The festive season has launched at Markshall Estate in Essex, as 'Storytelling with Father Christmas' runs every weekend from now until December 19, and then from December 21-24. Visitors can join Father Christmas in his woodland hideaway as he reads a yuletide tale of the magic of Christmas at the estate, and there's a special gift for all younger visitors.

In addition, Wreath and Decoration Making Workshops take place from December 3-6 and 10-12. Expert bushcraft and willow weaving artists will be on hand to help visitors create decorations and wreaths, made from materials harvested on the Estate.

The onsite Orchard Kitchen café will be serving homemade treats throughout winter, and visitors can also find the perfect gift in the new Shop and Plant Centre. On Saturday December 4, the Festive Mini Market will help celebrate Small Business Saturday. Visitors can enjoy the festive atmosphere and meet local suppliers who will be on hand offering tasters and treats.

With hundreds of acres to explore, visitors can let their imagination run wild at Markshall Estate this winter. Journey through the continents of Europe, South America, North America, and Asia in the 200-acre Arboretum, and explore the conservation landscape. As always, visitors can explore the 2,350-acre estate and its world-class Arboretum and Woodland Walks six days a week, year-round. For the first time, there will be newly extended opening hours over the Christmas and New Year period, so there's even more time to explore and walk off those turkey dinners.

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