Delapré Abbey gives away free Christmas fair entry in return for food bank donations

To avoid disappointment, families are urged to book festive activities quickly after the Santa's grotto sold out in two days
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Delapré Abbey is ditching the entrance fee this year for its Christmas fair in return for donations for the Hope Centre as it reveals its order of Christmas events.

For the first time, visitors are not expected to pay for their entry into the Christmas fair, as they are asked to bring in one item of canned or packaged food, instead.

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All donated items will then be distributed to homeless charity Northampton Hope Centre, and other local community groups.

Delapre Abbey is still set to host its usual Christmas events this year.Delapre Abbey is still set to host its usual Christmas events this year.
Delapre Abbey is still set to host its usual Christmas events this year.

Chief executive, Richard Clinton, said: “It would all too easy, considering the challenges of Covid, to ease off on our festivities – but we are not. Everyone needs some festive cheer, this year more than most, so we are delighted to be offering such a varied programme and cannot wait to welcome you all to the abbey.

“Our giant Christmas tree now has pride of place at the bottom of our sweeping staircase and the entire house will be dressed for Christmas for the whole of the month. So, as well as all laying on a host of festive events for the whole family we will be opening the house up – and children will be absolutely free.”

The 900-year-old Northampton-based historic home has this week unveiled its packed programme of ‘Stories of Christmas’ festive activities, including candlelit tours, a Christmas fair, wreath making and a host of festive workshops.

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Faye Morrissey, visitor services manager at Delapré Abbey, added: “Storytelling is such a huge part of the way we tell the history of Delapré Abbey, so we thought what better way to continue this than at Christmas.

“Our ‘Stories of Christmas’ themed activities will take visitors on a journey. People will be able to understand how winter celebrations first became established, how different generations of people may have experienced the festivities at Delapré Abbey, and how the method of storytelling has always been important at Christmas time.

“With the fire aglow, music and smells emanating throughout the building, along with decorations galore, it will be a real feast for the senses."

To book onto an event, from December 8 until December 20, click here.