The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool is ‘decking its halls with boughs of holly’ as it prepares for its first-ever Festival of Christmas.

Tees Valley’s most popular visitor attraction is to host a two-day festive celebration with a range of Christmas activities for all the family, including historical re-enactments along Hartlepool’s iconic quayside by the Historical Combat Company, and, of course, a visit from Santa in his grotto!

Youngsters will also be treated to Christmas stories told on board HMS Trincomalee, Britain’s oldest warship still afloat, while adults can sample a selection of class festive food and warm mulled wine and visit the Festival’s family craft event.

The Festival of Christmas will take place between 2-3 December at the site of the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool, on Jackson Dock. It builds on the success of the National Museum’s longstanding Christmas event in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard which is now in its 17th year and regularly attracts over 35000 visitors.

2017 marks HMS Trincomalee’s bicentenary and 30 years since she docked in Hartlepool. She forms part of The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s historic fleet, alongside Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory, submarine HMS Alliance and Belfast’s First World War survivor HMS Caroline.

Roslyn Adamson, General Manager at The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool, said: “It is a special year for everyone connected with The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool as HMS Trincomalee celebrates her 200th anniversary, so this year’s first-ever Festival of Christmas is set to be one to remember. HMS Trincomalee has grown to become one of the region’s favourite attractions, bringing tens of thousands of visitors each year to Hartlepool and the North East, and the event is another opportunity to rejoice in her bicentenary. We are really keen to build our programme of events throughout the year so there is always a reason to visit.”

“We have a range of activities for all the family scheduled, so there is something for everyone, which will mark the perfect end to a memorable year.”

For further information about the Festival of Christmas, visit http://www.hartlepoolchristmas.co.uk