Christmas at Flatford

Bridge cottage at Flatford in Winter. Suffolk, East of England
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Christmas at Flatford

Come and celebrate Christmas at Flatford on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November and Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December, between 10.30am – 3.30pm.

Each year Flatford hosts a traditional Christmas celebration to get you in the mood for the festive season.  This year, the ancient hall of Valley Farm will be decorated for a Victorian Christmas.  Greenery will hang from the ancient walls and frame the huge inglenook fireplace, where a cosy wood fire will keep the winter chill at bay.  A Christmas tree will be hung with traditional decorations and figures in costume will conjure up the image of a Christmas party.  Costumed volunteers will be on hand to tell you about winter activities and Christmas customs.

In Bridge Cottage, we are telling the Christmas story of the Clarke family, who lived there in the 1880s.  Although the cottage is smaller and less grand than Valley Farm, you will be able to appreciate how they too celebrated the festive season. You will be able to make traditional decorations like pomanders, paper lanterns and paper chains – just like the Clarke family did to decorate the cottage.

The festive theme continues in the Tea Room, where you’ll be able to enjoy seasonal favourites like mince pies and mulled wine. If you prefer something savoury, you may enjoy our delicious warming soup or a sausage roll. Back by popular demand is the tasty mince pie scone, a Flatford favourite! 

The National Trust Gift Shop will be open, giving visitors the chance to stock up on last minute Christmas presents and treat themselves.  A great range of gifts will be on display, so you are bound to find something suitable. You will also be able to sample some of the delicious chutneys, jams, biscuits and liqueurs for sale in the shop. 

On the 2 and 3 of December, you will be able to join a drop in workshop to make table decorations and wreaths for your door.

In the RSPB’s Wildlife Garden, you will be able to make natural decorations and bird feeders and browse the volunteers’ craft stall. You may even meet a very special visitor! 

On all four days, there will be festive music or singing.  On Saturday 25, Sunday 26 November and Sunday 3 December, folk musicians will play traditional melodies that could have been heard in Victorian England.  On Saturday 2 December, a local choir will perform carols at various locations around Flatford.

Entry to the event is free, however, there will be a parking charge of £4.00 per car for non National Trust members and a small donation for some activities. 

If you want to find out more, please call the National Trust on 01206 297201 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/flatford or www.rspb.org.uk/flatford   Flatford is situated near to the village of East Bergholt and can be reached in 20 minutes from Ipswich and Colchester via the A12.

Photo Credit NT Photo Library/Justin Minns

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