Deck the halls with boughs of holly and enjoy a day trip to one of these grand estates. From majestic castles to grand country houses, here is a selection of the best country houses to visit in the UK this Christmas.
Christmas at Chatsworth this year is inspired by the famous explorers Phileas Fogg and Amelia Earhart. Guides will lead visitors ‘around the globe’, through gardens inspired by countries from Japan to Portugal. There are also Christmas Twilight Evenings, where visitors can listen to live festive music, enjoy mince pies and mulled wine, and explore the house decorated for Christmas. Find out more on Chatsworth House website.
Wimploe Estate will be holding a Georgian Christmas event with Eboracumm Baroque this year, a group of professional singers and instrumentalists who who are set to perform a number of traditional Christmas pieces. There will also be a Christmas craft fair running from the 9th – 10th November, providing visitors with the perfect opportunity to begin their Christmas shopping. More information on National Trust.
As darkness falls over Dunham Massey, an ancient deer park and old national trust property, Christmas comes to life. The winter trail, a magical illuminated lights trail, will lead you through the historical gardens where you will find glittering deer and a tunnel of light. You can even toast marshmallows around the fire pit with a mulled cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate in hand. Families should keep their eyes peeled for Father Christmas, plus explore the Victorian carousel and helter-skelter. National Trust members will also receive free car parking this year, find out more via the National Trust.
Head to Mottisfont for An Enchanted Christmas with The Flower Fairies this year. The event, which runs from the 23rd November to the 1st January 2020, will feature beautifully decorated rooms inspired by the winter flower fairy, original artwork by Cicely Mark Barker and the chance to explore a flower fairy themed trail in the gardens. Find out more on the National Trust.
Not only will you be able to visit Father Christmas at Fountains Abbey this year, but visitors can also step back in time and celebrate Christmas 1930s style making paper chains, angel decorations and reliving Christmas morning in the 1930s. You can also get your hands on hot chocolate and hear the choir sing traditional carols amongst the Christmas lights. More information on National Trust.
If a DIY Christmas sounds like your thing, Knightshayes Court in Devon is the perfect place to be. You can join a decoration making workshop and create willow stars to adorn your Christmas table, or try a wreath making class using greenery foliage collected from the surrounding gardens. After both the workshops, there’ll be a chance to sit down and enjoy a festive lunch or cream tea. Book your places through the National Trust.
Most famous for being the home of Downton Abbey’s Crawley family, Highclere Castle is a magical place to be at Christmas. At the Christmas Tours and Afternoon Tea event, visitors can marvel at the sparkling Victorian Christmas tree and festive decorations that fill the Saloon where Downton was filmed. You can also visit the bedrooms, library and gallery before making your way to the Christmas marquee on the Castle lawns for a traditional seated afternoon tea. There’s also a Christmas Gala Dinner on the 6th of December and a chance to join an evening tour with champagne and carols on the 11th.
The Victorian Christmas festivities at Osborne House are sure to take you back in time. Try roast chestnuts, watch Victorian toy makers make traditional gifts and have a go on the old fashioned carousel. Father Christmas will also be in residence, and you can wander through festive stalls with mulled wine and join in with some Christmas carols. Find out more via English Heritage.
Celebrate Christmas at Kenilworth watching the castle jester, listening to festive storytelling and watching the traditional toy makers at work. Father Christmas will even be popping by, so Christmas lists can be hand-delivered to the man himself. Find out more on English Heritage.