Plan ahead for a special Lacock Christmas
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Talking of lists, don't forget to look at our handy list of December events to make it easier to plan your visit for the perfect day!