As Christmas rapidly approaches, the shops are full of everything you need to get your preparations in full swing. Some of the most fantastic displays of decorations, lights and gift items can be found in good garden centres and nurseries, so we arranged for our Octagon residents to visit Summerhill Garden Centre in Billericay.

Everyone enjoyed spending a couple of hours browsing the beautiful Christmas department, which is an Aladdin’s cave of twinkling festive treasures. Displays with themes such as Frosty Dreams, Nordic Sparkle, Under the Mistletoe and Here Comes Santa Claus, featured a kaleidoscope of baubles, wreaths and ornaments, while the annual miniature Christmas Village was a delight to behold.

After picking up a few gifts and trinkets, our residents enjoyed a sit down and a reviving cup of tea in the onsite Café. All agreed that it had been an enjoyable visit that had certainly put everyone in a festive mood!