Sidmouth donkeys will make your Christmas sparkle

The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth has Christmas all wrapped up this December. The charity’s international headquarters will be open every weekend throughout December and on a daily basis during the Devon school Christmas holiday period.

The charity’s popular Christmas service, Carols by Candlelight, will now take place online as a result of Covid-19.

The virtual service will be held on Friday 11 December from 6pm and forms part of an evening broadcast of the award-winning event, Sanctuary From Your Sofa, that will come live from the Sidmouth site. The event will be hosted on the charity’s website and social media pages.

The evening event offers the perfect opportunity for family and friends to gather in the virtual world and enjoy some festive cheer. Carols by Candlelight will include all of the usual traditional Christmas carols and readings while featuring appearances from many of the Sidmouth resident donkeys.

James Searle, Head of Commercial Activities at The Donkey Sanctuary, said: “We know lots of community carol services and school nativities have had to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 restrictions, so it was important to us that we continued with Carols by Candlelight, albeit virtually.

“Whatever your religion or beliefs, we hope that family and friends will come together online and enjoy this magical service at home.”

Following the pre-recorded carol service, Sanctuary From Your Sofa, will once again be broadcasting live into peoples’ homes via The Donkey Sanctuary’s website and Facebook page. Offering supporters of the international animal welfare charity the opportunity to catch up with some of their Adoption donkeys and the Poitou herd.

December is the perfect time to visit the Sidmouth sanctuary and enjoy walks around the beautiful grounds, and of course, meet some of the resident donkeys. Visitors will be able to do some last-minute Christmas shopping in the Gift Shop and enjoy some refreshments from the on-site restaurant, The Kitchen.

Over the winter months, The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth will be open to visitors each weekend and during Devon school holidays, until the end of March 2021.

During the Devon school Christmas holidays, the Sidmouth sanctuary will open daily from Saturday 19 December to Monday 4 January 2021 (excluding Christmas Day), during which time visitors will need to pre-book their free entry tickets via The Donkey Sanctuary’s website ( as visitor numbers will be limited. Tickets will be released on Wednesday 9 December.

The Kitchen and Gift Shop will be open 9.30 am – 4:00 pm; with the rest of the site will open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Dogs on leads are welcome in the sanctuary and in the restaurant.

The Donkey Sanctuary’s other UK centres in Ivybridge, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Belfast will remain temporarily closed to visitors.


Tags: , ,