LD: It does raise a little, which is used to help maintain the Church. Also, a collection in aid of Shelter is taken during the carol concert. Admission is free though, all donations are voluntary.

HfK: What sort of themed trees can people expect to see?

LD: In the past we have had "Diving into Christmas" by Jesmond Baths, "O Fishmas Tree" by The Fish Shop. This year we have some really great ones too - all top secret until the 3rd December though!

HfK: Thanks for talking to us. I hope it goes well.

Newcastle Christmas Tree Festival
Lavatree (Lavatory. Geddit?)

Newcastle Christmas Tree Festival
Allotment Pantree

How to Find the
Newcastle Christmas Tree Festival

St. Hilda’s Church,
Thornleigh Rd,
West Jesmond,
Newcastle upon Tyne

View St Hilda's Church in a larger map

History of the Christmas Tree

  • Nobody knows for sure the truth behind the history of the Christmas Tree, but one possible story is that it started with pagans in Germany, who worshipped the oak tree. When Christianity arrived these pagans still wanted to worship a tree, so the priests suggested the pine tree - it is a triangle shape with the three points representing the father, son, and holy spirit.

  • By the 12th century fir trees were being hung, upside-down from ceilings at Christmas time in Central Europe, as a symbol of Christianity.

  • The first decorated Christmas tree is believed to have been in 1510, at Riga in Latvia. Martin Luther is said to have decorated a small Christmas Tree with candles, to show his children how the stars twinkled through the dark night.

  • The first Christmas Tree in Britain was put up at Windsor in 1800, by Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III. Charlotte was from Germany.

  • The Christmas Tree did not become popular with the masses until Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's husband, and another German) had one put up 40 years later.

  • In 1879 an American , Frederick Artz, invented a candle-holder with a spring clip that could be attached to a branch of the tree. It was made of tin, with a little cup at the bottom to catch the melted wax. It became very popular and can still be bought today.

  • Victorians cleverly made their candles spiral. This meant the melted wax ran down through the grooves without dripping.

Send us your Photos

If you have a photo of a great Christmas tree that you took at the Newcastle Christmas Tree Festival, then please send it to us, and we will share it with the world.

See More Photos of the Trees

Click below to see photos contributed by other visitors to the Newcastle Christmas Tree Festival

This is the tree from the 2011 festival. It has a pirate puppet on the top instead of a fairy, and the decorations are poems and …

su·pine: Adjective. lying on the back or with the face upward

Rowan Tree 
Row-Row-Row your boat Gently down the stream Merrily Merrily Merrily Merrily Life is but a tree.

The Best of the 2013 Competition Not rated yet
to follow

The Best of the 2012 Festival Not rated yet
The winners of the group category were... 1st place Christmas Treduce Treuse Trecycle - Ecogroup West Jesmond Primary School 2nd place Aintree …

Toasting Christmas Not rated yet
This tree was very popular, and it was the 2011 runner up in the individual competition. Yes, it's toast. The base is a toaster.

Vestree Not rated yet
by The Clergy of St Hilda's Church

Last Christmas Not rated yet
As the winner of the Decorated Christmas Tree Festival at St. Hilda’s Church, Jesmond. I would like to tell about the events leading up to my success. …

Winter Warmers Not rated yet
From the 2010 Festival

Click here to write your own.

If you are interested in entering a tree in the 2012 Newcastle Christmas Tree festival, you can contact us and we will pass your message on to the organizers.

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