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 Midlands

    Star mince pies

    A Victorian Christmas – Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire
    29 November-7 December 2014, 10.30am-3.30pm
    The house will be traditionally decorated for a Victorian Christmas and presented by colourful costumed characters.
    • Free event (normal admission charges apply)
    • Booking not needed
    Events at Canons Ashby

    A Victorian Workhouse Christmas – The Workhouse, Southwell, Nottinghamshire
    5-6 December 2014, 5pm-8pm

    Experience the life of the Victorian poor as they prepare for Christmas in The Workhouse. Sing carols with the Pauper choir, listen to stories of life in The Workhouse and enjoy mulled wine and mince pies.
    • Adult £5, child £2.50
    • Booking essential, call 01636 817260
    Events at The Workhouse

    Christmas at Charlecote – Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
    6-7, 13-14 & 20-21 December 2014, 12pm-3pm

    See the Great Hall decorated for Christmas, hear festive music being played outside and see what’s cooking in the Victorian Kitchens.
    • Free event (normal admission charges apply)
    • Booking not needed
    Events at Charlecote Park

    Christmas House Tours – Baddesely Clinton
    3-5 & 17-19 December 2014, 6pm-9pm

    Enjoy Baddesely Clinton dressed for a traditional Victorian Christmas on a tour of the house followed by a festive supper in the Barn Restaurant.
    • All tickets £25
    • Booking essential, call 01564 783294
    Events at Baddesely Clinton

    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
    6-7, 13-14, 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 very Victorian Christmas with Father Christmas – Tyntesfield, Somerset
    5 December 2014, from 4pm
    Join the acclaimed Pantaloons Theatre Company on a storytelling tour around the house, guided by four very special Victorian characters.
    • Adult £15, child £8, family £42, group £27
    • Booking essential, call 08442 491895 or book online
    • Experiences start every 15 minutes from 4pm, last admission 6.45pm (tours last approximately an hour)
    Events at Tyntesfield

    A Victorian Christmas in the North West

    The Dining Room at Speke Hall decorated for a Victorian Christms

    Victorian Christmas Weekends – Speke Hall, Liverpool
    29-30 November, 6-7 & 13-14 December 2014, 11am-4pm

    See Speke Hall decorated for a traditional Victorian Christmas, enjoy family activities, listen to live Christmas carols in the Great Hall and pay a visit to a Victorian Father Christmas.
    • Free event (normal admission charges apply), £3 to visit Father Christmas
    • Booking not needed
    Events at Speke Hall

    A Victorian Christmas – Quarry Bank, Cheshire
    6-7 & 13-14 December 2014, 11am-3pm

    Meet Victorian characters and find out more about Christmas customs from the past. Tell Father Christmas what's on your wish list, enjoy Christmas carols and stories and finish your day with a warming mince pie.
    • Free event (normal admission charges apply)
    • Booking not needed
    Events at Quarry Bank

    A Victorian Christmas in London & South East

    Christmas tree baubles

    A Victorian Country Christmas – Hughenden, Buckinghamshire
    1-23 & 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

    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 (6-28 December 2014) or help decorate a Tudor manor house for Yuletide at Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire (29-30 November 2014).

    You can also learn about Tudor Christmas customs at a seasonal lecture at Uppark House in West Sussex (11 December 2014) or why not pay a visit to a Tudor Father Christmas at Trerice in Cornwall (13-14 & 20-21 December 2014).

    Christmas through the ages

    Preparing for a Medieval Christmas at Brockhampton Estate Herefordshire

    Take a trip to Christmas past with a medieval Christmas at the Brockhampton Estate in Herefordshire (6-7 December 2014) or celebrate Christmas at different stages in history at Dunster Castle in Somerset (7, 13-14 & 20-21 December 2014).

    Compare an Edwardian Christmas with today’s traditions at Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire (6-7, 13-14 & 20 December 2014) or find out what Christmas was like on the front line during the First World War at Sutton House in London (30 November 2014).

    You can also get into the spirit of a 1920s Christmas at Nyman’s in West Sussex (1 December 2014-6 January 2015), a 1930s Christmas at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk (15-16, 22-23 & 29-30 November 2014 & 6-7, 13-14 & 20-21 December 2014) and a 1940s Christmas at Felbrigg in Norfolk (12-14 December 2014).