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6 Places to Visit this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, there are plenty of festive treats happening in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, we've picked our of our 6 favourite festive places to visit this Christmas.

With Christmas just around the corner, there are plenty of festive treats happening in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, we've picked our 6 favourite festive things to do this Christmas.

1. Hot chocolate and Mince Pies at Ickworth 

The gardens at Ickworth are a real treat. Visit the beautifully presented Italianate garden for some peace and quiet or explore Ickworth’s walled garden for wonderful views and wildlife.
If you have more time to spare, take the walking trail around the Ickworth South Pleasure Grounds. The walk is dog friendly and you can spend up to 2 hours exploring the open parkland and woodland glades, perfect for an adventure.
After you have worked up an appetite from your walk, pop into the restaurant for a mince pie and a steaming hot chocolate to warm you up.

Ickworth Hall and Gardens
Ickworth House

2. Festive walks through the Abbey Gardens

During the winter, be sure to take a stroll through the Abbey Gardens and explore the many gardens on offer. Start by visiting the flowers in the Appleby Rose Gardens; an established rose garden with over 400 rose bushes. Sit and watch the world go by on the bench made from the wing of an American Flying Fortress Bomber (although it's might be a tad chilly on a frosty morning!). Afterwards, stop by the Sensory Garden which is full of fragrant and tactile plants and listen to the trickling water as you relax in the Water Garden. 

3. Festive Theatre

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a night at the theatre. The Apex has a jam-packed programme of festive productions in the lead up to Christmas, which the whole family will enjoy. Tap your toes along to the 'Christmas Swingalong' on Saturday 2nd December, join iconic writer Raymond Froggatt in his 'Christmas Matinee Show' on 5th December, enjoy the 60s hits of The Tornados and Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich at the '60s Hits & Laughter Christmas Matinee Special'. On the 23rd December, treat the children and take them along to see 'Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps!' Or in the evening, book tickets for the premier seasonal show 'An Albion Christmas', a mixture of carols, spoken word, readings and dance. 

And of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without Panto! This year, join Dick Whittington at the Theatre Royal as he goes on an adventure to clear his name and defeat King Rat! The show runs from 1st December to 14th January. 

4. Lavenham Christmas Fayre

Running from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd December 2017 the Lavenham Christmas Fair is jam-packed with live music, entertainment, craft and food stalls and of course, a visit from Father Christmas himself! Set against the atmospheric backdrop of Lavenham's Market Place, you can tuck into a hog roast and sip of a cup of steaming hot mulled wine before joining the magical Guided Lantern Walk around the village. Children will love the Lighting Up Christmas Tree Ceremony and the chance to meet Father Christmas in his Grotto.

Lavenham Christmas Fair

5.Christmas at Blackthorpe Barn 

Every Christmas the team at Blackthorpe Barn invites you to enjoy the festive season with them and this year is no different. With so much going on you will be spoilt for choice; Christmas workshops, Christmas shop, Santa’s Grotto, Mrs Christmas Party, there is something for the whole family to enjoy.
You can also choose and buy a Christmas Tree from the barn so leave room in the car for your Nordic Spruce (but there is a delivery service available!).

6. Christmas Shopping 

There's nothing quite like a day of Christmas shopping to get you into the festive spirit! Start your day at The Arc Shopping Centre; home to many high street brands such as Monsoon, River Island, Debenhams, Topshop, Next and many more, you're sure to tick lots of names of your present list! Make sure you take a ride on the carousel at the festive fairground and stop by Santa in his Grotto too. 

Afterwards, take a short walk to Bury St Edmunds' historic market place and St John's Street for unique gifts including wine hampers, luxury cosmetics, homewares and boutique clothing plus much more!