A Nay in a Manger: Hundreds join the donkeys at Sidmouth for carols by candlelight

Carols and candles brought a festive feel to Sidmouth when The Donkey Sanctuary held its annual Christmas service.

The Carols by Candlelight service attracted hundreds of visitors keen to see the illuminated sanctuary and join in the festive fun with the Exeter Railway Band and The Donkey Sanctuary choir, singing a host of Christmas favourites.

The festivities, hosted by celebrant Emma Britton, were held in the donkey assisted activity centre, in the heart of the sanctuary, and broadcast live to scores of people watching from home.

carols

Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.

carols

Thousands of candles lit the way around the sanctuary.
Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.

Sidmouth

Donkeys at the Carols by Candlelight service.
Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.

A spokesman for animal charity said: “Thousands of candles illuminated the heart of the sanctuary, creating a truly magical atmosphere for visitors, as the service returned as a live event at its international headquarters in Sidmouth.

“The freezing December temperatures didn’t deter several hundred people who joined the Exeter Railway Band and The Donkey Sanctuary choir, to sing a host of Christmas favourites in the comfort of the donkey assisted activity centre in the heart of the sanctuary.

“Hosted by celebrant Emma Britton, the service was a great opportunity to get everyone in the festive spirit, and for those who were unable to attend in person, it was broadcast live during the evening as part of the charity’s Sanctuary From Your Sofa. The event is available to watch on The Donkey Sanctuary’s website.”

He added: “There is still plenty for visitors at the Sidmouth sanctuary throughout the festive season, and entry to the sanctuary and parking is also free.”

carols

Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.

carols

Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.

carols

Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.

Other December activities at the sanctuary include a winter trail, with a fee to take part.

If you missed the carols, you can watch online as part of the charity’s Sanctuary From Your Sofa.

donkeys

Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.

Donkeys

Visitors enjoy the winter trail.
Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.

donkey

The winter trail.
Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.

  • For more information on The Donkey Sanctuary opening times over Christmas, see here.

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