Christmas at Hughenden
See the Manor set for a traditional 1940s Christmas with handmade decorations, real trees and sparkling lights inspired by the make-do-and-mend world of wartime Britain. Runs until Sun 5 Jan 2020.
Grounds open 10-4pm, House 11-3pm with last entry 2.30pm. Our car park does get busy so you may need to wait for a space to become free, or come by public transport and enjoy a free hot drink.
Each room tells a different tale from the era, from the vintage style and glamour to the story of the map-makers who worked here in the war. Colourful paper-chains and woollen pom-poms, delicate baubles and shiny lametta adorn the archways, mantlepieces and trees. True to the spirit of the '40s, re-purposing and re-using materials are the order of the day.
An element of secrecy peppers the sights and sounds, reflecting the top secret map-making work that was carried out when Hughenden was requisitioned by the Air Ministry in 1941. See the 'Hillside' rooms in the Manor and join a daily talk to find out more about Hughenden's Second World War history.
Wooden Ornaments Trail
Hidden amongst the Christmas trees are little wooden decorations handcarved by one of our talented volunteers. Each one represents a different aspect of the Hillside story, can you find all eight and unravel the clues?
The personnel stationed here travelled to and from Hughenden by bicycle and their favoured mode of transport is the theme for our winter planting scheme on the Parterre. Inspired by the colours of the RAF emblem, the circles are laid out as wheels using ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’ for the tyres and narcissus ‘Jack Snipe’ for the spokes. The rectangles are based on the Hillside maps with festuca ‘Kitty Blue’ as lines and contours marked out in pulmonaria, thyme and narcissus across a background of forget-me-nots.
Follow the trail of Sergeant Hadfield's little Scottie dog around the gardens for a family adventure to find her woodland friends and their winter homes. Sat 7 - Sun 5 Jan. £3 per child, includes a small gift.
A relaxed Christmas
Visit the Stableyard Shop to pick up your Christmas gifts, from local artisan chocolates to a great range of homewares and enjoy the sparkling lights as dusk draws in. Or how about a gift that lasts a whole year? Give someone special gift membership for them to enjoy free entry to over 500 special places in 2020.
For handmade present ideas, Hughenden's volunteer team have created a wonderful selection of countryside products including bird boxes, coasters, bug hotels and wellie racks. Each one is unique and made from wood from the Hughenden estate.
Refuel with a festive treat
Head to the Stableyard Cafe for a festive treat. There's a full range of cakes, sandwiches and drinks available, and homemade hot meals are served from 11.30am-3pm every day.
Visiting with your family
There's plenty of space for young explorers to run, jump and play around in the grounds at Hughenden. Grab your wellies and splash in a puddle or discover your inner adventurer on the woodland play trail. Don't forget to bring your coat and wrap up warm.
Facilities for families
- Baby-changing facilities can be found in the disabled toilet in the stableyard.
- Buggies are welcome around site, but not inside the manor (hip carriers can be borrowed free of charge from the front desk).
- Hughenden is on the top of a hill so some paths are steep and paths through the woodland are rough and uneven in places.
Santa's Grotto - sorry, sold out. Visit Father Christmas in his 1940s inspired grotto, recreated as a vintage railway station waiting room. Available on Sat 7 and Sun 8, Sat 14 and Sun 15, Sat 21 and Sun 22. £9 per child with crafting, letter writing and a small Christmas gift from Santa. Tickets available for babies/toddlers. Book online.
Please note, normal admission applies to all Hughenden events.