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From Christmas light shows to Father Christmas himself, gift fairs to winter workshops, there's so much to see and do in our region this season. It is easy to imagine yourself in the pub cosying up by the fireside with a mulled wine in hand after spending a day enjoying festive fun in East Anglia.

Read on to discover a some of our favourite events and experiences happening in and around our pubs this Christmas.



Kick off the Christmas countdown in our Winter Garden Tipi at The Crown browsing gifts, homewares and festive treats from small, local businesses. This popular Christmas Fair returns on Friday 1st December and you'll be sure to find a perfect present - or a little something for yourself!


Wrap up warm and head to the Suffolk coast for a magical morning looking out for Father Christmas as he sails into Snape. This free experience guarantees a sighting of the main man before he heads on his important journey two days later! If you're planning to stay a little longer, the concert hall is then screening The Snowman with live orchestra accompaniment in the afternoon and evening. This is a must-book in advance.

An exciting, and unusual, edition to Suffolk this season is Jimmy's Farm' resident polar bear. Visit The Lost Lands of Tundra to catch a glimpse of Ewa who was rescued last month.


Community groups around Ipswich have worked together to create decorations to adorn trees displayed in the period rooms at Christchurch Mansion's Christmas Tree Festival. Commencing on Tuesday 28th November, this free exhibition is great for all ages.

The largest Christmas fair in East Anglia returns again to Newmarket Racecourse on Friday 24th November for three days. Presents Galore is the ideal opportunity to find something for your Secret Santa, with over 120 gifting, homeware and food stalls present.


Just a twelve minute drive from The Weeping Willow, the historic market town of Bury St Edmunds always hosts an array of exciting shows for all the family. This Christmas, delight in a live viewing of Peter & the Wolf accompanied by the Orpheus Sinfonia. Enjoy the live screening of the Oscar®-winning short film in the magical setting of the Abbey Gardens.

However, this isn't the only enchantment coming to Bury this season, as Dame Judi Dench is welcome to the Theatre Royal in her first pantomime role. Be captivated by her voice as The Magic Mirror in Snow White.

Looking for an alternative to a big Christmas party this year? Tuck into a specially created menu complete with Whisky cocktail pairings at The Packhorse Inn on 7th December for their Highland Park Supper. This evening will be held in the Club Room, hosted by Joseph Ellis, a Whisky specialist, who will guide you through the Whisky pairings. It makes for a fabulous early Christmas present!



Bundle up in winter woollens and escape the hustle and bustle on the run up to the big day with our Festive Stay Package available from 23rd November. Enjoy a stay at The Feathers and begin the festive season with a mulled wine by the fire, a festive meal, a night in a cosy bedroom (because it is Christmas you'll find a gift in your room) before waking up for a cooked breakfast before you head off for a spot of Christmas shopping. This package is available at all of our pubs with rooms.


Bure Valley Railway has got a host of offerings this season including their Noel Night Train. Arrive at the train station to Aylsham Brass Band playing festive favourites, before boarding the steam engine for a 60 minute journey under Norfolk's night sky with refreshments included.

Head into the Georgian market town of Holt one afternoon for a spot of Christmas shopping. With an array of independent boutiques, you'll be sure to find a unique gift for a loved one. And, if you stay after sunset, the town is beautifully lit up from November 17th with twinkling lights and small Christmas trees on shop fronts lining the street.


Already begun, Thursford Christmas Spectacular is one of the region's most popular events of the season. An extravaganza of non-stop singing, dancing and variety, the show is now in it's 46th year and is set to be its biggest yet!

Another alternative to the traditional pantomime, but just as festive, is The Hippodrome's Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular. One of the biggest Christmas productions in Europe, take a seat and be astounded by synchronised swimmers, acrobats and dancers.


We're lucky to have a few of our pubs located nearby some of the most impressive stately homes in the region. One being Sandringham House, a royal residency of King Charles. This December, the estate has invited a renowned lighting artist to create a sensational laser installation, ‘Sky frost’, and light feature as part of the mile long trail, Luminate Sandringham.

As seen in our blog post, Holkham By Candlelight, every year the hall's state rooms are transformed into a winter wonderland with different themes for each space and Christmas trees of varying sizes at every turn. Tickets are sold out for group tours, but self-guided visits are still available here.

Looking for something a little more understated? There's nothing better than a crisp walk along Wells beach and a stroll down Staithe Street. Throw on your wellies, a scarf and hat and let your four-legged friend run free while you admire the sandy shores, and pastel hued beach huts. Afterwards, pile into The Globe, tuck into a festive treat and cosy up by the fire.



Get into the festive spirit with a Wreath Making Workshop at The Cricketers, Clavering. Talented floral designer, Amelia Cornish, will lead you through the experience which includes all materials, foliage, flowers and tools that you will need to make your festive wreath. Plus, tuck into treats from the kitchen and warming mulled wine.


Step into a winter wonderland at RHS Hyde Hall and enjoy an after-dark spectacle of lights. This family-friendly experience begins on 23rd November, but we'd also recommend visiting their breath taking gardens during the day.

Time travel back 500 years and discover how Thomas Paycocke and his household would have spent the festive season at Paycocke's House & Garden. From the decorations and music, to food, drink and revelry!


Gather your friends for an evening of creativity with no previous experience required and create your own fused glass Christmas tree decorations. Either take them home to adorn your tree or they make a perfect little stocking filler!

Love crafts as much as we do? Head to The Eight Bells this December for a Christmas Calligraphy class with Ink & Flow Studios. Learn how to use your new calligraphy skills to make your own Christmas cards and tags, and take home a calligraphy starter kit with you too.


Step back in time and board the Epping Ongar Lights Express to experience a light show, festive DJ, and song and dance on a steam train. Also, Each passenger will receive their own interactive LED wristband synchronised to the music, meaning you become part of the show.

All hosted by the Voiceover Man off The X Factor!

After a seasonal dinner and drink at The Eight Bells head to Saffron Hall to listen to no-other than the BBC Big Band perform A Swinging Christmas. Listen to popular Christmas hits and carols, all given the swing treatment!

Finally, dust off your elf fancy dress and help raise money for Mind by joining their family fun-run on Saturday 2nd December. The 5k trail takes you around woodland and to top off, get a medal and mince pie at the finish line!



The region is even more special this time of year as the city gears up for Christmas with shop fronts adorning new sparkling displays, lights filling the streets and people visiting the markets. After being on your feet all day visit The Carpenters Arms sink in to a cosy chair and tuck into a warming festive dinner.


Beginning on 1st December, Cambridge Botanic Garden is hosting its first ever light experience this season. Expect the lights to highlight some of the garden's most beloved features such as the fountain and lake. Top off the evening with a festive meal at The Rupert Brooke, just 3 miles down the road.

Looking for something to immerse all of your senses? Wimpole Hall is putting on a Christmas Route around their state rooms; from twinkling lights and the sounds of bells and carols, to nostalgic decorations and 10ft Christmas trees.


Escape the busier, big shops of Cambridge city centre and visit Mill Road Winter Fair on Saturday 2nd December. You'll find homemade gifts and craft stalls, food and drink, live music and storytellers, plus a mysterious, meditative labyrinth.

Get in quick to enter the ballot for tickets to the infamous Kings College carols on Christmas Eve that are broadcasted nationally, or enjoy a sneak-peak on Sunday 3rd December. Carols by Candlelight is equally delightful and a special way to kick off your December celebrations.


Delve deep into the Cambridgeshire fens this season and visit Mother and Father Christmas at Fen Cottage, Wicken Fen. Head on an adventure along the Woodland Walk and join the elves to make a Christmas decoration before heading to ours for mulled wine and festive treats.

Ely Cathedral Christmas Gift & Food Fair is returning this November where you can find the perfect gift for friends and family from over one-hundred boutique stalls. Tickets for the indoor market are nearly sold out, but you can still visit the outdoor stalls free or charge and experience the city in its festive glory.

Still need to get your work Christmas party booked in? Our semi-private dining room at The Carpenters Arms and The Wren Room with terrace at The Rupert Brooke can host from 12 to 70 guests and make for an intimate setting for your celebrations.


If you still want more of a festive-fix take a look at our Christmas workshops, festive menus and stay packages here.

Merry Christmas x

With credit to Ely Cathedral, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Snape Maltings, Thursford Christmas Spectacular, RHS Hyde Hall, Wimpole Estate and Ink & Flow Studios for some imagery.


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