Have yourself a National Trust Christmas!

Christmas is a time for traditions, from those passed down through generations of families, to new discoveries that become part of your festive celebrations – why not have yourself a National Trust Christmas this year – there’s plenty on offer.

For many, a day out at a beautiful National Trust house and garden is already a Christmas ‘must do’. Over the festive season, National Trust places will be decked out with Christmas sparkle, Father Christmas will pay a visit to special grottos and atmospheric estates will be packed full of family traditions, old and new, to bring to life Christmas through the ages.

Here’s a selection of top National Trust Christmas days out for all the family:

National Trust Christmas treats

Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire
1920s Christmas experience, 23-24 November, 30 November-1 December, 7-8 and 14-15 December, 11am-4pm
For the second year running, Nunnington Hall will be celebrating Christmas, 1920s style. Join the team for a festive experience to remember as you discover the Hall as you might have found it on Christmas day over 90 years ago. Your visit to will take you on a journey through the different stages of Christmas day in the Fife family household. You can also experience the tastes of a 1920s Christmas in the house, with sherry in the dining room and sugared almonds in the drawing room. Throughout the day, there’ll be hair and make-up demonstrations on how to achieve an iconic 1920s look, perfect for a Christmas party.
Normal admission charges apply,
Booking is not required, for more information please call 01439 748283.

Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire
Winter lights festival, 29 November-1 December, 6-8 and 13-15 December, 5.30pm-7.30pm
Enjoy a night-time family adventure as illuminations transform the gardens at Anglesey Abbey into a light-fantastic wonderland with music, food and entertainment.
Visitors can enjoy a one-mile circular walk through the winter garden and along the riverside path, taking in iconic features such as the mystical, Himalayan silver birch grove. There will also be live music along the route, with entertainers performing dazzling light displays, and opportunities to taste delicious, barbecued local fare, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.
Adults £10.50, Child £7.50, family ticket £32 (2 adults and up to 3 children).
Booking is essential via the National Trust Box Office on 0844 249 1895.

Osterley Park and House, Middlesex
Deck the halls, 30 November-1 December, 12pm-4pm
Christmas riches to rations, 7-8 and 14-15 December, 12pm-4pm
Take a journey through Osterley’s past this Christmas and see how the celebrations have changed throughout the years, following fashions and fortunes in the decorated house. There will also be lots of fun activities to enjoy on the ground floor and you can also pop to the shop for a unique selection of gifts.
Normal admission charges apply.
Booking is not required, for more information please call 020 8232 5050.

Petworth House & Park, Petworth, West Sussex
A festive feast for the eyes, 30 November- 22 December (Saturday to Wednesday), 10.30am-3.30pm.
Petworth House is hosting a month-long spectacular for a unique Christmas experience. In the historic kitchens, you can journey through a series of darkened rooms, each one hosting an imagined culinary scene, brought to life with dramatic lighting, atmospheric sounds and kitchen characters in extraordinary costumes. In the centre of the hectic kitchen is a show-stopping gingerbread recreation of Petworth House, complete with twinkling lights, and a dusting of snow. In the scullery, an exhausted kitchen maid slumps into a pool of soapy bubbles overflowing from a sink stacked with dirty dishes. Giant fish float in a flooded larder, while in the frosted dining room there are ‘frozen’ floral arrangements and a sparkling, snow-covered floor. Throughout the journey, children can enjoy looking out for scurries of servant mice hiding in pots, pans, nooks and crannies, preparing their own, splendid miniature feast.
Visitors can round off this magical adventure with a delicious fantasy-themed menu in the restaurant with dishes such as green ham and eggs, mock, mock turtle soup and advocaat and cinnamon Jelly. A children’s menu is also available, serving delights including an over-the-top pudding known as ‘chocco bocker glory’.
Adult £6, child £3.
Booking is advised on 0844 249 1895, entry with timed tickets.

Standen, West Sussex
Garden of lights, 30 November – 1 December, 6-8, 13-15 & 20-22 December, 4.30pm – 7pm (last entry 6.30pm)
Explore the gardens at Standen, magically transformed by thousands of lights to the story of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker’. Warm up in the Barn cafe with some festive treats and visit the shop to browse for Christmas gifts.
Adult £6, Child £3, Family £15.
Booking is not required, for more information please call 01342 323029.

Mottisfont, Hampshire
The Swan Queen’s ball: Christmas at Mottisfont, 1 December– 5 January 2014 (except 24 and 25 December), 11am – 5pm
Come on a magical journey as the Swan Queen prepares for the ball. As the frost glitters and the mist rises from Mottisfont’s river, discover a winter wonderland of beautiful trees, decorated rooms and stunning evening gowns from ‘Talons & Tiaras’.
Children can race around the grounds on a magical quest trail to solve the mystery of the Swan Queen’s secret and gain entry to her palace. There are sparkly dresses and handsome cloaks to try on in the boudoir, and crafty fun making tiaras and crowns. Then it’s time to join the Swan Queen at her ball in a beautiful room filled with sparkling lights and dancing silhouette shadows, and at the centre, an 18th-century style swan feather ball gown.
Special weekend events are also on offer, including dance classes.
Normal admission charges apply.
Booking is not required, for more information please call 01794 344020.

Father Christmas at Killerton, Devon ©National Trust Images, Arnhel de Serra National Trust Christmas

Killerton, Devon
A Christmas Carol, 4 December – 5 January (closed 25-26 December & 1 January), 11am – 4pm
Experience the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future and follow the Christmas trails in the house and park. See stunning displays in the house as you follow Scrooge to find the meaning of Christmas. Feel festive with Christmas trees, lights and the magic behind this festive classic.
Normal admission charges apply.
Booking is not required, for more information please contact 01392 881345.
Make a weekend of it: Take your pick from one of five cottages on the estate. There’s Forest Cottage (sleeps 6), Killerton Park Cottage (sleeps 4) Longmeadow (sleeps 4), or one of three adjoining cottages (once a medieval thatched farmhouse) which includes Mattress Cottage (sleeps 5) and Broad Ley Cottage (sleeps 6).

Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate, Cheshire
A Victorian Christmas at the mill, 7-8 and 14-15 December, 11am-3pm
Join the festive fun at Quarry Bank Mill with its traditional Christmas weekends. Meet the Victorian characters and find out more about customs from the past. Tell Father Christmas what’s on your Christmas list. Enjoy Christmas carols, stories and finish your day with a warming mince pie.
Normal admission charges apply.
Booking is not required, for more information please contact 01625 527468.

Attingham Park, Shropshire
Lord Berwicks’ Christmas, 7-8 and 14-23 December, 11am-4pm
Step back in time and enjoy festivities from Attingham’s 200-year history with the house decorated for Christmas through the ages. On selected dates, step through the magical door and join Father Christmas and his elves in the mansion.
Normal admission charges apply, ticket charge £6.50 per child’s visit to Father Christmas, including a gift.
Booking is not required, for more information please call 01743 708123.

Wallington, Northumberland
Christmas at Wallington, 6-8, 13-15 & 20-22 December, 10.30am–3.30pm
Experience a traditional Christmas at Wallington. Admire the beautiful decorations and enjoy carol singing and seasonal music in the house as you soak up the special Christmas atmosphere. There’s also the chance to try some Christmas crafts, follow the festive trail and hear stories with Mrs Santa.
Normal admission charges apply, plus a small charge for some activities.
Booking is not required, for more information please call 01670 773600.

Chirk Castle, Wrexham
Christmas at Chirk Castle, 7-22 December 11am – 4pm
Celebrate the festive season with Chirk Castle. See the beautifully-decorated rooms, meet Father Christmas in his magical grotto and discover where all the toys are made in the elves workshop. There’s also the chance to browse for unusual gifts in the National Trust shop or sample delicious festive fair in the tea-room.
Adult £5.25, Child £2.63, plus £3 to visit Father Christmas.
Booking is not required, for more information please call 01691 777701
Make a weekend of it: Stay bang next door to the castle in Chirk Home Farm Cottage which sleeps four or stay in a 1930s villa at the top of Offa’s Dyke, with views that are second to none (sleeps five).

Springhill, Co. Londonderry
Magical Christmas memories, 7-8 & 14-5 December, 4pm – 8pm
Visit Santa and Twinkle-Boots in the grotto and see the house festively decorated for Christmas. With children’s crafts, mulled wine and mince pies, this will be a magical Christmas you will never forget.
Adult £9, Child £12.
Booking is essential for this event, please call 028 8674 8210.

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