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

    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

    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

    Christmas tree baubles

    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

    A Victorian Christmas in the Midlands

    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

    Visitors discover a Tudor feast

    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

    Preparing for a Medieval Christmas at Brockhampton Estate Herefordshire

    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).

    You can also get into the spirit of a 1920s Christmas at Nyman’s in West Sussex (18 December 2014-6 January 2015), and a 1930s Christmas at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk (20-21 December 2014).