CHRISTMAS is in full swing at Rural Arts in Thirsk which is running a host of activities and attractions in the run up to the big day.

Last Wednesday, participants took part in the first of a series of weekly Christmas-themed workshops.

They created an assortment of ceramic decorations under the guidance of local artist Linda Breckon.

The session kicked off Rural Arts' festive programme which continues with Christmas-themed art workshops each week throughout November and December.

Namita Vijayakumar, marketing officer at Rural Arts, said: "The sessions are popular, a lot of them are sold out.

"We do have an upcoming Christmas wreath-making session on December 3 which is usually quite popular, we also have a stag head-making workshop and some children's workshops."

The sessions are run by artists who are members of Rural Arts open studios group.

Other topics covered in the Christmas sessions include creating stockings and lino print and mixed media Christmas cards

Many of the studio artists will also be taking part in the Christmas Makers Market on Saturday, November 30 from 10am to 4pm.

Entry is free and there will be a range of artwork on display and gifts to buy including ceramics, textiles, painting and jewellery.

There will also be several seasonal performances at Rural Arts including the musicians Five Loose Chippings on December 7 from 7.30pm.

The Pocket Panto will be performing Mother Goose at Thirsk Town Hall in conjunction with Rural Arts on Saturday, December 14 from 1pm.

Further information, including ticket prices and how to book a place, can be found via the website