Plan ahead for a special Lacock Christmas

An illustration of Lacock village in Wiltshire covered in snow.

While stretching your legs around the grounds at Lacock this autumn, why not start thinking ahead to Christmas, and give yourself time to put those inspired plans into action.

Christmas handmade crafts

From prepping pine cones for hanging decorations to gold painted branches in buckets, why not let Christmas come naturally this year. Want to get crafty this Christmas but need some inspiration? Look no further. 

A Christmas wreath in the stables
A Christmas wreath in the stables

Snow topped pine cones

A favourite, these look lovely grouped together in a bowl or vase, or just scattered on window sills and around a fireplace. Just take a big, open pine cone and apply white paint to the edges to look like snow. Once dried, you could add a little sparkle by dotting some of the scales with glue and adding silver glitter.

Mini Christmas tree pine cones

Lots of fun and you get to use pomp poms! Make your own mini Christmas tree by choosing a large, open pine cone. Dip or cover in green paint. When dry, glue small pomp poms or beads onto the face-up ends of the pine cone scales. Add a dusting of glue and glitter after painting if you’d like to create a tinsel effect.

Metallic pine cones

Pine cones look great just dipped or painted in full gold or silver paint. You can add glitter afterwards if you want to make them shimmer too.
 
Tip: If you’re dipping your pine cone in paint or glue, it’s always a good idea to check for any small bugs that might be making their home inside.

Making mince pies with a star-shaped pastry cutter
Making mince pies with a star-shaped pastry cutter

Stir-up Sunday traditions

We love Christmas traditions. They’re a wonderful way to connect not only with our loved ones as well as people we meet but also with our cultural heritage.

We’re sure many of you have fond memories of being in the kitchen with Mum, gathering the currants, sultanas, cinnamon, sherry and other delights together and stirring them all up in a huge bowl. Perhaps you even mixed some coins in, and hoped to find one on Christmas Day.

Sadly it’s a tradition that many of the younger generations haven’t experienced fully and we want to bring it back, so we’re taking the fun online and letting everyone get involved and celebrate this Christmas tradition which dates back to Victorian times.  Follow the hashtag #NTstirupsunday to get involved with tips and advice, sharing your baking pictures and do let us know your Christmas traditions. 

Keep an eye open for robin redbreasts around the grounds
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Spotting winter wildlife

Whilst wandering the grounds at Lacock, look out for squirrels, hedgehogs and robin redbreasts as you explore the routes and paths around the abbey, you may find more inspiration than you thought.

Thousands of migratory birds come to the UK’s shores in the winter, so it’s one of the best times to go bird watching if you’re making a special trip. Of course, as the trees lose their leaves it’s much easier to spot birds anyway, and winter is a great time to put feeders out, increasing your chances of seeing lots of different birds in your own garden.

The number and variety of birds you see is likely to be driven by the weather. Get mild conditions and you are likely to be graced by small numbers of your regular feathered friends. But a cold snap could see much excitement as greater numbers and variety of species go in search of sustenance. 

 

See a Victorian-style Christmas tree in the Great Hall
The Great Hall in Lacock Abbey decorated with a large Christmas tree and garlands around the fire place in Lacock, Wilthsire.

The Courtyard at Christmas

If a story with Father Christmas and singing along with a Victorian choir to classics such as 'O, Christmas Tree', 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' and 'Jingle Bells' whilst sipping mulled wine sounds like your thing  – then planning to visit our Courtyard at Christmas will be just the ticket.  

Not only this, but the Great Hall will be beautifully decorated, the experience completed with the wonderful roaring fire and our annual Lacock Christmas tree festival will be on display in the abbey cloister. Vote for your favourite Christmas tree, all decorated by local community groups.    

With our winter family trail you will be able to see how many willow reindeer you can spot and even sit in Father Christmas' sleigh for a photograph.  Before you leave the heart of the abbey... can you guess how tall the Christmas tree might be? 

Perfect presents and delightful decorations, our National Trust shops are ready for Christmas
Christmas display in the fireplace of the National Trust shop on Lacock High Street

Christmas shopping

We have plenty of Christmas gift ideas in both our High Street and Fox Talbot Museum shops, and our Lacock favourites are the stunning Bronte by Moon reversible throw made in the British Isles from pure merino lambswool, the new Winter Twilight collection of home décor and the Taste of Christmas Gift Set.

Upcoming events

Spring flowers and family trail at Lacock Abbey

Sat 20 Jan 2018
11:00-16:00
Lacock's wooded grounds are full of wonderful flowers over the spring months, ideal for a gentle stroll. All spring there are lots of things to spot in the grounds, see how many you can spot on our fun family trail.

'Tribe' a photography exhibition

Sat 03 Feb 2018
10:30-17:00
Tribe is a collaborative exhibition of photography by mid-career professional artists. Their work is a narrative, addressing issues of family, history, love and loss. The artists are a group of women from all over the US.

Look inside a Lacock cottage

Thu 08 Feb 2018
11:00-15:00
Peek behind one of Lacock's closed doors as we open our holiday cottage, 2 High Street, for you to explore. It's one of the oldest buildings in the village and was used as a green room for the cast of Cranford.

Valentine's Day flower count

Sat 10 Feb 2018
10:30-17:00
Looking for a nice romantic woodland walk? Or a fun day of flower spotting? We know just the place...

Conservation in action

Mon 12 Feb 2018
11:00-15:30
Have you ever wondered what it's like to maintain a house the size of Lacock Abbey?

Early spring walk with Lacock's Head Gardener

Thu 22 Feb 2018
11:30-12:30
Lacock has some beautiful early spring flowers and a guided walk with Head Gardener Sue Carter is a great way to discover more about them.