A FLOCK of furry friends took over Whitchurch Silk Mill last weekend for the annual Sylvanian Families shopping weekend.

Thousands of visitors from across the country attended the free event, which was making its return after a year’s break while the Silk Mill was closed for renovation.

Across Saturday and Sunday, families and friends took part in Sylvanian-themed activities, browsed a range of the brand’s toys and were treated to special song and dance performances from the Sylvanian Families characters.

Many guests also made the most of the fine weather, enjoying a picnic in the historic surroundings of the Silk Mill grounds.

And there were plenty of opportunities to get photos with life-size characters.

The Sylvanian Families Shop is based in London, but 15 years ago the store moved its mail order business to Whitchurch.

Since then, it has hosted a number of shopping weekends in the town, and Angela says it is the perfect setting for the cute creatures.

Speaking after the event, store owner Angela Harwood said: “All the children’s faces — it’s quite magical when they see the characters.

“What I love is the event brings in people that wouldn’t normally come to Whitchurch and they come to our event and then spread out into the town and see it in all its glory.”