Skip to content

Yule at Sutton Hoo

A young girl hanging a label on a twig Christmas tree in the High Hall at Sutton Hoo
Sutton Hoo has lots of family activities taking place over the winter | © Phil Morley/National Trust

Yule at Sutton Hoo has finished for 2023. Check back later in the year for details for 2024.

Yule comes to the High Hall

Weekends from 25-26 November, 26 December to January 1 and 6-7 January 2024 | 10am-4pm | Free*

Immerse yourself in the High Hall exhibition and find out how the people buried at Sutton Hoo’s Royal Burial Ground might have celebrated this time of year.

Discover how the objects discovered at Sutton Hoo may have linked with Yule traditions, see what the feasting table may have looked like and share your own traditions on our special Yule tree.

Pick up a free family trail along the way.

What did Christmas mean to the Anglo-Saxons?

In the Anglo-Saxon period the days around the winter solstice are believed to have been known as Géola (Yule). The Yule feast was one of the key feasts of the year. Whereas now the winter solstice commonly falls on 21 or 22 December, under the Julian calendar it fell on 25 December.

The actual customs of yule are very similar to many of the customs we still celebrate over this festive period. The Anglo-Saxon celebration of Yule is believed to have involved decoration, feasting, drinking and paying homage to ancestors.

A woman wearing a bobble hat and winter coat sits at the feasting table in the High Hall of Sutton Hoo as she plays an Anglo-Saxon boardgame
A visitor playing a wooden Anglo-Saxon boardgame | © Phil Morley/National Trust Images

Tranmer House at Christmas

Weekends from 25-26 November, 26 December to January 1 and 6-7 January 2024 | 10am-4pm | Free*

Tranmer House will be decorated for the festive season. Head into the sitting room to see how Sutton Hoo archaeologists celebrated in the 1980s and spot the themed decorations created by our Busy Bees volunteer team. There will also be plenty of family friendly activities to get involved in too!

*Normal admission charges apply, free for National Trust members.

Family-friendly winter events

Yule Feast Quest family trail
Daily (closed 24-25 December) from 25 November to
7 January 2024 | 10am to 4pm | Free*

Edwin, the young Anglo-Saxon warrior, is very excited. It is nearly Yuletide and he has been asked to gather all the things that the village will need for the Yule feast. He has a very long list of things to find, including some special rune letters. Can you help him on his quest?

A Christmas tree with Anglo-Saxon inspired decorations on it with a table on the left showing what each decoration is
Tranmer House will be decorated for the festivities | © National Trust/Darren Olley

Winter lantern walk
Daily (closed 24-25 December) from 25 November to
7 January 2024 | 10am to 4pm | Free*

Head out on the path to the Royal Burial Ground to discover special lanterns made by welding and fabrication students at Suffolk New College. They have taken inspiration from Anglo-Saxon designs and patterns, which means that items made by metalworkers 1,400 years ago are still inspiring the makers of today.

Winter estate walks
Daily (closed 24-25 December) from 25 November to
7 January 2023 | 10am to 4pm | Free

The Sutton Hoo landscape and adventure playground is also open daily (excluding the 24 and 25 December) from 10am – 4pm, so strap on your boots, wrap up warm and head out on an adventure.

Keepers’ Café, next to Tranmer House, is also open Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Decorations on the main Christmas tree at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo
Archaeology-themed decorations on one of Tranmer House's Christmas trees | © Josh Ward

Don't Miss | Tasty treats and Christmas shopping

A large luxury Christmas hamper with gifts on display, including gin liqueur, jam, pickle, tea, chocolates, and Christmas pudding
A luxury Christmas hamper | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

A spot of Christmas shopping

Head over to the gift shop for a range of unique Sutton Hoo items, the perfect Christmas present! From t-shirts to handmade jewellery and ceramics plus bottles of mead, there’s everything you could need for your own Yule feast!

1 of 2

You might also be interested in

The replica helmet on display in the High Hall at Sutton Hoo

The exhibition at Sutton Hoo 

Delve into the world of Anglo-Saxons and discover the treasures unearthed and the story of this world-famous site.

Tranmer House at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk

Visiting Tranmer House at Sutton Hoo 

Discover more about the people behind the archaeological investigations at Sutton Hoo.

Re-enactor stamping replica helmet foils

Who were the Anglo-Saxons? 

Just who were the Anglo-Saxons? And why did they choose Sutton Hoo as a burial site?