An Elizabethan Christmas at Buckland Abbey

The kitchen table at Buckland Abbey

From seasonal crafts to an audience with the Tudor Lord of Misrule, there's plenty of festive magic for all the family at Buckland this December.

Christmas 1577

It's the first Christmas of Drake's circumnavigation, and his household are preparing for a fabulous festive season at his Devon home.

You can meet costumed characters who will be cooking in the kitchen on selected dates, admire beautiful floral displays created by local NAFAS groups and go hunting for penguins on the Christmas themed family trail.

Meanwhile, Francis Drake is spending his first Christmas at sea in Morocco. It is here, many miles from home, that the crew have appointed their own ‘Lord of Misrule’ who manages the festive fun and games. On weekends throughout December, you can come and see the Lord of Misrule who will be telling Christmas tales of life on the high seas and handing out a special gift to those who join in with the merrymaking.

Getting crafty

If you've enjoyed seeking out the penguins hidden around the Abbey, why not make your own version to take home as a memento? Workshops will be running on weekends between 1 and 23 December from 11-3. Donations welcome.

Naturemake will be here too on 16 and 23 December. Prices start at £4 (cash only please).

The Great Barn

The magic doesn't stop in the Abbey - be sure to step into the Great Barn to see this year's seasonal display, created by staff, volunteers and visitors using 20,000 pine cones.

The pine cone tree at Buckland
The pine cone tree at Buckland
The pine cone tree at Buckland

Eating and shopping

If you're looking for a great gift, or simply want to treat yourself, there's no better place to look than in the shop. From glittering decorations to tasty food and drink, there are plenty of tempting goodies on the shelves.

While you're here, why not sample a home made mince pie or hot chocolate in front of the cosy woodburner in the restaurant? It's sure to warm you up a treat.