LivingTravelChristmas with the UK National Trust Holiday events and...

Christmas with the UK National Trust Holiday events and activities at stately homes and historic sites

Imagine childhood Christmas pictures, picture books, movies and greeting cards and you are probably thinking about Christmas with the National Trust.

These are the types of settings and houses that are the commercial stocks of The National Trust. As one of the UK’s leading organizations for the protection and preservation of its manor houses, historic houses, landscapes and important gardens, the National Trust maintains dozens of 16th, 17th and 18th century manor houses, Victorian and Edwardian estates. It’s hard to imagine more appropriate settings for giant Christmas trees, mugs full of mulled wine, Christmas music, and all the other festive elements of the Christmas season.

Spending Christmas with the National Trust

The National Trust agrees, and each year many of its major homes and landscapes are open for special events during the holiday season. There are Christmas decorating and cooking workshops, late night gift shopping, Christmas concerts and special meals, Dickens readings, and many sparkling and decorated houses and gardens.

These are just a few of the highlights of 2016

(Hint: click on the ‘What’s On’ links on each property’s website for full details) :

  • Attingham Park The fascinating and recently restored Shropshire house near Shrewsbury dates back to the 1920s for Christmas 2016. Discover the holiday traditions of the resident family during this colorful era. Santa will hold a trial in his study and several special after-school visits are planned – see what else is planned in Attingham.
  • Waddesdon Manor, the spectacular Rothschild party house, always makes amazing decorations during the Christmas season. For 2016, decorated rooms will be open on select dates between November 9 and January 2. The theme is Magical Materials and the decorations feature rare and exotic materials from land and sea. There’s a Christmas Fair, a variety of cooking and decorating workshops, and an amazing six-foot-long gingerbread model of the house in Coach House. Dazzle @ Waddesdon, son et lumiere, will illuminate the facade every fifteen minutes from dusk, throughout the holiday period – see what else is in Waddesdon.
  • Tyntesfield This Victorian Gothic Revival fantasy of a house is located in North Somerset near Bristol. Their full calendar of holiday events in December has something for everyone in the family. The house is open from November 26 to early January for an immersive vacation experience populated by Victorian characters. Cooking, storytelling, games, and a chance to visit Santa Claus are all planned. The Gibbs Family Ball, an immersive theater event, will take place over two nights; there are nutcracker tales for children, several nightly house visits, wreath-making workshops with greenery from the estate, and the chance to see the house “radiant” from the lighted walkways through the gardens.
  • Trerice A Tudor Santa Claus will tell stories and send young audience members home with brown paper packages tied with string on select dates at this treasure of a Tudor home. In addition, there are three dates available to join “Sir John Arundell” in 1573 for a four-course feast in his new home, with period music and entertainment.
  • Polesden Lacey The Christmas calendar in this magnificent house, an hour’s drive from London, had yet to be announced as of September 2016, but if there’s something going on in recent years, you can look forward to room after room of stunning decorations. , choirs, bands, visits from Santa Claus and tasty Christmas treats. The house belonged to a famous Edwardian hostess, Mrs. Greville and the late Queen Mother spent their honeymoon there. She thought the house was delicious. Unusually for a National Trust property in winter, Polesden Lacey – house, grounds, gardens, shop, and cafe – is open throughout the month of December.
  • Castle Ward, Co. Down, Northern Ireland Santa and Mrs. Claus are welcoming visitors to their new home on selected dates in December. A Christmas Family Trail is also in the works.
  • The Christmas Garland at Cotehele The famous 60-foot-long garland has more than 36,000 dried flowers, all grown in the gardens of Cotehele. They have been doing it in this Cornwall home and garden for 60 years. In 2016, the 60th anniversary year, you can visit to see the gardeners put it together, between November 1-11. Later, on dates during November and December, 27 different choirs, bell ringers and musical ensembles will perform under the garland. The vacation schedule for this home is so packed that it begins in November. There is a food fair, a Santa trail, arts and crafts activities, and the opportunity to visit Mr. and Mrs. Claus at home. My favorite is the invitation to put on your costumes,
  • Fairy tales Grimm Killerton are the subject in 2016 with Devon transformed this house, inside and out, plus flashing lights that decorate the floor. There is a Christmas farmers market, a harp concert and wreath making workshops, a festive fireplace and a festive table. . Santa Claus, dressed in traditional Victorian green, will make three separate visits, with gifts for children under 8 years old.
  • Ickworth House will return to the 1930s for Christmas in 2016. In November, you can join the Living History 1930 Bakers to kick off holiday preparations or, with the Living History cooks, make a traditional take-home Christmas for the family. . . Visit the 1930s basement in December to see what life was like at Christmas 1935. Discover life as a servant in the 1930s, participate in wreath-making workshops, and enjoy Christmas crafts designed for adults. As a special treat for grown-ups, by the way, kids can use up some accumulated energy over the holidays with New Years Eve craft workshops on Boxing Day.
  • Speke Hall Celebrate a Victorian Christmas in Liverpool’s famous black and white half-timbered estate. Victorian decorations, tours, craft displays, Christmas carols, children’s activities, food and drink. In 2016 there are Victorian Christmas weekends, with donkey rides, Christmas trails, Christmas carols and Santa Claus; On Victorian Christmas Fridays, four Christmas carol concerts in the decorated Great Room, followed by refreshments and Christmas decorating workshops.

Find out what’s going on during Christmas 2016 with the National Trust across the UK

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