7 ways to enjoy winter from now till New Year

National Trust winter

With all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas period, how about taking some time to really enjoy the festivities. Here's 7 tips for you and the family on how to have a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas.

1. If you have 15 minutes spare...

Why not get mindful and enjoy some therapeutic grown-up colouring in the National Trust Country House Colouring Book. These exquisite illustrations by Amy Jane Adams are a wonderful way to unlock your creativity. Amy has explored the length and breadth of Britain to uncover Britain’s hidden countryside gems, and these intricate designs showcase the wonderful world of the country house.

Available in the shop at Kingston Lacy or online via https://shop.nationaltrust.org.uk/country-house-colouring-book/p7735

The talented Amy Jane Adams drew the illustrations of some of the National Trust's beautiful county houses
The country house colouring book
The talented Amy Jane Adams drew the illustrations of some of the National Trust's beautiful county houses

2. If you have half an hour to chill…

Unplug from the real world and plug into a podcast, Ten Places, Europe & Us with Bettany Hughes. In episode 5 Bettany visits Kingston Lacy, home of the colourful William John Bankes 'the stupendous traveller, collector and friend of Lord Byron'. Did you know that when he was exiled to Venice, he had to steal back into Kingston Lacy to complete hisplans for the house?

Download now- search for ‘Europe & Us podcast’ at www.nationaltrust.org.uk, iTunes or other podcast apps.

3. If you have an hour to spare…

Winter is the perfect time to stock up on tasty cakes and bakes. If like us you prefer the homemade variety, you can try out our own recipe from the Bankes family. Mrs Jenks’ shortbread  ‘Petticoat tails’ are the perfect treat to cosy up by the fire with or serve at a Christmas drinks party.

Find the recipe here https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy/recipes/mrs-jenks-petticoat-tails-

Crumbly shortbread for sharing
National Trust short bread
Crumbly shortbread for sharing

4. If you have a couple hours to fill…

Getting making your own traditional decorations for a greener Christmas with a National Trust how to video. These easy to make decorations will add natural textures, festive colour and scents to your home. Whether you are looking to entertain the little ones or make gorgeous gifts from friends on a budget, our step-by-step guides make getting crafty easy.

Find the perfect craft here- https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/christmas-crafts-how-to-guides

National Trust Christmas crafts

5. If you have an afternoon free…

New for 2016, we’re opening up three new rooms at Kingston Lacy over Christmas. The saloon, dining room and Spanish room will all be decorated for a traditional Victorian Christmas. Find out who's coming for dinner in the dining room, perform a Christmas play written by the Bankes children in the Spanish room and ogle at the huge tree in the saloon. You can round off the afternoon with a stop in the café or shop for a Christmas treat.

Find out more here- https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy/features/a-family-christmas

6. If you have a spare evening…

The Christmas illuminations are back this year, lighting up the garden every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from the 1 – 23 December. As a bonus, the illuminations will be on every evening from Boxing Day to New Year’s Day. It’s the perfect walk for the family or just to clear you head of Christmas worry and get into the festive spirit.

For more information- https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy/features/how-many-lights-does-it-take-to-illuminate-kingston-lacy

Don't forget your camera!
Kingston Lacy Christmas
Don't forget your camera!

7. If you have a weekend available…

Have you ever looked at the quaint and cosy National Trust holiday cottages around Dorset? Whether you are looking for a staycation, a break from the relatives or something different for New Year’s there a lots of special places to get away from it all.

Find available dates here- http://www.nationaltrustholidays.org.uk/

Do you take your holiday home with you? Find out about the caravan site at Kingston Lacy here- https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/places-to-stay-on-the-kingston-lacy-estate