Our best books for Christmas 2016: Find your perfect gift

Christmas books

We’ve scoffed our first mince pie of the year, and the Christmas tree has gone up at National Trust Publishing HQ. So all our thoughts have turned to Christmas shopping. We're a little biased, but we reckon that books make perfect presents: you can find the perfect one for anyone based on their interests and it often stays with them long after they've closed the last page.

These are some of the books we'll be buying for our friends and family this year. All are available from our online shop and in most National Trust shops as well.

For foodies
A bowl of parsnip and apple soup

National Trust Cookbook 

If your friends are anything like us, no visit to a National Trust café is complete without sampling the one-pots and cakes in the café; the ‘National Trust Cookbook’ allows them to recreate their favourite meals back at home. “So far they’ve all been crowd-pleasers” promises Amy Feldman, General Books Editor, “Especially the BBQ sausage and chilli beans, and the spiced apple and blackberry cheesecake.”

One of the many delicious cakes you can make using Cakes, Bakes & Biscuits

Cakes, Bakes and Biscuits 

The stocking of any ‘Bake Off’ lover wouldn’t be complete without the gorgeous ‘Cakes, Bakes and Biscuits’. We challenge you not to drool when flicking through the delicious selection of recipes, from flapjacks and fancies to buns and savoury bakes.

For outdoor lovers
Rain by Melanie Harrison


“Melissa Harrison’s ‘Rain’ is a must read for all nature-lovers, tucked up by the fireside after a winter’s walk,” recommends our Publisher, Katie Bond.

Lindisfarne Castle off the Northumberland Coast

The National Trust Book of the Coast 

Full of gorgeous photography and fascinating seaside tales, ‘The National Trust Book of the Coast’ is Amy Feldman’s pick: “It makes me want to head to the sea every time I flick through.”

For history buffs
Beatrix Potter in Hill Top porch, Cumbria

The Story of Beatrix Potter 

2016 marked the 150th birthday of Beatrix Potter. “She had an extraordinary life – a woman pioneer ahead of her time,” says Katie Bond, “I’m proud to celebrate her anniversary with our beautiful ‘The Story of Beatrix Potter’ by biographer Sarah Gristwood.”

Christmas tree cut from estate in well in courtyard at Lyme, Cheshire

A Country House Christmas 

For Downtown Abbey-loving family members, pop a copy of ‘A Country House Christmas’ in their stocking, a new edition of Phyllis Sandeman’s first-hand account of an Edwardian Christmas at Lyme, Cheshire.

Book cover of Belgravia by Julian Fellowes


They’ll also love Katie’s guilty pleasure of the year, Julian Fellowes’s ‘Belgravia’: an historical romp featuring two of our places, Attingham Park in Shropshire and Montacute in Somerset.

A selection of National Trust guidebooks


Or if you know they’ve got a favourite National Trust place, why not gift them one of our beautifully illustrated souvenir guidebooks?

For children (and big kids too)
A selection of National Trust children's books

A Year of Celebrations

Our Children’s Books Editor, Jo Empson’s, picks of the year will (hopefully) keep the little ones busy on Boxing Day and beyond: “The ‘Year of Celebrations’ colouring cards will have even big kids wanting to crack open the crayons.”

The book, '50 things to Do Before You're 11 3/4'

50 Things books 

Our three ’50 Things’ notebooks are jam-packed with outdoor adventures the whole family will love, from tree climbing and stargazing to making a wormery and snow lanterns.