Enjoy an unforgettable Christmas with us
If you’re looking for somewhere special to get into the Christmas spirit, then we've got hundreds of festive events, activities and family traditions old and new for you to enjoy at our wonderful places.
With Christmas sparkle, seasonal treats, atmospheric occasions and magnificent decorations, we'll help you to rekindle that old Christmas magic.
Escape the bustle of the high street and step into winter wonderlands, filled with the scents of roast chestnuts and mulled wine. Travel to past times and experience Christmas as it was celebrated across the ages, or make that extra special visit to Father Christmas in his grotto.
For an unforgettable family Christmas day out, don’t miss one of these magical places:
Petworth House and Park, West Sussex, 30 November-22 December (Saturday to Wednesday), 10.30am-3.30pm.
Petworth House is hosting a month-long spectacular for a unique Christmas experience. In the historic kitchens, journey through a series of darkened rooms, each one hosting an imagined culinary scene, brought to life with dramatic lighting, atmospheric sounds and kitchen characters. In the scullery, an exhausted kitchen maid slumps into a pool of soapy bubbles overflowing from a sink stacked with dirty dishes. Giant fish float in a flooded larder, while in the frosted dining room there are ‘frozen’ floral arrangements and a sparkling, snow-covered floor. Children can enjoy looking out for scurries of servant mice hiding in pots, pans, nooks and crannies, preparing their own, splendid miniature feast. Round off this magical adventure with a delicious fantasy-themed menu in the restaurant.
Adult £6, child £3. Booking is advised on 0844 249 1895, entry with timed tickets.
Killerton, Devon, 4 December–5 January (closed 25-26 December & 1 January), 11am–4pm
Experience the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future and follow the Christmas trails in Killerton house and park. See stunning displays in the house as you follow Scrooge to find the meaning of Christmas. You're sure to feel festive with the Christmas trees, lights and the magic behind this festive classic.
Normal admission charges apply. Booking is not required, for more information please contact 01392 881345.
Make a weekend of it: Take your pick from one of five cottages on the estate. There’s Forest Cottage (sleeps 6), Killerton Park Cottage (sleeps 4) Longmeadow (sleeps 4), or one of three adjoining cottages (once a medieval thatched farmhouse) which includes Mattress Cottage (sleeps 5) and Broad Ley Cottage (sleeps 6).
Wallington, Northumberland, 20-22 December, 10.30am–3.30pm
Experience a traditional Christmas at Wallington. Admire the beautiful decorations and enjoy carol singing and seasonal music in the house as you soak up the special Christmas atmosphere. There’s also the chance to try some Christmas crafts, follow the festive trail and hear stories with Mrs Santa.
Normal admission charges apply, plus a small charge for some activities. Booking is not required, for more information please call 01670 773600.
Mottisfont, Hampshire, 1 December–5 January 2014 (except 24 and 25 December), 11am–5pm
Come on a magical journey as the Swan Queen prepares for the ball. As the frost glitters and the mist rises from Mottisfont’s river, discover a winter wonderland of beautiful trees, decorated rooms and stunning evening gowns from ‘Talons & Tiaras’. Children can race around the grounds on a magical quest trail to solve the mystery of the Swan Queen’s secret and gain entry to her palace. There are sparkly dresses and handsome cloaks to try on in the boudoir, and crafty fun making tiaras and crowns. Then it’s time to join the Swan Queen at her ball in a beautiful room filled with sparkling lights and dancing silhouette shadows, and at the centre, an 18th-century style swan feather ball gown. Special weekend events are also on offer, including dance classes.
Normal admission charges apply. Booking is not required, for more information please call 01794 344020.
Chirk Castle, Wrexham, 7-22 December 11am–4pm
Celebrate the festive season at Chirk Castle. See the beautifully-decorated rooms, meet Father Christmas in his magical grotto and discover where all the toys are made in the elves workshop. There’s also the chance to browse for unusual gifts in our shop or sample delicious festive fair in the tea-room.
Adult £5.25, Child £2.63, plus £3 to visit Father Christmas. Booking is not required, for more information please call 01691 777701.
Make a weekend of it: Stay bang next door to the castle in Chirk Home Farm Cottage which sleeps four or stay in a 1930s villa at the top of Offa’s Dyke, with views that are second to none (sleeps five).