After a year’s absence, Torre Abbey’s popular Christmas gift and craft fair is returning on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November. For the first time the event will be held in the stunning setting of the Spanish Barn.

Stalls will be selling a unique array of handmade local items that you won’t find on the high street. Items on sale include Christmas decorations, toys, jewellery, knitted and crochet gifts, craft kits and a range of wooden objects made by a local wood turner. There will also be a selection of alpaca products produced at a local farm and fantastic artwork made by the Creative Christian Network. 

Entry to Winter Fest includes free entry to the main house, where visitors can enjoy a Christmas Traditions Exhibition and Festive Garden Trail. The exhibition explores some of the quirky and fun ways people around the world celebrate Christmas, as well as looking at the history of Christmas cards – from the very first one that was made in Torquay. Children can get creative and enjoy a number of free art activities.

Torre Abbey’s café and gift shop will be open over the weekend, selling a selection of festive treats, unusual and locally sourced presents, as well as toys, gardening accessories, confectionary, cards, books and artwork. Annual 1196 Club memberships will be on sale, with memberships starting at £18.

A whole host of other events are taking place at Torre Abbey in the lead up to Christmas, including Wreath Making Workshops with the Head Gardener. For something particularly magical, storyteller Sara Hurley will be sharing some “nutty and spicy, fire and icy seasonal stories to warm the cockles of your heart”, Following the stories, children will be able to decorate a Christmas biscuit to enjoy with a mug of hot chocolate.

On Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December, Torre Abbey welcomes a very special visitor. Father Christmas will be taking some time out of his busy schedule to meet local children in his grotto and hear their requests about what they would like for Christmas. Father Christmas grotto slots run from 10.30am until 3.30pm on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December only and are exclusively for one family at a time. Entry to the grotto is included with normal admission price, with each child receiving a small gift.

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said; “Winter Fest makes a magical start to the festive season and in such a beautiful location where Christmas has been celebrated for hundreds of years. The Spanish Barn will make a magnificent setting for this unique gift and craft fair, packed with hand-made and locally sourced products. Don’t forget to pop into the café for some warming treats before or after your shopping. The café has a great success since Torre Abbey took it in house and is definitely worth a visit.” 

Winter Fest is open from 10am until 5pm on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November, tickets cost £3 for adults and £1 for children (under 5’s free). Winter Fest tickets include free entry to the house and gardens.

The Christmas Traditions Exhibition runs until Christmas Eve. All Christmas events* can be booked through the Torre Abbey website. 

*All events at Torre Abbey will only go ahead if they are permitted by government policy on COVID-19 and if we can ensure strict health and safety guidelines can be adhered to. If we feel that the event can't go ahead safely, we reserve the right to cancel it. If this is the case, we will give as much notice as possible and offer refunds where applicable.

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