Awaken Your Christmas Spirit at Blackthorpe Barn this Festive Season

Christmas at Blackthorpe Barn is in full flow!

Christmas excitement begins each year when the Blackthorpe Barn Christmas festival is officially opened. Hidden down a beautiful tree-lined avenue in Rougham just outside Bury St Edmunds, Blackthorpe Barn opens its heavy oak doors from 21st October, for a Christmas delight not to be missed!

Blackthorpe Barn is an unassuming medieval barn, yet when you enter, you are transported into a truly magical Christmas event with a large Country Christmas Shop, Best of British crafts weekends, famous Rougham Estate Christmas trees, creative workshops, a country café and the most talked about Santa’s grotto. 

Christmas tingles start as you enter the Christmas Shop, truly bursting at the seams with everything you need to decorate your home and with gifts for friends and family. As you enter the shop you are greeted with a wonderful display of gorgeous decorations of all shapes, sizes, colours and materials ranging from rustic and traditional designs, through to highly contemporary and totally unique designs that are sure to make everyone smile. There are gift ranges for everyone, whether you are looking for a memory blast from the past with the nostalgic range, a little something to add festive aromas during the festive period with scented candles, amazing gift wrap with all the trimmings, table decorations, or a more ‘roll up your sleeves’ gift from the make section. The Country Christmas Shop is open every day from 21st October until 23rd December and with some festive Friday late night shopping, please see website for details. 

For something completely different the best of British craft weekends start on 9th November and for five weekends thereafter. Housed mostly in the beautiful medieval barn, the weekends showcase items from some of the country’s most talented artists and craft-makers.  As visitors meander through the barn they can be thrilled by the pure creativity on offer and they can have the chance to chat to the makers themselves. Visitors can be inspired from truly originals sculpture and ceramics, wooden, metal and glass creations, traditional and textile jewellery, leather items, feltware, homewares and furniture, gardenware, textiles and fashion, artworks and landscapes, basketware, health and beauty indulgence, tasty food items and so much more. Many exhibitors change each weekend so there are new crafts to be explored each visit. 

For visitors wishing to expand their own creative skills there are craft-led workshops where they can get hands-on at making their very own masterpieces. Choose from beautiful Christmas garlands, wreaths and many more. Workshops can be booked online. 

For the freshest and highest quality festive centrepiece, a famous Rougham Estate Christmas tree is a must. Available from 22nd November you can choose from very freshly cut to pot grown in many shapes and sizes.  The trees are nurtured all year round in plantations close to the barn by Farm Manager Simon Eddell. This year the Blackthorpe Barn Christmas tree area has been much improved with extra display areas, new tree wrapping area, new tree crèche, new payment point near to the trees themselves and easier parking for the collection of trees. Simon said “I am sure this newly designed tree area will improve the tree browsing experience and therefore help our customers to find the perfect tree, it will also make it a lot easier to load into their cars.” 

There is also a chance to wow the younger generation with a visit to the much talked about Santa’s grotto.  It truly is the most unforgettable Santa experience. The excitement starts as you enter through the big wooden doors; greeted by real-life elves, visitors experience whistling winds and wintry surroundings, not forgetting the fun and surprises when meeting the man himself. Tickets are only available online from

Liz Furness of Karat Catering is returning to run the ever-popular Country Café after a break of five years. Liz is extending the Café opening hours to match those for the Country Christmas Shop, so it will be open from 9.30am to 5.30pm daily. For the Friday late night shopping evenings the new courtyard food servery will be open for mulled wine, mince pies and hot snacks. Many well-loved tasty treats will be returning to the Café and there are plenty of choices for vegetarians and vegans and those with intolerances and allergies. The smiling staff will also be serving freshly made cakes, savouries, soups, bacon rolls, coffee, tea, mulled wine and hot chocolate. It’s perfect for a break from shopping or for a little pre-Christmas indulgence.  There will also be a foods stalls in the courtyard. 

George Agnew, owner of Blackthorpe Barn and Rougham Estate adds, “Christmas at Blackthorpe Barn is personal for everyone who works hard on the preparation at the barn. Our mission is to make each year the best ever and I really do believe this year is the best ever – it helps as the entire team is united in absolutely loving Christmas and thinking it is the most wonderful time of the year. We all pour our hearts and souls into the preparation, and I believe this passion really shows in everything we do. I look forward to welcoming our visitors again this year and hope they have the most wonderful festive experience.” 

Blackthorpe Barn is just three miles east of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, off the A14 at junction 45 (Sat Nav IP30 9HZ). 

For more information and opening times for the various events see