Experience a Victorian Christmas
In many ways the Victorians invented Christmas. The launch of Tom Smith's 'Bangs of Expectation' in 1860 ignited our love of Christmas crackers and we also have the Victorians to thank for the traditions of decorating Christmas trees and giving gifts on Christmas Day as well as Father Christmas as we know him today.
You can step into a Victorian Christmas at many of the places we look after. See the halls decked in Victorian style, sing tradition carols, see Christmas through the eyes of a workhouse pauper or meet a Victorian Father Christmas. Here are a few of the best places to immerse yourself in Christmas of old.
A Victorian Christmas in the South West
A Victorian Christmas with Tommy and Eva – Lanhydrock, Cornwall
20-24 & 27 December 2014, 11am-4pm
The Agar-Robartes twins Tommy and Eva will show you what Christmas would have been like for a Victorian child. Visit the nursery rooms decorated for Christmas and see some of the toys and games the children might have asked for. Follow a family trail with activities and crafts along the route.
• Adult £4, child £2 (free for National Trust members)
• Booking not needed
Events at Lanhydrock
A Victorian Christmas in London & South East
A Victorian Country Christmas – Hughenden, Buckinghamshire
18-23 & 26-31 December 2014, 11am-5pm
A traditional Christmas will be celebrated at Hughenden – the former home of 19th century statesman Benjamin Disraeli. Rooms will be dressed for an authentic country house Victorian Christmas and children can visit Father Christmas at weekends when there will be family craft sessions to enjoy.
• Free event (normal admission charges apply), separate charge to visit Father Christmas
• Booking not needed
Things to see and do at Hughenden
Traditional Victorian Nativity Scene
Clumber Park Chapel
Until 4 January 2015, 10.00am to 3.30pm
Free event (normal admission charges apply)
Away in a manger, no crib for a king' discover the story behind this favourite carol and see the chapel at Clumber Park decorated at this festive time. Pick up an activity sheet and make your own Christmas angel at home. Clumber was once the country estate of the Dukes of Newcastle and although the house was demolished in 1938, there are many glimpses of its grand past to explore, like the gothic-style chapel.
Experience a Tudor Christmas
Go back through the centuries to the Tudor era to see how the merchant and his family would have celebrated Christmas at the Tudor Merchant's House in Pembrokeshire (18-28 December 2014) or pay a visit to a Tudor Father Christmas at Trerice in Cornwall (20-21 December 2014).
Christmas through the ages
Celebrate Christmas at different stages in history at Dunster Castle in Somerset (20-21 December 2014) or compare an Edwardian Christmas with today’s traditions at Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire (20 December 2014).