This website uses cookies to ensure the best experience.

Read our cookie policy

Search Green Adventures Travel Magazine

Enjoy a festive day out in the week before Christmas at a National Trust property. You may even bump into Father Christmas.

Above: Father Christmas at Croft Castle, Herefordshire © National Trust Images Arnhel de Serra

Father Christmas talking to children

Festive fun

Father Christmas' schedule is jam-packed this year but luckily he's stopping off at some National Trust grottos along the way.

Enjoy a festive family day out at some of the Trust's most stunning places where children can get into the Christmas spirit by exploring enchanting trails, meeting Rudolph's friends, making sparkly decorations and telling Father Christmas their wishes, all with the help of Santa's little helpers.

Celebrating festive traditions, the Trust is helping Father Christmas prepare for the season with some special locations for his grottos. From Victorian homes and Tudor houses to ancient castles and country parks, a visit to see Father Christmas will fill the whole family with Christmas cheer.

Visiting will support the Trust's work as a charity looking after special places for future generations to enjoy.

Here are the National Trust's best grottos and activities to get you in the festive spirit:


Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire

Christmas in the park, 19 – 20 December, 10am – 4pm

With far-reaching views of the Severn Valley, Dyrham is the ideal place to escape the crowds this Christmas. Explore the great outdoors, wrap up warm and take part in the deer trail in the historic park to find Rudolph and his friends. Enjoy seasonal refreshments in the tea-room and pick up those last minute Christmas presents from the shop. Enjoy music and get hands on with crafts near the house and don't miss Father Christmas who will be at Old Lodge to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Price: Normal admission fee applies

For more information, please call 0117 9372501

Cotehele, Cornwall

At home with Mother and Father Christmas, 19 - 23 December, 1pm - 3.30pm

The Tudor house of Cotehele is perched high above the River Tamar in the Cornish countryside and Mother and Father Christmas are waiting in their grotto before they return to the North Pole to start their Christmas deliveries. Make sure you catch them before they leave and let them know your Christmas wishes.

Price: £3 per child (includes a gift from Father Christmas, normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01579 351346

Trerice, Cornwall

Tudor Father Christmas, 19 – 20 December, 11am - 4pm

Visit this fine manor house in the Cornish countryside and add a touch of grandeur to Christmas this year. Come and meet a special Tudor Father Christmas, hear his tales and go home with a very special paper package tied up with string. This is a magical opportunity to hear stories of Christmas past with five performances throughout the day, lasting 30 minutes each.

Tickets are available from reception for 11.30am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.15pm.

Price: Adult £2.50, Child £3.50 (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01637 875404

Left, top: Wallington © National Trust Images Paul Harris; Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire © National Trust Images David Levenson

Bodiam Castle, East Sussex

Christmas in the Castle: 19 – 22 December, 10.30am – 3.30pm

Enjoy Christmas traditions both old and new at Bodiam as you join Father Christmas in his grotto at this 700 year old castle. There's presents and decoration making for the kids while the grown-up can enjoy a mince pie and glass of wassail to warm them up. Our medieval characters will also be on hand to entertain you with stories of a medieval Christmas.

Price: Adult £10.60 (non NT member), Adult £2 (NT member), Child £8.50 (18 months+) £4 (under 18 months)

For more information, please call 01580 831324

Above: reindeer with volunteers at Blickling Estate, Norfolk © National Trust Images Adrian Judd; visitors enjoying Christmas at Wallington, Northumberland © National Trust Images Paul Harris

Uppark House and Garden, West Sussex

Father Christmas at Uppark, 19 – 20 December, 11am – 3pm

It's time to get festive at this magical house and garden in West Sussex where you'll find how the Victorian servants are decorating rooms and preparing for the family's Christmas 'upstairs'. Outside, the stables have been transformed into a wooded wonderland, where Father Christmas will be waiting to meet good boys and girls and give a little festive treat.

Price: £5.50 per child (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01730 825415


Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

Meet Father Christmas, 19 - 20 December, 11am - 4pm (last entry 3.30pm)

This moated manor house looks like it has popped straight out of a fairy-tale and it looks even more magical at Christmas. Come along and find Father Christmas hiding out in his grotto in a corner of the festive Hall. Discover his secret location and tell him your Christmas wishes and you're sure to receive a special gift.

Price: £5 (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01366 328258

Croome, Worcestershire

Visit Father Christmas, 19 – 20 December, 12pm – 3pm

Make your Christmas sparkle with a visit to Croome for a festive family weekend in December. Santa is flying in especially to meet you! Pop in and see the jolly red man in his cosy grotto and receive a small gift. There'll be fun Christmas crafts to get you in the seasonal spirit while you wait to see the great man himself.

Price: £3.50 per child (normal admission fee applies)

For more information, please call 01905 370005

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire

Christmas at Clumber 19 – 20 December, 10am – 4pm

Escape to the countryside this Christmas and visit Clumber Park for a day of magical entertainment. With traditional brass bands playing all your favourite yuletide classics and Christmas activities, crafts, sights and sounds a-plenty, you're sure to get into the festive spirit. Father Christmas has flown in and has invited you to join him for story time in his wintery grotto. (Story time with Father Christmas must be booked in advance).

Price: Free event (normal admission fee to the park applies)

For more information, please call 01909 544917

Trelissick, Cornwall

Reindeer at Trelissick 18 – 23 December, 12pm – 6pm

There's nothing more magical than meeting a reindeer at Christmas. Visit this gorgeous house on its own Cornish peninsula to meet Rudolph and his friends throughout the festive period. They'll be hanging out around the stables waiting for you to bring some Christmas cheer.

Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

For more information, please call 01872 862090


Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey

Winter Wonders Children's Trail, until 21 December, 10am – 3pm

Enjoy the spirit of the festive season and follow this traditional Christmas trail around the National Trust's only Arboretum. As well as festive goodies, there are lots of amazing plants and trees to be spotted along the way. Finish your day at the tea-room with a cosy hot chocolate and scrummy treat.

Price: 50p per trail

For more information, please call 01483 208936

Allan Bank and Grasmere, Cumbria

Carols around the tree, 19 December, 1pm – 3pm

It's everyone's favourite time of year, and what better holiday tradition than to sing carols around the tree? Everyone's welcome at the Allan Bank and Grasmere carol concert, where Grasmere Glee will be singing merry songs and making your heart glow with festive cheer.

Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

For more information, please call 015394 35143

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire

The Elves' Christmas workshop, 19 – 22 December, 1pm – 4pm

It's nearly Christmas and the elves are waiting at their twinkly post office to receive some very special letters. If you've been extremely good this year, be sure to write to Father Christmas to let him know. There will be paper, pens, envelopes and stamps at the ready - all that's left is for you to write your wish list, become the elf postmaster, and send it off to the North Pole. If you drop in after Christmas, make sure you write to Father Christmas to thank him for your presents.

Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

For more information, please call 01765 608888

Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire

A magical family Christmas 19 – 20 December, 11am – 4pm

Rufford Old Hall sits deep in the heart of Lancashire countryside surrounded by beautiful gardens and grounds, and Father Christmas has stopped off there to deliver some very special gifts. Let him know your Christmas wishes and he'll give you a festive goody. You can even give him a letter to take back to the elves. The house will be fully decorated in seasonal splendour so be sure to take a look around after seeing Santa Claus.

Price: £4 to visit Father Christmas (normal admission fee applies)

For more information please call 01704 821254

Wallington, Northumberland

Father Christmas at Wallington 19 – 23 December, 10.30am – 3.30pm

Father Christmas has a jam-packed schedule this year so you better catch him early before he flies back to the North Pole! Come and meet him in his cosy grotto at Wallington and receive a special gift. Afterwards, explore nature in the wild play area in the West Wood and visit the family-friendly wildlife hide to spot red squirrels. Further afield, there are new wintery walks across to Broomhouse Farm and beyond.

Price: £8 Booking essential

For more Information please call 01670 773600

Above: Santa's grotto at Wallington, Northumberland © National Trust Images Paul Harris; presents under the tree at The Vyne, Hampshire © National Trust Images John Miller

Green Adventures December 2015

National Trust Christmas activities