A vintage Christmas

With less than 16 weeks to go, Father Christmas has found time to take up residence again at Bletchley Park’s Vintage 1940s Grotto – the former top-secret home of Britain’s World War Two codebreakers. Tickets are on sale now.

Visitors will be able to take a stroll through the park to the Bletchley Park Mansion, where Father Christmas will take centre stage in the decorated library, a beautiful wood-panelled room used as an office by codebreakers in World War Two.

Children can spend time telling him their Christmas wishes and take photos surrounded by vintage toys, decorations, 1940s greeting cards, Christmas trees and festive lights. Every child who comes to visit will receive a traditionally wrapped present and there’s much more – a range of crafting activities and a wintery trail around the park to boost the Christmas spirit will keep people amused for hours.

The grotto will be open weekends and selected weekdays from Saturday 30 November to 23 December from 10am to 3.30pm. Tickets cost £7.50 and entrance to the park is free for under-12s.

Dawn Barlow, Head of Operations at Bletchley Park, said: ‘Tickets to our grotto sold out fast last year, so we recommend booking early. December here at Bletchley Park is not just for children, adults will also enjoy the festive feel of our historic site and whilst enjoying the exhibitions can take time for a yuletide tipple at the Hut 1 kiosk and Hut 4 café. We hope to see as many people as possible wrapping-up warm and joining us for a splendid 1940’s Christmas.’

There are also dedicated sessions available for children with autism or other sensory conditions. Lighting and sound levels can be adjusted, and resources can be provided  in advance, including a sensory map and social story. Carers also have the chance to discuss any particular needs or triggers with staff in advance.

Father Christmas makes his first trip to Bletchley Park to switch on the Christmas lights on Sunday 23 November, before taking up residence in the Mansion on Saturday 30 November.

Residents living within 10-mile radius of Bletchley Park can also take advantage of 50% off tickets until 31 December 2019. All visitors only need to pay for entry once to enjoy a free annual pass allowing them to return again and again to enjoy free on-site activities, one-day events and changing displays.

To book tickets to the grotto visit https://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/whats-on/vintage-christmas-grotto and for a full list of what’s on, visit the Bletchley Park website: https://bletchleypark.org.uk/whats-on