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Blackthorpe Barn prepares for packed festive season with crafts, trees, café and Country Christmas shop in 2021



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It's that time of the year thoughts start to turn to the festive season and, as such, Rougham's Blackthorpe Barn has revealed the details of its popular Christmas festival.

This year sees the annual craft event turn 30, with the doors to the event opening later this month.

Blackthorpe Barn is a medieval thatched barn which houses a Country Christmas shop crammed with festive delights, while the venue also hosts craft weekends and supplies Rougham Estate Christmas trees (which have taken pride of place outside 10 Downing Street in recent years).

Blackthorpe Barn Christmas season (52123332)
Blackthorpe Barn Christmas season (52123332)

The Country Christmas shop has everything needed to make Christmas extra special – with decorations, wreaths, aromatics, wrap and gifts – including many handmade gifts.

Blackthorpe Barn's Christmas craft weekends are always busy. They showcase talented artists and craft-makers, who are present to chat to visitors about their inspiration.

This year's line-up includes woven and knitwear designs and textiles, ceramics, glassware, metalware, wood creations, natural beauty products, leather items, jewellery, books, baskets and more.

Blackthorpe Barn Christmas season (52123330)
Blackthorpe Barn Christmas season (52123330)

Many exhibitors change each weekend so there are new crafts to be explored each visit.

Craft weekends start on November 6 at 10am and continue each weekend until December 12. Visitor numbers are limited and monitored.

Single or season tickets can be purchased online with date and entry time slots allocated, or you can buy them at the door, however you may incur a small wait depending on visitor numbers at the time. Full details are on the website.

Blackthorpe Barn Christmas season. Picture by Tom Soper (52123156)
Blackthorpe Barn Christmas season. Picture by Tom Soper (52123156)

Rougham Christmas trees, grown in plantations close to Blackthorpe Barn, will be available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Freshly cut or pot grown, each tree comes with a care guide by Rougham Estate manager Simon Eddell.

The Courtyard Café, run by Liz Furness of Karat Catering, is being extended for the festive season.

From October 25 it will be open daily in a heated marquee serving tasty treats and refreshments, with plenty of choice for vegetarians, vegans and those with food intolerances.

Blackthorpe Barn Christmas season (52123324)
Blackthorpe Barn Christmas season (52123324)

George Agnew, joint owner of Blackthorpe Barn and Rougham Estate, said: “I am so pleased we are getting back to a face-to-face event again, it’s going to be fantastic.

"I can’t believe how quickly 30 years have flown by. There has been a lot of changes, we always try to evolve things and this year we have created more space for the crafts, to allow everyone to feel comfortable and we have extended the Courtyard Café with more covered areas for all to enjoy.

"I look forward to welcoming our visitors again and seeing the smiles on their faces, it really does mean a lot to me.”

George Agnew (52123214)
George Agnew (52123214)

Blackthorpe Barn is three miles from Bury St Edmunds, off the A14 at junction 45 (sat nav IP30 9HZ).

For more information and opening times, see www.blackthorpebarn.com.

  • The Country Christmas Shop is open every day October 25-December 22, 10am – 5pm.
Blackthorpe Barn Christmas season. Picture by Tom Soper (52123274)
Blackthorpe Barn Christmas season. Picture by Tom Soper (52123274)
  • Crafts: November 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, December 4-5, 11-12, 10am – 5pm. Season tickets online purchase £12 each (available online soon); single ticket online purchase £2.50 each (available mid October); tickets on the door £3 each (card preferably or cash); children under 16, free
  • Christmas trees and natural decoration: Pick your own tree (reserve your tree before it is open to all) November 13-14, 20-21, 10am-4pm.
  • Christmas trees: November 19-December 22 (only Nordman Fir are available in November).
Blackthorpe Barn Christmas season. Picture by Tom Soper (52123097)
Blackthorpe Barn Christmas season. Picture by Tom Soper (52123097)
  • Christmas workshops on various days, see www.blackthorpebarn.com for details.
  • Parking is free next to the barn, with spaces for 380 vehicles.

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