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Dunham Massey


with the National Trust

Escape the High Street crowds this Christmas and enjoy historic houses decked with lights and greenery

The National Trust is creating winter wonderlands at many of its properties this December.

See historic houses decked out for the season in the style of centuries gone by, or stroll through frosty winter gardens covered in sparkling lights and illuminations.

If you're looking for something a bit different, check out the decorations inspired by Rudyard Kipling's works at his house, Batemans, in Sussex, or head to Dorset to see the spectacular ruins of Corfe Castle illuminated at night.

Here's our pick of the best National Trust properties where you can see spectacular Christmas decorations. Normal admission prices apply unless otherwise stated.

Wimpole, Cambridgeshire

Grand Tour Christmas

Fri-Mon throughout December (closed 25 December) 11am-4pm

This year Wimpole's Christmas is themed around the 'Grand Tour' – a trip around Europe that wealthy young men used to take in order to experience other cultures and deepen their education. It was while on the Tour that the third Earl of Hardwicke met architect Sir John Soane – who he later commissioned to remodel parts of Wimpole. Visitors can expect sumptuous and intricate decorations in the style of 18th and 19th century European tastes..

Dunham Massey Illuminations © National Trust Images Raymond Gubbay

Speke Hall

Corfe Castle, Dorset

Winter Lights

9, 15, 16, 18-23 & 27-30 December, 4-7pm

Settled high on a hill, the ruins of Corfe Castle can be seen towering over the landscape for miles around. They're even more magical at Christmas, when the whole castle will be illuminated by lights and lanterns, and brimming with festive atmosphere.

Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

Christmas at Oxburgh

9-10 and 16-17 December, 11am-4pm

Christmas is fast approaching, but if you need a bit of help getting into the festive spirit then why not escape to Oxburgh Hall for the day? Victorian costumed interpreters will be waiting to welcome you inside, where you'll find the ground floor of the house festooned with traditional wreaths and decorations, filling the air with the scent of spices and pine needles. Hear seasonal music performed on the Victorian Saloon piano, or head to the chapel to join in with the carol singers.

Mottisfont, Hampshire

All the Colours of Christmas

25 Nov-2 Jan, 10am-4pm

Inspired by the vibrant Kaffe Fasset displays in the gallery, Mottisfont will be celebrating Christmas with a bit of colour and sparkle. Discover plenty of traditional decorations, plus a few with some modern twists. The house itself will be dressed with statement trees, piles of presents and dramatic flower arrangements; each room will have a different colour theme. Outside there'll be artist installations and celebrations of natural winter colours.


Dunham Massey, Cheshire

Christmas at Dunham Massey

1-3, 8-10 and 14-24 December, 4.45-10pm

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Dunham Massey, and the gardens are all aglow with light. Follow the one-mile sparkling path as it winds through the woods, to see the canopy illuminated with shards of light and hung with snowflakes and sparkling baubles. There will be plenty more magical surprises along the way, not least the spectacular water feature finale. Afterwards warm up with your favourite winter tipple, or enjoy some toasted marshmallows around one of the fire pits while the aroma of roasted chestnuts fills the air. Adult £16, child £10, plus parking £6. Booking essential.

Dunham Massey illuminations

Powis Castle, Powys

Christmas illuminations

Fri-Sun between 1-17 Dec, 5pm-9pm (last entry 8pm)

Brighten up your dark winter nights with a stroll around the spectacularly lit formal garden, terraces and courtyard of Powis Castle. Afterwards, explore the castle's State Rooms which provide a stunning backdrop for a 'Christmas with a twist'. The vibrant display will fire your imagination with a range of different Christmas trees, each one unique. If you're looking for something to get you into the Christmas spirit, this is an event not to be missed.

Powis Castle

Saltram, Devon

Enchanted Christmas

20 Nov-30 Dec (except Christmas Day), 10am-8pm. 24 Dec, 10am-4pm

This Christmas Saltram has been enchanted by some famous fairytales, with decorations that are sure to enchant visitors of all ages. This year's rooms are inspired by stories of magical journeys through woods and seas. The fun doesn't have to end when the sun goes down either, as the gardens will be filled with bright illuminations to help lift the dark winter nights. Take a stroll explore this magical wonderland, and then head to the cosy Park Café or Chapel Tea Room for a warming drink and a bite to eat.

Bateman's, East Sussex

Rewards & Fairies

2 Dec-1 Jan (closed 24 & 25 December), 11.30am-3.30pm

This Christmas, creatures from Rudyard Kipling's Sussex fairy tales will cast their magic around Batemans, his family home. Look out for miniature handmade decorations and glowing doors to the homes of fairies that live among the books on the author's very own shelves. From cooking pine cones to crafty carpentry, turning books into baubles and lighting up fairy homes, there is no stone left unturned as the National Trust team and volunteers bring Kipling's tales to life around the house and garden.


Cotehele, Cornwall

Christmas flower garland

1 Nov-6 Jan (except 25 & 26 Dec), 11am-4pm

When the residents of Cotehele first hung a modest, floral, Christmas display in the hall just over 60 years ago, little did they know how their simple decoration would turn into the magnificent and famous tradition it is today. All of the flowers (20,000-40,000 depending on the growing season) are grown and dried on the estate. After being built in the hall by the gardeners, local choirs perform festive tunes underneath it.

Cotehele Christmas flower garland

Green Adventures November 2017