2018 Christmas at Charlecote

Child looks at Christmas tree in great hall at Charlecote Park

At the end of the year in which we have looked at the impact of the First World War on the Lucy family and those around them, we are taking 1918 as our inspiration for Christmas too.

Advance booking essential to visit the house during December weekends.

Coming home

By Christmas 1918 every family was touched by the losses of loved ones in the First World War, but everyone was determined that there should be a celebration of the end of conflict. The festivities should be a jolly occasion for the sake of those who had returned and - of course - for the children.

Our volunteer research group has looked at the Lucy family records and local information in the archives of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Our research team has discovered that Christmas 1918 was a jolly affair
Charlecote's research team has discovered that Christmas 1918 was a jolly affair
Our research team has discovered that Christmas 1918 was a jolly affair

Thankfully, the three Lucy sons all eventually returned from the First World War, but were undoubtedly scarred by their experiences of the conflict.

Rationing was still in place and the family, their servants, and the local villagers made the best of what they could acquire.

We're getting ready for Christmas - will you be joining us?
Putting up Christmas tree in great hall at Charlecote Park
We're getting ready for Christmas - will you be joining us?

Pre-book to celebrate Christmas with us

The grounds and outbuildings are open every day from 9am to 4pm. 

  • The house will be open and decorated for Christmas (11am-3.30pm)
    Friday to Monday 30 November-3 December
    Friday to Monday 7-10 December
    Every day 14-24 December.
     
  • Entry to the house at weekends will be by timed ticket ONLY, and MUST be booked in advance - see our What's On page
     
  • Normal admission prices apply to non-National Trust members.

(Please note: the handbook says we're closed on Christmas Eve, but the whole property is open.)

Naughty or nice?

Father Christmas will be here from Friday-Monday each week and you have two options this year:

  • Family appointments with Father Christmas in the summerhouse. Appointments available between 11am and 3.30pm. £6 per child.
     
  • Saturday Breakfast with Father Christmas between 9.30am and 10.30am. £8.50 per adult/£10.50 per child. Please advise any dietary requirements after booking. 

Prior booking essential for breakfasts and family appointments.

Please note:

  • We have an online booking system this year. 
  • Booking for Father Christmas opens on 1 October - lots more information and a link will be on our What's On page from this date.
  • The Charlecote office is unable to accept bookings or enquiries for Father Christmas via phone or email, it is all handled centrally.
  • Normal admission prices apply to non-National Trust members.
Book ahead to visit Father Christmas this December
Father Christmas in summerhouse at Charlecote Park
Book ahead to visit Father Christmas this December

Jingle all the way...

Our research found many reports of enthusiastic carol singing which was hugely important to everyone as part of the Christmas celebrations at this time, from little bands of children going door to door, to choirs visiting convalescing soldiers in nursing homes.

What could be jollier than celebrating the season with us - if your choir would like to come and sing carols at Charlecote on any of the December weekends, do get in touch and find out which dates are still available. All ages welcome.

What’s on your list?

From September the Servants’ Hall shop has the best of all the National Trust Christmas ranges in stock with gifts and treats for everyone, and tastings too.

We have Christmas decorations and gifts, as well as local pot-grown Christmas trees and festive wreaths for sale through December in our Plant Centre shop next to the car park (open Thursday-Sunday, 10.00am-3.00pm).

Find locally-grown Christmas trees and wreaths with the garden delights in our Avenue plant centre
Find Christmas trees, wreaths and lots of garden treats at Charlecote Avenue plant centre
Find locally-grown Christmas trees and wreaths with the garden delights in our Avenue plant centre

Bring us some figgy pudding

Our volunteers in the Victorian kitchen will be cooking up lots of festive goodies based on what was available immediately after the end of the Great War. Pop in to warm up by the fire if it's chilly outside.

Please note that we don't always have enough volunteers to cook every day though. If your New Year resolution is to try something new, how about joining the friendly team? 

See what we're cooking in the Victorian kitchen today
Volunteers cook for Christmas in Victorian kitchen at Charlecote
See what we're cooking in the Victorian kitchen today

The Orangery tea-room will be preparing hundreds of mince pies and plenty of hot soup – just what you need after a walk round the parkland this winter.

Why not get together with friends, family or colleagues for a Christmas meal in the Orangery? Look out for our new menu for this year. There's no need to book, our Christmas menu will be available Monday-Friday every week in December until Christmas.

Join us for a special Christmas lunch of Charlecote venison this year
Charlecote venison Christmas lunch in Orangery
Join us for a special Christmas lunch of Charlecote venison this year

And afterwards…

We're closed only on 25 December, but don’t forget that all the grounds are open on Boxing Day – try out those new hats and scarves and walk off Christmas dinner around the parkland with friends and family.

A winter walk is the perfect way to recharge your batteries
Charlecote parkland and river on a frosty day in winter
A winter walk is the perfect way to recharge your batteries