From festive storytelling to wreath and decoration making workshops
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, wreath and decoration making workshops, and seasonal stories around the Christmas tree await visitors who walk into the wonderful Winter Wonderland event taking place at Bowlees Visitor Centre in Upper Teesdale next month.
With only eleven sleeps to go until the big day, the event, on Saturday December 14, aims to put people in a festive mood through an array of craft activities and traditional fun – both inside and out.
Fairy lights and forest foliage
The centre, which is run by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, will be decked out in fairy lights and forest foliage, complete with roaring log-burning stoves inside the former Methodist Chapel. Outside there will be a wintery children’s trail through the adjoining woodland.
And with Café 1618@Bowlees providing a winter warmer menu, including mince pies and drivers’ mulled wine, the day promises to be the perfect festive fix for everyone.
A day of ‘nothing but fun’
Kaye Jemmeson, from the AONB Partnership, who is organising the event, said: “One of the nicest things to do at Christmas is to take time out from the shopping and the hectic preparations with a day of nothing but fun.
“At our Winter Wonderland event we’ve got all the things that I hope make Christmas merry, no matter how old you are – and that includes a lot of glitter. Our wreath making and decoration workshops are a great way for adults to have fun, while the face painting and children’s crafts should keep little hands busy.”
Winter Wonderland forest trail
Since re-opening in June one of the most popular things has been the Bowlees Welly Walk trail that leads up to the Gibson’s Cave. But for Christmas the walk has swapped wellies for snowmen and robins and turned into woodland of wintery wonders.
Kaye said: “We’ve done our best to make the centre as Christmassy as possible but the star on top of the tree would be for it to snow; not too much –
we want people to be able to still get here – but a light dusting would make the place look that bit more magical. I’ve had a word with the man in red, and I think I’m in his good books, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
Carols around the tree
The fun starts at 10am and goes on throughout the day until the centre closes at 4pm. The seasonal stories, read by local storyteller Jim Grant, will take place every hour from 11am and the day will end with a rousing round of Christmas carols lead by the newly-formed AONB Partnership choir.
This will be the choir’s first public performance and Mandy Oliver, from the AONB Partnership, who guides her colleagues during lunchtime singing lessons, said she hopes as many people as possible will join in with some traditional songs.
Freshly-cut Christmas trees on sale
Throughout December the centre is also selling popular freshly-cut Raby Estate Christmas trees that have been grown throughout Teesdale; and the gift shop has a selection of nature-inspired baubles and decorations. There are also cards and gifts plus a range of local produce.
Admission is free but for some of the activities, such as the wreath and decorations workshops, there will be a small charge for materials used.
For more information visit www.visitbowlees.org.uk or call the centre on 01833 622145 during opening hours on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays from 10am until 4pm. For the rest of the week call 01388 528801.
Released: 28 November 2014